When the National Basketball League of Canada announced its return to play for a 10th season in February 2022 after a two-year shutdown due to COVID-19, there was no mention of any East Coast teams.
In a news release Thursday, the league confirmed that no Atlantic teams will take to the courts this season.
Instead, the league will only be represented by clubs from Ontario. Those teams will, for the first time, play American teams in The Basketball League, or TBL, including Flint United, Syracuse Stallions, Lansing Pharaohs and several more.
The St. John's Edge announced Thursday it was game over for it this season too, as the team couldn't find an appropriate venue to play their home games from.
In August, the Moncton Magic announced their team's withdrawl from the NBL, followed by the Halifax Hurricanes in early October.
Last team standing
That left the Island Storm, who were intending on playing this season as the only remaining team in the Atlantic Division.
"Playing as the only team in the Maritimes with no other regional opponents makes it cost-prohibitive and therefore the Storm organization has made the difficult decision of also taking a one-year leave of absence," the written release from the league said, adding "The league intends on using that time to re-build the Atlantic Division."
Island Storm owner Duncan Shaw is quoted in the release as saying in part: "the situation in the Maritimes is regrettable, however the Storm organization is in full support of the league proceeding and is excited that NBL Canada will celebrate its 10th season in an innovative partnership with the TBL."
Shaw added he will participate as a partner and director in the league this season and be back the following year "with new owners and teams in the Maritimes."