NAHL hockey to stay in southern Minnesota (EDIT 10:20 pm)
(EDIT: As "Express" noted in the comments section and a couple of e-mailers have noted, the Albert Lea franchise, the Thunder, is indeed a brand new team to the NAHL Central Division. Though it's not signed and sealed just yet, it looks like the Fargo-Moorhead team will be moving to Owatonna to replace the Express. Thanks to "Express" and J.S. for the heads-up. Here's a link to a story on the new Albert Lea team that will appear in tomorrow's P-B. )
The Owatonna-based Southern Minnesota Express of the Junior A, Tier II NAHL have left for Michigan, the Detroit area to be precise.
But, the NAHL will keep a team in southern Minnesota, as a press conference will be held in about 30 minutes at the City Arena in Albert Lea to announce plans for an NAHL team to play there.
I don't have any other information on this, but a pretty good guess would be that the Fargo-Moorhead Jets have decided to move to Albert Lea. The Jets have drawn reasonably well in the Fargo-Moorhead area, which isn't exactly a hockey hotbed.
The problem for the Jets is that a USHL team is moving into Fargo in the fall, and will play in a brand new arena that is currently under construction.
When the Jets' season finished, their head coach announced he was staying in Fargo to take an assistant coaching job with the new USHL team, the Fargo Force. ...
Which leads me to wonder who the new Albert Lea-based team will tab as a head coach. There are plenty of good, young coaches in the area and an NAHL head coaching job would be a nice gig.