Hull Pirates have become the second PIHL team to confirm they will apply to join the National Ice Hockey League (NIHL).
The Pirates follow Swindon Wildcats in making an announcement, with the Humbersiders looking at switching into NIHL North.
There has been more on this site about the developments in the second tier over the past few months, but it was an email from English Ice Hockey Association boss Ken Taggart advising the remaining seven PIHL teams to join the lower league that prompted Smith to act.
“After we received the email from the Mr Taggart containing his thoughts about the PIHL, and how he saw the future, we took the difficult decision to make the application,” said Smith.
“The NIHL meeting will be in late May where the teams will hear our application.
“What we can also say is that there is still an alternative scenario – however we won’t know any more about this until the end of April.
“Again, once this has run its course we can let everyone know what hockey in Hull will look like for the 2017/18 season.
“Although this is not the scenario we had in mind for the upcoming season, it has come about quite late in the day and so we have little choice as things stand.
“But make no mistake, we are building for the future. That’s what we said when we founded the club and that ambition remains the same.
“We will bring top flight hockey back to Hull within a stable organisation built on financially sound foundations.
“This is an opportunity to develop top British talent ready to perform at the highest level domestically and internationally.
“To underpin this ambition and our long term goals we can also announce that Jason Hewitt will be returning as player/coach.
“I am convinced that he is exactly the right person to bring success to Hull and his loyalty and positivity has been humbling.
“It would have been easy for Jason to have walked away, but he hasn’t, and that speaks volumes about him and his belief in our future.
“He is working tirelessly to build a team for the season to meet your expectations, we would ask you all to buy into our vision for the future.”