Talk is, the IHL teams are leaving, some to the ECHL, some to the USHL and who knows maybe the OHL. How many teams will they have to start the 2010/11 season?
"Talk" is cheap. A lot of "talk" around this level of hockey has its origin in either wishful thinking by fans in a particular market, or in whisper campaigns by people intentionally trying to destabilize certain situations.
I'm no fan of the IHL, I'll admit -- I think it's a joke the level of secrecy that the Franke family puts around their alleged involvement in other teams in the same league, and don't understand the amount of money they have to be putting out in order to keep the IHL afloat for their own purposes.
That said, the ONLY team known to be leaving the IHL this year are the league-leading Muskegon Lumberjacks. There's "talk" about a lot of other things going on, but there's precious little solid support for ANY of it, other than to point out the bad attendance numbers in several markets. Then again, the IHL (and the UHL before it, and the CoHL before that) had teams that were pulling in those kinds of ridiculous numbers, but somehow, like a zombie army, they keep pulling together enough parts to shamble through another season.
I'm not counting the IHL out until there's a formal, official announcement that the Fort Wayne Komets will be playing the next season (whatever season that is) in a league _other_ than the IHL. And even then, I'll be looking around for the "April Fools, gotcha!" about that announcement.
Went to a IHL game in Port Huron. In the first 3 minutes saw to great fights. The hockey game was not as good as the OHL and the arena is built for basketball not hockey. Had to move 5 times to get a seat that you could see the whole ice surface. Do not plan on going back.
There is a lot of hostility to the first year Dayton Gems. Part of it is the poor play of the team. They have been salary dumping recently. There are hard feelings with the Dayton Bombers fans. They don't want another hockey team playing in the area as it will prevent them from coming back from suspension. The Bombers fans post how the Gems will fold and they prefer going to hockey games in Cincinnati or Toledo.
Going to a shorter schedule and dropping some weeknight games is a good idea. Maybe other leagues should consider this. You could lower salaries and decrease expenses. I am guessing that this would be difficult for the NHL or the AHL to do. I do agree that in the IHL's case, this is the beginning of the end and I don't expect them to finish the 2010-2011 season.