As a change of pace from the normal coverage here on FNYTSF, I wanted to post some interviews from two people who work behind the scenes at a couple of the most successful hockey teams in the Federal Hockey League, a professional hockey league that could be compared to Single-A baseball, as players can get called up to the ECHL, from there, the AHL, and then lastly, and hopefully, the NHL. Nobody really thinks of the importance of minor league hockey here in the United States, though we spend a lot of time and money going to minor league baseball games. Up in Canada, however, it is reversed. The fact is, leagues like the FHL can provide the same entertainment that the NHL can, albeit in a much different (and cheaper) atmosphere. Why would I be writing about this, you may be wondering? Well, it is because of a few friends I have that happen to work for FHL teams—David Zohn and Rob Boertlein of the New Jersey Outlaws, and Chris “Gootz” Hoeler for the Danbury Whalers, who has a regular hockey column on this blog.
Chris Hoeler, a friend of mine, who has been contributing hockey articles to this blog for his column, “On the Rink With Gootz”, has served as the Assistant Director of Player Personnel for the Danbury Whalers since the off-season, for the Federal Hockey League. However, due to the coach’s absence Friday night (and for the next two games) he stepped up to take over the helm, and his first two games were both victories; 6-1 over the Vermont Wild and then last night, 5-3 over the Cape Cod Blue Fins. He will continue his coaching stint Wednesday night, when the Whalers visit my home state to take on the New Jersey Outlaws. Ironically, I actually have another friend that works with the Outlaws, helping to keep stats. Had it not been the night before Thanksgiving (and the arena is a far drive away) I would have loved to go and see the two teams play.