The Duluth Clydesdales are no more.
On Tuesday in a release issued to local media, Superior International Junior Hockey League president Ron Whitehead announced the league’s board of governors had revoked the U.S. franchise, effective immediately.
The Clydesdales had repeatedly been forced to postpone games this season because of an inability to ice the minimum number of players needed to start a game. The most recent cancellations came this past weekend, when Duluth was scheduled to visit Fort Frances and then host the Dryden Ice Dogs. The Clydesdales were also supposed to play the Thunder Bay North Stars Tuesday night at Fort William Gardens.
“It’s extremely unfortunate that this step has been taken, but we must take into account that with the Clydesdales having postponed or forfeited a number of games already and an uncertainty of whether they would be able to have enough players on a consistent basis moving forward, it is in the best interest of player safety and the league as a whole that this decision has been made,” stated SIJHL president and commissioner Ron Whitehead in the release.
Whitehead did not rule out a return to Duluth in the future.
“Duluth is a great hockey market and the success of our two other Minnesota-based organizations this season bodes well for the league,” said Whitehead. “We certainly look forward to working with the people in Duluth in an effort to re-establish a franchise there in the not too distant future.”
League officials are working on revamping the SIJHL schedule and will release it in the coming days.
The Clydesdales are the second team to leave the league this season, dropping it to a five-team circuit. The Sioux Lookout Flyers dropped out a couple of weeks into the campaign.
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