The Commissioner's Office of the United States Hockey League today announced that it had awarded an expansion USHL membership to Bruce Zoldan, effective commencing with the 2009-2010 season.
The new USHL team will be located in Youngstown, Ohio as a member of the USHL's Eastern Division, and will play its regular season games at the Chevrolet Centre in downtown Youngstown. Team USA, representing the National Training Development Program in Ann Arbor, Michigan, will also join the USHL Eastern Division. The USHL will therefore enter the 2009-2010 season as a 14-team league.
Mr. Zoldan is currently and separately the owner of the NAHL Mahoning Valley Phantoms, who are participating in the 2009 NAHL Robertson Cup Championship Tournament.
USHL Commissioner Skip Prince stated, "The sole purpose of this announcement at this time is to confirm and put into place the procedures necessary for the USHL to conduct an expansion draft according to its rules and regulations. Out of respect for our partners in hockey at the North American Hockey League, and in order not to take away from attention to the Robertson Cup and Mr. Zoldan's Mahoning Valley Phantoms, we will defer any further details about expansion until the completion of the Robertson Cup and the NAHL season."
Representatives of Mr. Zoldan have confirmed they will also withhold comment about their new USHL entry until the Phantoms' season has concluded.
(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)