THUNDER BAY, Ont.—The SIJHL announced last Wednesday that the Minnesota Iron Rangers have been granted a one-year leave of absence and will not compete during the upcoming 2019-20 season.
In that light, the franchise is expected to return, under new ownership, pending an arena lease in a community in Minnesota's Iron Range for the 2020-21 season following the appropriate SIJHL, USA Hockey and CJHL approval.
All eligible Iron Rangers players from the 2018-19 Minnesota roster have been declared free agents and are free to sign with any Canadian Junior Hockey League team.
“The SIJHL would like to thank the community of Hoyt Lakes, the team's board of directions, the many volunteers, head coach/general manager Todd Kreibich and arena manager Wayde West for all of their dedicated efforts on behalf of the Iron Rangers' franchise,” said SIJHL commissioner Bryan Graham.
"We'd also like to thank the fans, billet families and corporate sponsors for their considerable contributions as well.
“The SIJHL looks forward to returning Junior 'A' hockey to the Iron Range for the 2020-21 season,” he added.
Additional information on the franchise will be released following the league's annual general meeting, which will be held Saturday, June 22 in Thunder Bay.