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06-07-2011, 02:46 PM
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Originally Posted by wildcat48 View Post
But, you're never going back to 1998. That was then. This is now and now is the way it is. A league that made certain decisions based on financial realities. If the AHL followed a path of autonomy and "our players are our players" then it would be six teams, who could afford "veterans" with no affiliation to the NHL.

But... Guess what? A league would have started to fill the need of developing players for the NHL. Someone would have filled that void if it wasn't the AHL and in 5-10 years... We have the IHL-AHL scenario playing out again.

Hockey in North America is working itself toward a model followed by MLB... That's a financial reality because high-priced veterans can't be sustained long term in the minor leagues. Only a handful of teams who can afford those types of players and even less choose to pay for those types of players.

As for this development vs. winning argument. That's crap. It's just deflecting blame from teams who don't draft well or develop their own players effectively. You can't tell me there isn't player or a member of management on Binghamton or Houston that isn't trying to win the Calder Cup. You can't tell me that teams in any other city aren't trying to win. Yes, teams have different philosophies on how to get there. Some are much better at than others, but they all want to win. Just simply saying that teams who focus are developing aren't focused on winning is just deflecting blame on a bigger issue.
You make good points HOWEVER I would disagree with your MLB like model. It's not necessary. Almost every(if not all)MLB players for a reason or another spend time in the minor leagues, baseball rosters are actually bigger. So the league has more of a need for players. In Hockey, if your a Superstar caliber guy you never sniff the AHL. The ECHL is full of themselves, their purpose of existence is minimal. It's only to be the AHL's ***** when teams are shorthanded and riddled with the injury bug. The only position that might be worthwhile is Goalie. I've seen guys play in Net in all 3 leagues in one week.

Besides, as long as Michael Franke is alive a AA Superleague(probably the 30 team ECHL)will never happen. The Northeastern ECHL Teams would HATE a 30 team league, well.....besides Trenton since they already fit under this type of a MLB model. But teams like Reading and Elmira get real advantages recruiting because of the proximity of the number of AHL teams. If they were stuck to just one pipeline affiliation on through it would be a waste.

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