Ice Hockey Wiki

The North Atlantic Professional Hockey League is a proposed professional hockey league established in December 2013.

The league officers include; Phil DeFranco (President) and Jerry Deno (VP of Operations)

The league announced in February 2014 that it would start its own sports network; the "North Atlantic Sports Network".  The Director of Broadcasting is Matt Ryan. The first event for the network was scheduled to be the free agent camp being held in North Adams, Massachusetts.

The league announced the North Adams based Berkshire Black Bears as their first franchise.  The league later announced that a team was going to play out of Massena, New York as well.

On June 22, the league annouced that it would put its inaugural season on hiatus until the 2015-16 season.  The league's release on the website stated that North Adams would be free to pursue another team for the 2014-15 season.  The release further stated that all of the member Federal Hockey League teams were contacted and agreed to attend the camp and participate in the the draft along with the Black Bears. The release also stated that teams in the AHL, ECHL and CHL were also contacted and encouraged to send coaches and/or scouts to the camp.

A press release dated July 17, 2014 that the Black Bears were asked to join the FHL pending membership approval.  The NAPHL was offering to still hold the camp and run it at their own expense and that each FHL team could draft 3 players from the camp.

The FHL had awarded a franchise to Berlin, New Hampshire during the summer of 2014; however., the franchise was relocated to North Adams with a press release stating they were moving to North Adams due to it being a better fit for the league.  The league also acknowledged in the release that it had reviewed an application from an outside ownership group for North Adams. An article in the Berkshire Eagle newspaer stated the league voted down the team 4-0 to join the FHL citing a lack of financial reserves in place and lack  of any potential partners.  The article also stated that the Black Bears would likely go a a one-year hiatus if they did not get added to the FHL and return to the NAPHL.  The article did not state who was to be the ownership of the proposed franchise.

The league issued an update on October 2, 2014 stating that they were still working on a planned start-up for the 2015-16 season.  The update stated that discussions have been held with approximately 20 potential team owners and 18 facilities, with possibilities for the 2015-16 season and beyond.  The league planned on holding 4 meetings beween early October and early November in Stamford, Connecticut (10/4), Exeter, New Hampshire (10/22), in the Buffalo/Southern Ontario area (10/27), and the Northern Maine/Southern Quebec area (11/2).

The release further stated that the league projects a January 1, 2015 completion date for the ownership selection process. The league is planning to start the 2015-16 season with a minimum of six qualified owners.

As of mid-January, 2015 the league no longer lists any franchises on the teams page of the website.  The website had a page listing Rouses Point, New York for a meeting with any interested parties in ownership of a franchise late in January.

The website stated that a league being called the "Women's Professional Hockey League" is in the planning stages for the same area that the NAPHL is planned on having teams for the first season (New England and New York).  The plan was to add a division based out of Michigan and Minnesota. for its' second season.  The page stated a need for playing opportunities for women after their college careers are over as their is only one professional league that has five teams and limited opportunities for American players.

The issued a release on its' website on March 18, 2015 stating that 4 teams had been approved for the 2015-16 season but did not release the locations pending finalization of contracts for playing facilities  The teams are located in Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Southern Quebec.The same statement said they are working with several other groups for both 2015-16 and 2016-17 for teams.  The league's website also had an ad looking for team owners in the province of Quebec.

The league issued a press release on January 11, 2016 to announce that the league had already approved two unidentified franchises that were approved and that the league was planning on announcing two additional teams during February, 2016 (and identify the other two already approved teams). The  teams will be ready for the start of the 2016-17 season which they are planning on starting October 8, 2016.