The Invicta Dynamos would like to update its supporters, players and commercial partners on the recent events taking place within British ice hockey which have attracted a lot of attention.
The Invicta Dynamos currently play in the National Ice Hockey League (the NIHL) – the third tier of British Ice Hockey – and have produced a competitive team within an appropriate budget, most notably winning the NIHL South Division 1 Playoffs in the recently concluded 2016/17 season, as well as celebrating our 20th year in competitive ice hockey in the UK. It is anticipated that the league above the NIHL – the Premier Ice Hockey League (the EPIHL), the second tier of British ice hockey – will disband prior to the 2017/18 season which is due to commence in September 2017. In particular, this development will result in the current EPIHL teams moving into the NIHL North & South set up. The consequence of this action is to move the Invicta Dynamos, and the other current NIHL South Division 1 teams, into the second tier of competitive ice hockey in the UK.
The Invicta Dynamos has always aimed to compete at as high a level as possible whilst performing on a sustainable budget and with appropriate development opportunities for our players. The timing and pace at which this change will take place will potentially be very disruptive and challenging for budgeting as well as player recruitment and retention, particularly as planning had already started for the forthcoming season, and we need to provide certainty at the earliest opportunity to all our stakeholders and most importantly our players – without them, we have no league. The potential addition of up to four ex-EPIHL clubs into the NIHL South (Swindon Wildcats, Basingstoke Bison, Peterborough Phantoms and Bracknell Bees) with vastly higher financial resources, ice time and structure, will prove to be challenging in the extreme in the short term. Whilst we are happy to work with EIHA to find an amicable and workable solution, this should not be at the cost of undoing all the hard work put in by so many to provide a successful and stable NIHL with short term solutions that do not adequately address the challenges.
We have been in discussions with other NIHL South Division 1 clubs to proactively consider the potential options and implications both for our club and for the wider league, and will be attending the EIHA meeting on May 7th. To ensure that all stakeholders have as much time and information to make informed decisions, we call on the English Ice Hockey Association (the EIHA) to provide detail on their plans in advance of this meeting on May 7th. Invicta Dynamos, along with current NIHL clubs, has played a strong part in the NIHL’s recent success story and growth, and we feel that the EIHA needs to provide strong leadership and direction, as well as member consultation, at this critical point in the history of British ice hockey.
To our phenomenal supporters: As our Coach Kevin Parrish stated after the Legends Game on Sunday to mark our 20th anniversary year, whatever the outcome we intend to continue with our ambition to put out a competitive team in the most appropriate league for us. Please bear with us as information and options become available and we consider how best to respond. We will share updates with you when it is appropriate to do so. The patience and incredible support shown by the Mos family is really appreciated as we work through these challenging times.