Repost from PAL Ice Hockey
P.A.L. Ice Hockey and Long Island Whalers are excited to announce a merger that will begin with the 2024-2025 hockey season. This union will mark a significant milestone in Long Island’s hockey landscape. P.A.L. Ice Hockey and Long Island Whalers hockey programs will merge at the Tier I and Tier II levels under P.A.L. Ice Hockey. The objective of the new model is to offer current members of both organizations the opportunity for consolidation within our region to improve the consistency of the level of play within each age group and skill level. The partnership will provide players on Long Island four distinctive advantages: 1) Professional and dedicated coaching staff; 2) Increased access to ice time and off-ice facilities; 3) Competitive teams at all levels; and 4) Increased focus on development for every tier. For incoming Whalers players as well as current P.A.L. families, the P.A.L. Ice Hockey model will provide all players and teams with a competitive and balanced schedule through their participation in the Tier 1 Hockey Federation and Atlantic Hockey Federation. The increased professional hockey staff, as well as an additional player pool will provide families with a focus on skill development and hockey IQ while ensuring players are placed in the best possible situation to allow for maximum development and individual and team success. A few key highlights of the program include:
- Full Time Youth Hockey Director; Robbie Hare
- Full Time Tier 1 Hockey Director; Mark Cole
- Professional Experienced Coaches
- Competitive Schedules
- Competitive Teams at Tier I and Tier II, and secondary levels
This merger will give players a clear pathway through youth hockey at various levels of play from the Learn to Play Programs to the Tier I P.A.L. Jr Islander program. P.A.L. and Whalers will now be able to offer multiple levels and options for players of all skill levels with movement opportunities as they grow and develop as hockey players. P.A.L.’s staff will work hard to identify players and make recommendations to Black Bear Sports Group’s affiliated Junior hockey teams (pre-college), P.A.L. Jr Islanders (NCDC), Maryland Black Bears (NAHL) and Youngstown Phantoms (USHL).
The goal of the new model will be developing homegrown players out of Long Island and advance players from Mites to the many Junior programs under P.A.L. and our affiliates, all the while maintaining its history, integrity, values, and dedicated hard work from both organizations. This consolidation will not displace any families from either organization, but it will provide more opportunity, development, greater support and expand the pathway for all our families. The relationship between both organizations has always been strong, and we are all looking forward to building on that platform and strengthening hockey on Long Island.
“I’m thrilled to combine forces with the Long Island Whalers,” expressed Mark Cole, the newly appointed Tier 1 hockey director. “Our shared passion for the sport and dedication to nurturing talent will allow us to revive and propel the Tier 1 program to prominence once again.”
“This alliance signifies a promising future for hockey on the island. I am excited to have the opportunity to work with all the resources that are available through both Black Bear and P.A.L.” stated Rob Hare, the appointed Youth Hockey director. “Our collective goal is to not only elevate the program’s quality but also expand access for aspiring young athletes passionate about hockey.”
- Are any current teams being displaced? That is a good question to ask, and the answer is no. There will be a place for every current family in both organizations and in fact we will be growing the number of teams in all age groups allowing for more local players to participate.
- Which rink will teams play out of? All team will be playing out of Northwell Health Ice Center,
The Rinx, The Hub or Iceworks. Geographical locations of players will be kept in mind while
making the practice schedule, and game ice will be available at all locations.
While we understand there will be many questions you may have, we will be setting up meetings with each team during practices from both organizations over the course of the next month. We look forward to seeing you there!
In the meantime, please feel free to email Ron Kinnear, firstname.lastname@example.org; Mark Cole, email@example.com; Rob Hare, firstname.lastname@example.org