The English Ice Hockey Association have announce this morning that the English Premier Ice Hockey League will be increasing the import limit to a maximum of five non UK-trained players for the 2016-17 season.

The DALROD Peterborough Phantoms voted against the move back in early April, when the overall decision was made by the owners to stay at 4 non-British Trained Players. After much debate the decision to revisit the proposition was then made and voted in favour for the new rule to be implemented.

As the Phantoms had already at this point filled their roster and with a strong view on the development of British players, the philosophy of the club remained the same. Slava and the organisation have now made the decision to stay with the existing plan of 4 imports for the 2016/17 season.

We of course support the EIHA in their decision, and will adjust the team accordingly to situations when it is needed. With the close work we are building with our development links in Peterborough, we believe this is the right decision for the Phantoms at this time.

Director Of Hockey Jon Kynaston Commented “The situations elsewhere in the league has dictated that an increase in non British trained players was required to support the wider viability of the league.

“Having voted and agreed previously to a continuation of 4 non-British Trained players our plans and team were built to suit that. Subsequently the move to five has now come about. Our trust will be in the players we have recruited and we look forward to the pre-season with them, Slava and his staff.”

He continued “Our commitment to British player development, and our focus on bringing though young players remains stronger than ever and we believe will be our foundation for success.”

In the EIHA’s official statement Ken Taggart, Chairman of the English Ice Hockey Association, said: “This is a move, by the team owners, to ensure the EPIHL retains its place as a high quality, yet viable top tier of English Ice Hockey.

“We’ve seen an huge change in standards over the last five years, so to continue this trend, club owners have voted to increase the limit to five non British-trained players, who must still hold an EU passport, or a UK passport.

“I am determined that youth development will remain a key part of this league’s remit. That’s why I have stipulated that teams must still have a minimum of three UK-trained players on the ice at all times.

“Clubs decided on the increase after the departure of a number of high-profile British players during the early part of the off-season.

“The move is likely to close the gap to the Elite Ice Hockey League, giving UK-trained players an opportunity to play regularly at a high level.”

Mr Taggart added: “This league has supplied British Trained players to other leagues for many years and will of course continue to do so. It is my hope that this change will help to enrich the flow of talent.

“Increasing the standard of the EPIHL will give young players the chance to play regularly at a much higher level and eventually, that will filter through to the national team.

“We are all united in our desire to see a successful Great Britain side, which is what this change is building towards. It won’t happen overnight, of course, but this is a vital part of that process.”

The DALROD Peterborough Phantoms are also delighted to confirm that James Ferrara and Tom Norton have agreed to return for their second year of their contracts, giving the Phantoms an excellent foundation of experienced core to the Phantoms success.

Further signings are due to be announced soon and can be found on www.GoPhantoms.co.uk, the official Peterborough Phantoms Facebook page, on Twitter via @GoPhantoms or our dedicated YouTube channel OfficialPhanTV.

For sponsorship opportunities, press enquiries and other information for the 2016/17 season contact carrie@GoPhantoms.co.uk