Aberdeen Lynx will return to Scottish National League action for the new season after settling their dispute with the governing body.
The Lynx went public with their complaints about Scottish Ice Hockey in April after confusion over a suspension – seemingly the result of administrative errors on both sides – saw them field a banned player.
Two play-off games against the Dundee Comets and a Scottish Cup semi-final first-leg victory against the same team were subsequently recorded as 5-0 Lynx losses as a result.
Furthermore, SIH handed down hefty bans for Lynx coach Owen Reynolds (six games) and the player in question, Jack Flynn (five games).
A war of words followed where the Lynx demanded a shake-up at the governing body and said they were withdrawing from all SIH-run competitions, including abandoning their Scottish Cup tie with the Comets.
However, meetings between the club and SIH have fixed the situation after changes to the governing body’s board – something the Lynx had demanded – were promised.
A Lynx statement said: “Aberdeen Lynx Ice Hockey Club are delighted to announce we will be participating in the 2019/20 season.
“On June 23, the SIH/UK AGM took place and it was announced that there will be significant changes to the current SIH/UK board.
“This announcement has resulted in the club’s decision to commit to the 2019/20 SNL season.
“We would like to take this opportunity to thank our fans for their support during this period of uncertainty.”
It is understood both Flynn and Reynolds’ suspensions will no longer apply when the new season gets under way, which will likely be September.
The initial confusion over Flynn’s eligibility to play was the result of an administrative error.
Clubs are responsible for submitting post-match disciplinary reports. However, a broken wrist to a Lynx official who collapsed during a match in November prevented him from sending in a game sheet.
This problem was later rectified, however, the SIH system wasn’t updated to record the penalty point Flynn received in this fixture – which tipped him into a suspension.
However, the Lynx, although admitting it was their responsibility to monitor their players’ penalty points, argued the circumstances of the delay to submitting the sheet and SIH record being updated was a mitigating factor.
However, SIH have also released a statement saying that the Lynx committed to participating in the new season before changes to the board were announced.
Chairman David Hand said: “The board is extremely disappointed that Aberdeen Lynx have sought to paint a public picture that is factually incorrect.
“The club clearly indicated ahead of the AGM that they would be playing in the SNL next season.
“This is highlighted by their involvement in cup draws and we were happy to facilitate this for the benefit of the league and it’s member clubs.
“We wish to make it clear that the board’s decision to step down next year was announced after Aberdeen were welcomed back into the fold and is completely unrelated to the club’s status within the SNL.”