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05-07-2013, 06:16 PM
  #167
paul-laus
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeben51 View Post
I know the ECHL made a cap on itself for 26 or something around that number but I think it should go to 30. I don't know all the business aspects but for next season the ECHL will most likely have 24 teams (addition of Allen and Rapid City, subtraction of Trenton). For the 2014-15 season the CHL should be gone by then and the ECHL should add Tulsa, Wichita, Brampton, Missouri along with the expansions of Indianapolis and Peoria. I know this is a lot so hang with me...

Atlantic: Elmira, Wheeling, Toledo, Reading, Brampton
North: Kalamazoo, Indianapolis, Evansville, Fort Wayne, Cincinnati
South: Florida, Greenville, Gwinnett, Orlando, Florida
Central: Peoria, Missouri, Wichita, Allen, Tulsa
Mountain: Alaska, Boise, Colorado, Rapid City, Utah
Pacific: Bakersfield, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Ontario, Stockton

So there's the 30-team league. I think the best way to have it is with 30 NHL, 30 AHL and 30 ECHL teams.
I'm kinda perplexed that you've chosen Brampton as a potential surviving team from the CHL over Denver, Bloomington, and most importantly Arizona. If Brampton for years couldn't succeed in drawing flies to see a successful junior franchise in a market where junior hockey is king, their future attendance will consist of the ushers, the hot-dog vendor, and a goal judge for borderline AA level minor pro hockey.

Arizona on the other hand have put together a wildly successful season ticket campaign and their spokesperson has said publicly that they will be icing a team next season but they're just not sure in what league. It won't be in the NAHL because why would they have 1000+ game pro and team captain Jason Morgan take part in being suspended above the ground in a wrench lift for days if they were planning on dropping to junior hockey?

Bloomington on the other hand have been given almost zero chance of being successful, as either the Prairie Thunder or the Blaze, due to horrible teams never being successful and equally horrible marketing in that city. If ever there was a catalyst that could change the fate of the franchise, it would be a move to the ECHL complete with new rivalaries with regional opponents like Peoria, Ft. Wayne, and Indy. If they could ever settle ownsership issues, I'd take them over Brampton for the ECHL at the drop of a hat. Victoria Salmon Kings struggled at the gate and so would Brampton. There's just no appetite in Canadian markets other than "the big show", junior, or CIS as proven by consistent attendance numbers in places like Abbotsford and Hamilton. Semi-Minor Pro has very little chance of being successful.

I will say this though, I think that the Denver Cutthroats were never meant to be more than just a one year stop gap to fill the void of the impending NHL labor impasse. Casper Wy. might be an eventual option for the ECHL too.

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