FHL Makes Statement On Incident With Enforcers

FHL Makes Statement On Incident With Enforcers

By James Jackson

March 11, 2019

After Sunday’s incident at the First Arena in Elmira, NY, a lot of questions were left unanswered. There was a physical altercation between Elmira Enforcers Owner Robbie Nichols and two on-ice officials. The incident resulted in the officials leaving the arena after the first period, “suspending” play. Director of Officiating Eugene Binda resigned from his position after 10 years with the FHL following the incident.  For more information on the incident click here.


There were many people left wondering what is going to happen to the officials for this weekend’s games. The Federal Hockey League made a statement on the incident.


“The Federal Hockey League is fully aware of the situation that occurred on Sunday afternoon in game number 141 between the Carolina Thunderbirds visiting the Elmira Enforcers at First Arena. We are currently investigating the actions of several participants in the incident and gathering information. Once the investigation is completed, we will assess the proper disciplinary measures.

We understand the severity and gravity of what has transpired, and know that with any decision made we must keep in mind the safety of our players, coaches, fans, and especially our officials. We appreciate all the passion from our fans for the game and the concerns of what has happened. Make no mistake, this has given our sport a black eye, and as a league we must try and find a way to rectify this unfortunate situation.

We want to thank former Director of Officiating Eugene Binda for his 10 years of service to the Federal Hockey League. His service has been invaluable to our growth and we owe him a huge debt of gratitude. We respect his decision to move in a different direction and wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors. Our games will continued to be played and we as a league will strive to put quality officials on the ice.

The Federal Hockey League has been working very closely with the Elmira Police Department throughout the incident. They have wrapped up their investigation and no further action will be taken.


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Enforcers Owner Robbie Nichols made a statement to ESPN on the altercation.

"The referee pointed down 10 times to say it's a goal, and the replay shows that the puck never crossed the line. So me, being a former hockey player and coach, I was upset. When they came off the ice at the end of the period, I was standing there, with my arms crossed, asking why the in F did he call that a goal?...

"Never in my life have I had a referee walk right through me. Like, he just bumped and pushed me out of the way -- we have video. Then, this linesman comes flying in and just double-pushes me. Look, I got a new heart valve and a separated shoulder and I'm kinda old now. So I pushed him back, and it was a little scene...

"I was yelling at him from the hallway. But then the guy said he felt his life was being threatened. They called the police, had them escorted out of the building, and it just carried on like that," said Nichols.

The Elmira Police Department has made an official statement as well.

No punishments have been handed out from the FHL at this time. Looking ahead to this weekend, the Thunderbirds are scheduled to play the Mentor IceBreakers while the Enforcers are going to play the Watertown Wolves.

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