The Federal Hockey League is not coming to Lewiston.
Rumors swirled over the past few days indicating that the Cape Cod Bluefins of the FHL were on their way to the Twin Cities.
That’s not the case, according to Firland Management President Jim Cain, owner of the Androscoggin Bank Colisee.
"We had discussions with the league and Cape Cod as late as yesterday," Cain said. "We’re in the middle of the season and it was too difficult to move everything around."
The American Hockey League’s Portland Pirates have three games left of their scheduled six games at the Colisee this year, and those games combined with boys’ and girls’ high school hockey made a possible move too impractical.
"There is a huge priority in the month of February as far as their needs," Cain said. "I’m completely full with high school, both boys and girls and the Pirates."
Cain also indicated that even if he was interested in allowing the Bluefins franchise to play at the Colisee that it wouldn't be feasible due to the numerous scheduling conflicts that it would present, especially after the Colisee struck an agreement over the summer with Maine Hockey Group, which saw the Portland Junior Pirates expand into the Lewiston area.
"We’re pretty well locked in for the remainder of the season with other plans and activities," he said. "Even if I wanted too, I would have huge difficulty accommodating their needs."
Cain said his preferred option is still to continue down the path of acquiring a junior hockey franchise.
The United States Premier Hockey League, an upstart junior league with four current founding members, is scheduled to begin playing next fall.
Lewiston has been mentioned as a possible location for a new franchise.
Cain said that Lewiston is a possible landing spot for a USPHL franchise, but didn’t comment further.
"We’re looking very seriously at junior hockey and we’re close to an arrangement," Cain said. "So, we're going to continue down that path."
The Colisee was home to the Lewiston Maineiacs of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League for eight seasons before the franchise folded following the 2010-11 season.
The FHL played six games at the Colisee last season in an attempt to showcase its brand, but after a strong showing at the gate in the first game, attendance dwindled.
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