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09-08-2013, 07:03 PM
Cyclones Rock
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The CHL was effectively declared dead when Global was bought out. Lewis was part of the Global team and his resignation/dismissal was inevitable. The legal situation which prevented Allen and Rapid City from moving into the ECHL this season has assuredly been eliminated. I'll speculate that the new ownership agreement provides individual franchises with the right to change leagues and has provisions which absolve "surviving" teams from any legal claims of franchises which don't find a new home.

I'll take a stab at the future league affiliations of the 10 current CHL teams. I predict that this season will be the last for the CHL and that the surviving teams will find new homes for the 2014-15 season.

ECHL: Allen, Rapid City, Wichita and Missouri.

Rapid City and Allen already had agreements to leave. Now with no apparent legal hurdles, these two are in the "no brainer" category to move to the "E".

Wichita and Missouri had the first and second highest attendances in the CHL, so that would seem to indicate that the ECHL would be a logical move both economically and geographically.

ECHL or SPHL: Tulsa. Tulsa averaged over 4,000 per game and would fit geographically with the "new" ECHL teams. Would think that the pro game would continue in any case with the SPHL being option #2.

SPHL or junior: Quad City

QC Just doesn't seem to have the support needed for ECHL. The ownership has been so fluid that unless a stable group came forward, the I don't think that the ECHL would be a good fit. With Bloomington and Peoria in the SPHL, this league would seem to work well geographically and be viable with the recent attendance in QC. If not the SPHL, there seems to be enough interest in hockey in that area to warrant some kind of junior hockey.

SPHL or fold: St. Charles

St. Charles appeared to be stillborn but is going to take the ice. The UHL River Otters failed in this market, so I doubt that the team will generate the type of numbers the ECHL would like to see, but the arena needs a tenant and requisite SPHL attendance numbers are probably doable. If attendance is sparse, then one and done for St. C.

Fold or junior: Arizona.

Arizona has been announcing less than 3,000 per game for the last 4 years and makes no sense from an ECHL or SPHL geographical perspective. The air travel required in the ECHL wouldn't be viable for the Sundogs. Perhaps juniors could work, but I suspect geography is a killer for that as well.

Fold: Brampton and Denver

Brampton just appears to be a very poor idea. The OHL failed there and low level pro minor league hockey and Canada doesn't seem to be a good mixture. Unless the team discovers the formula that makes low minor league pro hockey work in Canada and surprises at the gate, then it's one and done with The Beast.

Denver drew less than an announced 3,000 per game last season and while it could fit geographically with the ECHL, I don't think that it will work economically. With the Avalanche and U Denver and probably other programs with which I'm not familiar, I don't see Denver as a viable minor league market. The ECHL Chicago Express/ UHL Chicago Hounds situation seem to be reasonable parallels. Big league cities with multiple established hockey options for fans seem doomed to failure for low minor league franchises. Done after the coming season.

Last edited by Cyclones Rock: 09-08-2013 at 08:19 PM.
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