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ChompNation

FHL Berlin Riverdrivers not participating in 2017-18 season

13 posts in this topic

The FHL Berlin Riverdrivers announced today that will not participating in 2017-18 season.

Here is what the team said:

"

The Berlin RiverDrivers organization would like to thank everyone involved for the 2016-2017 season. BRD fans from Berlin and the surrounding areas came out in force to enjoy fast paced hard hitting hockey at the Notre Dame Arena. (Per capita Berlin had the largest attendance in the league!) Unfortunately it wasn't enough to keep the team alive in this league.
With changes in the infrastructure, an increase in projected expenses, and demands from the league, an early season pass drive was the answer. Looking to sell 1,000 season passes after just losing in the last game of the Championship round didn't come anywhere close to meeting this necessary mark. Requesting that 1,000 be sold and subsequently selling 500 would have been great to get us financially footed for the 2017-2018 season. But selling only 20 in total over the course of this month tells a story that is not easy to read and paints a very clear picture of the BRD future. A huge thank you to the 20 fans who took a leap of faith! (You of course will be refunded for your investment.)
The RiverDrivers accomplished many things in the first two years. Being up against it when the league pulled the rug out from under the team back in September in 2014 to place the team in North Adams, Massachusetts was very hard to overcome. But ownership gave it another shot and tried again. In two years sponsors shook off the unknown and jumped on board. It was a beautiful thing and the momentum had begun, however the team still needed more businesses to advertise and partner with to keep it going.
The annual budget, with teams in Illinois, North Carolina, Michigan, and Ontario, Canada is estimated at $400,000 and up. That's if everything goes perfectly. The overhead expenses; housing, insurance, payroll, travel, etc are already a challenge to meet at this level of hockey. Now with the league expanding in all directions, travel from Berlin would be atrocious. Last season every road trip was horrendous. One game in Danville was missed where the team couldn't make it through one of NY State’s worst snowstorms in what was said to be 35 years. The game couldn't be rescheduled because of the lack of ice availability in Danville (a Barry Soskin owned team) and subsequently the league two months later in the middle of the playoff drive forced Berlin to forfeit the three points keeping Port Huron's (another Barry Soskin owned team) hopes alive.
Ownership has exhausted all avenues, including moving the team to another league to offset these increases in the overall operation of the team, all the while keeping the team in Berlin for the amazing fan base that has evolved! Of course there are many obstacles to overcome for this to happen.
Battling at every turn, because we were viewed as the black sheep of the FHL, became tiresome and deflating for the players, investors and fans alike. Some of you reading this have even had the “pleasure” of witnessing this firsthand either in person or thru private messages and or Facebook posts.
Multiple teams being owned by the same person has so many negative connotations that it makes it tough to want to compete in what is supposed to be a "pro league" atmosphere.
In two seasons, the players that passed through Berlin left their own personal marks. Fan favorite, team enforcer, and all around great kid, Nick Wright, will never be forgotten. A lot of players from numerous countries were taken in and loved by the fans. But in the end, ticket sales, concession sales, and a greater amount of sponsors needed, prevents the necessary blood flow from keeping the Big Heart of the RiverDrivers from ticking on.
Thank you to the fans, sponsors, arena staff and game night volunteers for 2 years of great pro hockey in Berlin, NH, "Hockey Town, USA"! This is not farewell…. However a see you again in the near future when we are bigger, better and stronger to make you all proud!"

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Amazing that a team posted that. Looks like the rambling of a random fan after his team goes dark(believe me, I have experience!).

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4 hours ago, ShaunS said:

Amazing that a team posted that. Looks like the rambling of a random fan after his team goes dark(believe me, I have experience!).

Here's what the diatribe reads like to me, as supplemented by some light reading of the Berlin Facebook page posts on the same topic: BRD owner Lenny Lichtman was stymied in his every attempt to ice & maintain a competitive team over the last two seasons by Barry Soskin.  Soskin was determined to force Berlin out of the FHL - he probably fought Don Kirnan & lost in the battle to prevent Berlin from entering the League in the first place - because his two existing teams (Danville & Port Huron - with W/S making it 3 in the fall) were being shown up by the growing success & popularity of the team in North Country New Hampshire.  Soskin has a long history of manipulation to get his way in the minor league sports biz, and he finally found a way to frustrate Lichtman to the point of quitting.  That's one less vote against Soskin's 3 votes when the FHL BOGs meet to make policy & League organizational decisions this summer & beyond.  The FHL has been bad enough through its Kirnan Years, but I'm seeing The Soskin Years taking it to a whole 'nother level of shame.

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Thats weird.  I just read where they fired their coach about a week or so ago.  Guess they wanted to give him an early punch in the gut before they gave their fans a huge punch in the gut.  Seems Soskin would want to keep the few teams the fhl has.  But guess not, guess he trying to guarantee a championship for himself every year.  I personally cant believe this league is still kicking.

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Posted (edited)

20?!?!?!?!?

:laughing:

Edited by Speedracer
  • Like 1

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On 5/18/2017 at 5:45 PM, ShaunS said:

Amazing that a team posted that. Looks like the rambling of a random fan after his team goes dark(believe me, I have experience!).

You're under the presumption that the FHL is a professional hockey league...

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1 hour ago, Speedracer said:

You're under the presumption that the FHL is a professional hockey league...

But, but, but ... it says so in their logo ...

8691__federal_hockey_league-primary-2016

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Just FYI as long as the Federal League is still alive and kicking the SPHL will not have the honor of being the worse league in professional hockey

 

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16 minutes ago, wrapper said:

Just FYI as long as the Federal League is still alive and kicking the SPHL will not have the honor of being the worse league in professional hockey

Permit me to introduce you to Ligue Nord-Américaine de Hockey ...

 

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I see your point although there is a lot of fighting the talent level is superior to the SPHL

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10 minutes ago, wrapper said:

I see your point although there is a lot of fighting the talent level is superior to the SPHL

It seems the ECHL, AHL & on rare occasion the NHL disagree with you.  But it's all moot, because the F(P)HL continues to come back like a bad rash.

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19 hours ago, JMC-STL said:

the F(P)HL continues to come back like a bad rash.

@hockeydoc  probably doesn't have any meds or treatments for that kind of rash.

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