Its been going since 1996 thanks to the efforts of Sir John (where is he now) Hall ... so what has the ISL achieved in its five year history. Thunderflash can reveal all
(1) The ISL lost a team before it even started, with Guildford deciding early in the summer of 1996 that the ISL wasn't for them. Much nashing of teeth at the fledgling League .. but it was decided that eight teams would be enough for pro hockey in the UK.
(2) The ISL lost a team early on with Basingstoke Bison / Bisons / Beavers (ha ha!!) deciding the league wasn't for them.
(3) The ISL gained a team in the form of the London Knights. The franchise boosted player morale by housing everyone in Milton Keynes and playing endless games on the road.
(4) The ISL failed to hold onto terrestrial TV coverage it had (eg in the Granada area), almost blew its relationship with the BBC, and then handed rights to Sky who showed the sport to a tiny audience (who unsurprisingly preferred football as thats what they paid £15 extra a month subscription to Sky Sports for).
(5) The ISL fail to persuade Sky to keep paying for a product that none of their football audience want. ISL sign a deal with Channel Four for a new primetime evening programme of highlights. Channel 4 move show to the middle of the night after one week (or was it two?).
(6)The ISL (who after all are the team owners) hack multi national sponsor B&H off so much they quit the sport. No one is surprised as the teams allowed Heineken to walk away in pre ISL days (along with the likes of the Norwich Union). Amazingly the ISL decide to ABANDON the Autumn cup so that even if a sponsor came forward at a late stage there is NO competition for them to bank roll.
(7) The ISL try the patience of its main League sponsor Sekonda by forgetting to book the venue for the play off weekend. SMG (the friend of Ice Hockey at venues across the UK ????) let the building to the Tweenies. Nottingham Arena rescues the day by putting on a good show ...
(8) The ISL award the Sheffield franchise to a bloke who knows so much about ice hockey he fails to secure ice time at the Sheffield Arena.
(9) As of 31st July it looks like the ISL will lose two franchises before the start of the 01/02 season. To lose one (especially your current Champions) would be careless....
(10) The ISL suggests that its remaining teams might play against each other EIGHT times in the League season ... and that the fans and the media will not find this odd.
(10) In five short seasons the ISL has lost (probably) four teams, most British players, at least one major TV contract, one major sponsor, its well respected autumn cup and a whole lot of friends.
(11) Apart from that its great