USHL Announces Investigation into Omaha Lancers

The USHL announced late Thursday that the league will investigate the ongoing situation with the Omaha Lancers. Meanwhile, the team’s games for this upcoming weekend have all been postponed. The Lancers were set to travel to Waterloo and Lincoln before hosting Des Moines on Sunday. Those games have all been declared a no-contest by the league, and the league will work with the teams to reschedule.

The Lancers announced yesterday that head coach Chadd Cassidy had “stepped down” and Gary Graham has been hired as interim head coach to replace him. However, multiple outlets have reported, and sources have confirmed to Neutral Zone, that Cassidy was fired last week by team president David DeLuca. The team then asked Cassidy to coach last week’s games because they did not have enough coaches available to run the team, and Cassidy agreed so as to not punish the players.

Per sources, Cassidy and the team were at odds over severe budget cuts. The team stopped providing postgame meals after some games and some players were supplying their own equipment. In addition, the team’s video software subscription was reportedly canceled and according to one report, the trainer was being asked to double as the equipment manager.

According to multiple reports, most (if not all) of the remaining hockey operations staff resigned Thursday in support of Cassidy. The players refused to take the ice for practice and told management that they were going to boycott this weekend’s scheduled games.

Team president David DeLuca reportedly had an altercation with a member of the coaching staff on Thursday, which sparked the wave of resignations among those in hockey operations and the subsequent boycott by the players.

“The USHL has been in contact with the Omaha Lancers players and has determined it is in the best interest of the players to postpone this weekend’s games,” the league said in a statement. “USHL representations will be visiting Omaha on Friday, November 19, to meet with the team.

“The USHL will begin an investigation into the reports regarding the Omaha Lancers. The Omaha ownership has pledged its full cooperation and support.”