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Weak Teams In the Central Hockey League

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Old
09-27-2009, 08:25 PM
  #1
CrazyEddie20
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Weak Teams In the Central Hockey League

Half the teams in the Central Hockey League fell below the 4,000 average attendance Mendoza line last season. Of those, only Rocky Mountain closed up shop, but one has to wonder how much time the others have left...

Personally, I think this league is in DEEP trouble. Bossier-Shreveport nearly folded this past offseason. Travel costs are through the roof and salaries are escalating with the PHPA coming in. They lost Oklahoma City. Five remaining teams had attendance below 3,000 last season, and rumors have swirled about the continued success of Laredo. Arizona just hired a new GM who has a horrible track record.

It'll be interesting to see what happens in this league in the offseason.

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09-29-2009, 06:24 PM
  #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrazyEddie20 View Post
Half the teams in the Central Hockey League fell below the 4,000 average attendance Mendoza line last season. Of those, only Rocky Mountain closed up shop, but one has to wonder how much time the others have left...

Personally, I think this league is in DEEP trouble. Bossier-Shreveport nearly folded this past offseason. Travel costs are through the roof and salaries are escalating with the PHPA coming in. They lost Oklahoma City. Five remaining teams had attendance below 3,000 last season, and rumors have swirled about the continued success of Laredo. Arizona just hired a new GM who has a horrible track record.

It'll be interesting to see what happens in this league in the offseason.
Actually, Eddie, the attendance "Mendoza line" for the mid-minors is TWO thousand, not FOUR thousand. That's the level below which it seems to take extraordinary intervention to save a team from death within two seasons, once it slips under.

Now, four thousand might be a more average "technical profitability" line, but again, cost and revenue factors vary so dramaticly from market to market that you can't designate a single "break-even" number that applies to any more than one specific team -- and even then, the makeup of that average crowd will vary the revenue/costs, etc.

Salaries are escalating with the PHPA? I'd be very interested to see your proof of this. Isn't the salary cap for the league the exact same this year as it was last year, which is very much in line with the salcap from the pre-PHPA era?

Now I agree that it will be interesting to see how things progress in the league, and that there are several troubled franchises. However, I can't get behind your belief that the league is "in DEEP trouble".

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11-13-2009, 10:50 PM
  #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrazyEddie20 View Post
Half the teams in the Central Hockey League fell below the 4,000 average attendance Mendoza line last season. Of those, only Rocky Mountain closed up shop, but one has to wonder how much time the others have left...

Personally, I think this league is in DEEP trouble. Bossier-Shreveport nearly folded this past offseason. Travel costs are through the roof and salaries are escalating with the PHPA coming in. They lost Oklahoma City. Five remaining teams had attendance below 3,000 last season, and rumors have swirled about the continued success of Laredo. Arizona just hired a new GM who has a horrible track record.

It'll be interesting to see what happens in this league in the offseason.
Rocky Mountain was never a viable product from it's inception. They located far to close to the already well established and successful Colorado Eagles franchise. That was a very bad move on the part if the team and the league to allow such a poor choice of location. They struggled every season and finally the poor economy gave them an excuse to fold.

The Oklahoma City Blazers also shut down, they were hoping/planning to get an AHL team but thus far, no dice. The Blazers were a very successful team, lack of success had nothing to do with the shutdown there.

New Mexico Sorpions also went dark this season. Thos was an example of another poor choice for a location. The Scorps were quite successful in the old rundown Tingely arena in downtown Albuquerque. Yet a new ownership group chose to move the team 35 miles out in the desert to a newly created suburb.

The hardcores who went to every game and loved the old time hockey arena were priced out of the fancy new arena in the fancy new suburb of Rio Rancho and the team never regained a functioning fanbase.

Unlike NHL franchises the CHL does not need 20,000 butts in the seats each night to make payroll and pay expenses. 3,000 - 2,500 is a good crowd to see CHL hockey.

As the previous poster mentioned the CHL's adoption of the PHPA has NOT increased the payrolls of any teams. The league wide salary cap is in place and has been for several years. The PHPA is not going to be an excuse for teams folding.

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11-15-2009, 09:28 PM
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We'll see what happens.

2,500 - 3,000 IS NOT a good crowd in a league that plays 32 home games. That's barely breaking even or small loss. Guess who was in your "Good Crowd" range last year? New Mexico, your big example, with an average attendance of 2,791. The year Lubbock folded, they were drawing better than your “good crowd” with 3,336 per game. They're still gone.

Did Oklahoma City fold because they were foundering? I never said that. I merely said that the league lost the team, which was arguably it's flagship franchise. But more goes into it than that. By losing Oklahoma City, the league lost a team that was in the middle of the league. No less that four teams were within 300 miles of Oklahoma City, which made trips to Oklahoma City (for five teams) a day trip, where the team saves on having to pay out more per diem, and extra day on the bus, and a pile of hotel rooms. (That 300-mile figure is in the CBA.) Did you know that the average travel budget in the CHL was $120,000 last season? And it's only going to go higher as more of these teams at the bottom of the attendance chart fold.

It's not going to take much for the dominoes to start falling. Let's start with Amarillo, which is drawing a stellar 1,515 per night, good for dead last in CHL attendance. Amarillo folds, and Odessa loses it's only day trip. Odessa is only drawing 2,484 per game thus far, so you can bet they are losing money, and there have been several articles over the past few years about how that club is barely hanging on. Then look at Corpus Christi. That team is drawing 2,886 a night, and had the fold-and-unfold drama in the not-too-distant past. If CC is gone, Laredo and RGV are on an island. Bossier-Shreveport nearly folded last year, and I doubt they are doing much better this year. They're drawing almost 1,000 less than they did two years ago. And the team that really shocks me is Arizona. Their average attendance is off 800+ from last season thus far and nearly 1,600 from two years ago, and they were one of the leagues' marquee franchises for their first few years.

Granted, we are in a recession. People have less disposable income. But at the same time, hockey is a business, and businessmen aren't in business to lose money.

The vultures are starting to circle. Right now, I'd bet at least three and as many as six teams folding in the CHL after this season.

The problem isn't wholly in the economy, it's in the business model and it's pervasive in the CHL, IHL, and ECHL. Hockey at that level is in for a rocky summer in 2010, mark my words.


Last edited by CrazyEddie20: 11-15-2009 at 09:35 PM.
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11-16-2009, 10:39 AM
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrazyEddie20 View Post
We'll see what happens.

2,500 - 3,000 IS NOT a good crowd in a league that plays 32 home games. That's barely breaking even or small loss. Guess who was in your "Good Crowd" range last year? New Mexico, your big example, with an average attendance of 2,791. The year Lubbock folded, they were drawing better than your “good crowd” with 3,336 per game. They're still gone.

Did Oklahoma City fold because they were foundering? I never said that. I merely said that the league lost the team, which was arguably it's flagship franchise. But more goes into it than that. By losing Oklahoma City, the league lost a team that was in the middle of the league. No less that four teams were within 300 miles of Oklahoma City, which made trips to Oklahoma City (for five teams) a day trip, where the team saves on having to pay out more per diem, and extra day on the bus, and a pile of hotel rooms. (That 300-mile figure is in the CBA.) Did you know that the average travel budget in the CHL was $120,000 last season? And it's only going to go higher as more of these teams at the bottom of the attendance chart fold.

It's not going to take much for the dominoes to start falling. Let's start with Amarillo, which is drawing a stellar 1,515 per night, good for dead last in CHL attendance. Amarillo folds, and Odessa loses it's only day trip. Odessa is only drawing 2,484 per game thus far, so you can bet they are losing money, and there have been several articles over the past few years about how that club is barely hanging on. Then look at Corpus Christi. That team is drawing 2,886 a night, and had the fold-and-unfold drama in the not-too-distant past. If CC is gone, Laredo and RGV are on an island. Bossier-Shreveport nearly folded last year, and I doubt they are doing much better this year. They're drawing almost 1,000 less than they did two years ago. And the team that really shocks me is Arizona. Their average attendance is off 800+ from last season thus far and nearly 1,600 from two years ago, and they were one of the leagues' marquee franchises for their first few years.

Granted, we are in a recession. People have less disposable income. But at the same time, hockey is a business, and businessmen aren't in business to lose money.

The vultures are starting to circle. Right now, I'd bet at least three and as many as six teams folding in the CHL after this season.

The problem isn't wholly in the economy, it's in the business model and it's pervasive in the CHL, IHL, and ECHL. Hockey at that level is in for a rocky summer in 2010, mark my words.
New Mexico, did require a larger break even attendance than many other CHL teams. (I was generalizing on my break even attendance estimates.) The cost for the new, poorly located, arena obviously made it tougher for them to make money. (Having been to several games in Santa Ana Star Center in recent years I can say your numbers might be a bit high.)

I agree losing Oke City was a blow for many reasons including those you mentioned but it was the team owners choice and one he may chose to reverse in the future. The travel in the CHL has always been a challenge and is now even more so, as reflected in this year's scheduling.


I don't doubt that it is possible to lose more teams if the economic situation continues or gets worse. I would say all hockey teams, be they in the NHL, AHL, ECHL, CHL or any other leagues that you care to add, are all in similar situations. In fact we might as well include all major professional sports and any kind of entertainment options in your doom and gloom senario. Why focus only on minor pro hockey?

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11-16-2009, 10:17 PM
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Albuquerque, New Mexico was drawing very well until they had to move into a newly built arena out in the boomdocks by the owners of the CHL. Albuquerque is growing, and surrounded by mountains. The only area for the city to grow is in Rio Rancho, and why Rio Rancho is a real estate boon. The problem with the new arena isn't so much Rio Rancho, as the location in Rio Rancho where the arena was built.

Yes, Broomfield is too close to Denver, whereas Loveland isn't.
Oklahoma City is preparing for an AHL club.
Rio Grande Valley has its snow birds.
Laredo is growing fast.
Corpus Christi isn't growing fast. Lower turnout, but the club will draw more with more wins.
Shreveport drew well when its won, turnout has fallen a bit.
Memphis has a steady turnout. Unfortunately it doesn't increase with more wins.
Tulsa and Wichita draw well despite losing.
Independence, Kansas City is starving for ice hockey. May not be ready for NHL, but surely for a minor league.
Odessa wins, but doesn't draw enough. They are attempting to do better with more promotions.
Allen will test how far away a franchise will have to be from a major league team. Allen has all of the rich demographics going for it.

North Richland Hills is as close as Allen to the Dallas Stars. Couldn't pay Fort Worth's rent for the Convention Center downtown, but are selling out their small rink in the suburbs. No rent, as they own the rink. In Ft. Worth they drew twice as much as in the suburbs.

Rapid City is drawing well for a city its size. Rapid City doesn't have a major college program nearby.
Prescott has to face losing seasons as well. They had too much success too early.
Austin closed because the Stars AHL franchise got the new arena in Cedar Park.
Lubbock failed not so much with attendance problems, but alike Ft. Worth too much rent for an old facility without the suites to pad revenue.

Suites to bleed the rich is as important for pro sports as it is for the opera/ballet/symphony, the so called fine arts.


Last edited by SeaToby: 11-16-2009 at 10:23 PM.
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Old
11-17-2009, 09:12 AM
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrazyEddie20 View Post
The problem isn't wholly in the economy, it's in the business model and it's pervasive in the CHL, IHL, and ECHL. Hockey at that level is in for a rocky summer in 2010, mark my words.
ECHL attendance is up this season and currently has an average just under 100 than the AHL.

What is up with your gloom and doom forecast of minor league hockey? Despite your forecasts some how minor league sports have survived for decades and they will continue to find a way to survive.

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12-21-2009, 06:12 PM
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I can tell you right now there is absolutely nothing wrong with hockey in North Richland Hills. Games sell out, the team is strong and the community loves them. It is going strong and growing.

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12-22-2009, 05:44 PM
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In my mind the two CHL's should be about equal in popularity, granted their skill level. The Canadian one has teams like London and Quebec, which draw about 12,000. Those are the leaders in attendance for the whole organization. That's even more than some NHL teams.

The attendance leader for the American CHL is Missouri. They have an average attendance of 5,744. Yes, that is pretty good for an american market Minor League team, but a league leader?

How is this league even called the "Central Hockey League" if the teams are all in the south. If this league wants to survive, they need to dump all teams that are drawing less than 3,500 for an average. The remaining six teams should have their players picked up by the FHL, a fledging New England hockey league.

Attendance figures: http://www.mib.org/~lennier/hockey/leagueatt.cgi
FHL Website: http://www.thefederalhockeyleague.com/index.php


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12-23-2009, 04:36 PM
  #10
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1. Why are you comparing the Central and Canadian leagues? That's not even Apples and Oranges.

2. When the Central League started in 92 it had 6 teams in Kansas, Oklahoma, Northwest Mississippi posing as Tennessee, and Texas. Those are all states in the Central part of the US. Not the middle but the central third-ish.

3. Dump all teams not drawing 3,500 right now? You do realize the sports climate in the South/Great Plains portion of the US, right? All teams in these regions should see a pick-up in attendance now that High School Football is over for the year. In places like Florida and Texas football is king.

4. The CHL's players would likely find jobs in the ECHL and IHL, then the SPHL, and then they would look to leagues like the FHL and AAHL or whatever else comes along this offseason.

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12-26-2009, 12:50 PM
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canadian91 View Post
In my mind the two CHL's should be about equal in popularity, granted their skill level. The Canadian one has teams like London and Quebec, which draw about 12,000. Those are the leaders in attendance for the whole organization. That's even more than some NHL teams.

The attendance leader for the American CHL is Missouri. They have an average attendance of 5,744. Yes, that is pretty good for an american market Minor League team, but a league leader?

How is this league even called the "Central Hockey League" if the teams are all in the south. If this league wants to survive, they need to dump all teams that are drawing less than 3,500 for an average. The remaining six teams should have their players picked up by the FHL, a fledging New England hockey league.

Attendance figures: http://www.mib.org/~lennier/hockey/leagueatt.cgi
FHL Website: http://www.thefederalhockeyleague.com/index.php

You truly know nothing at all about the Central Hockey League. There really is no way to compare it to the Canadian Hockey League.

In the first place the Central Hockey League is a professional AA level league. It is not based entirely on the south unless you consider Rapid City, South Dakota, Loveland, Colorado, Wichita, Kansas, and Independance, Missouri as in the American south.

It is on par with the ECHL as far as being a feeder league for the NHL. Many Central Hockey league teams have AHL and/or NHL affiliations.

As far as attendance, the Central Hockey league in general plays in smaller venues that are matched to the populations of the areas they serve. No need for a 20,000 seat arena in a town with less than 50,000 residents.

It is very obvious that you are just looking at some stats you found somewhere on the internet and basing your opinion on that.

Missouri is a first year expansion team and the only reason they are supposedly leading the league in attendance is the new arena only seats that number per-game. The Colorado Eagles have sold out their 5,000 + arena for every single game, regular season and playoffs, since coming into the league in 2003-2004. (That is a far better example of the CHL success than using numbers from a team that has yet to play a full season.)

The Canadian Hockey league, a Major Jr. league, restricts it's players to a certain age group and is primarily geered towards developing young players destined to go to the proffesional ranks. There is not real any way to compare the two.

As I have mentioned before, not all the teams in the CHL are viable in the current business landscape in the US but there is no need to unilaterally boot any team with less than 3500 in attendance. That would include last season's league winner, The Texas Brahmas, who play in the >2000 seat Nytex arena.

Why would the guys who have played in this AA league choose to go to some obscure New England based lower level league such as the FHL?

If teams are dropped from the Central League most quality players will either migrate to European leagues, retire, or replace lesser players on other AA league teams.

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12-27-2009, 03:03 PM
  #12
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The CHL definitley isn't equivilant to the ECHL in terms of play. Perhaps in the past, but more and more teams are beginning to utilize ECHL teams as part of their systems, and the ECHL saw guys like Calder, Pogge and other calibre players that the Central League would never see. Statistics don't mean everything, but when you see a player switch from the ECHL to the Central league, typically their point production is a bit better in the CHL. I'd say the CHL is a bit weaker than the ECHL, and a bit better than the IHL. The ECHL has and will continue to see more of it's alumni in the NHL than the CHL.

As far as the federal and AAHL type leagues, most if not all players if the CHL folded would find spots in the IHL, ECHL, SPHL or migrate to Europe as someone else said. The "A" pro leagues aside from the SPHL are filled with college club players or players looking to break into "AA". I highly doubt anyone would be willing to play there after being at the AA level, it's not pro hockey in any form.

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01-05-2010, 03:55 PM
  #13
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You are correct in one point - other than goalies and possibly enforcers - few players from the CHL are likely to make it to the NHL as compared to the handful who of ECHLers who will do so. However, I think you are unfairly casting aspersions on the CHL because of this.

Actually, top-to-bottom the CHL is probably a bit stronger league and the level of play is probably a bit higher for two reasons.

For the most part, there are far more affiliated players allocated to the ECHL so of course they would get opportunities that their CHL counterparts may not. However, due to their veteran rules, the ECHL is a league comprised overwhelmingly of players in their early twenties - many of whom weren't even the key guys on their college or junior teams. While some of these prospects will eventually develop into pros, others will not. Conversely, the CHL is more of a veteran league and many of these players, while deemed no longer NHL prospects by the parent clubs that either drafted them or signed them, were effective at the AHL level and some may have even gotten some opportunities to play in the NHL. With the exception of the rare Jason Bonsignore or other players of that ilk, there are very few ex-NHLers in the ECHL.

The other factor in favor of the CHL is the relative stability of rosters in that league as opposed to the transitory nature of the ECHL. Looking at some of the all-time rosters of CHL teams, it is not uncommon to see players who spent four or more years with a given club. That is rarely the case at the ECHL level. While you can suggest that the players in the CHL may not be as gifted as those in the ECHL, it stands to reason that the level of play would be higher the longer a group of players are playing together. While it's true that there are very few high round draft picks in the CHL, there are also far fewer part-time college players or low level juniors filling out the back side of the roster. And again, the experience at the higher level leagues - particularly the AHL and NHL but also the national leagues in Europe and in some cases the former IHL - would seem to indicate that the players were more finished than some of their younger counterparts.


Quote:
Originally Posted by bellows View Post
The CHL definitely isn't equivalent to the ECHL in terms of play. Perhaps in the past, but more and more teams are beginning to utilize ECHL teams as part of their systems, and the ECHL saw guys like Calder, Pogge and other calibre players that the Central League would never see. Statistics don't mean everything, but when you see a player switch from the ECHL to the Central league, typically their point production is a bit better in the CHL. I'd say the CHL is a bit weaker than the ECHL, and a bit better than the IHL. The ECHL has and will continue to see more of it's alumni in the NHL than the CHL.

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02-18-2010, 04:27 PM
  #14
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Ok, let's revisit the bottom five CHL's attendance, from the bottom up:

Amarillo - 26 home games, averaging 1,651. They can't possibly be making money or breaking even, and their attendance has been bad for several years... are the Gorillas going extinct? Start looking for the start of the death spiral.

Texas - 2,186 in 23 openings in their practice barn of a rink, they have a lot of day trips so I'd guess they are breaking even or showing small losses financially.

Arizona - 2,671 in 25 home dates. This is the one that is really shocking. Not only has the team been pretty awful this season after being successful through their first few seasons, there's been a downward trend in attendance, but never as badly as this year since they changed management in the front office. Couple that with LONG travel, and this is definitely a team that could disappear as early as this offseason.

Odessa - 2,814 avg through 25 dates. Rumors of a fold or move have been hovering around Odessa for years. They do have at least one day-trip on the road to Amarillo, but hey, Amarillo is spinning down the bowl right now. Look for a fold in Odessa, possibly right alongside Amarillo.

Corpus Christi - 2,882 through 24 home games. Rescued at the last minute once, can the owner keep bearing the losses? The do have short travel to Laredo and RGV, which saves them money, but from what it sounded like during their troubles, they have a VERY expensive lease at their rink.

Mississippi and Bossier-Shreveport are below 3,500, and I wouldn't think of them as safe, either. Allen is right at the 3,500 mark too, and you'd expect better from a first year team... All of this doesn't look good for the CHL...

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02-18-2010, 04:31 PM
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Piscotta View Post
You are correct in one point - other than goalies and possibly enforcers - few players from the CHL are likely to make it to the NHL as compared to the handful who of ECHLers who will do so. However, I think you are unfairly casting aspersions on the CHL because of this.

Actually, top-to-bottom the CHL is probably a bit stronger league and the level of play is probably a bit higher for two reasons.

For the most part, there are far more affiliated players allocated to the ECHL so of course they would get opportunities that their CHL counterparts may not. However, due to their veteran rules, the ECHL is a league comprised overwhelmingly of players in their early twenties - many of whom weren't even the key guys on their college or junior teams. While some of these prospects will eventually develop into pros, others will not. Conversely, the CHL is more of a veteran league and many of these players, while deemed no longer NHL prospects by the parent clubs that either drafted them or signed them, were effective at the AHL level and some may have even gotten some opportunities to play in the NHL. With the exception of the rare Jason Bonsignore or other players of that ilk, there are very few ex-NHLers in the ECHL.

The other factor in favor of the CHL is the relative stability of rosters in that league as opposed to the transitory nature of the ECHL. Looking at some of the all-time rosters of CHL teams, it is not uncommon to see players who spent four or more years with a given club. That is rarely the case at the ECHL level. While you can suggest that the players in the CHL may not be as gifted as those in the ECHL, it stands to reason that the level of play would be higher the longer a group of players are playing together. While it's true that there are very few high round draft picks in the CHL, there are also far fewer part-time college players or low level juniors filling out the back side of the roster. And again, the experience at the higher level leagues - particularly the AHL and NHL but also the national leagues in Europe and in some cases the former IHL - would seem to indicate that the players were more finished than some of their younger counterparts.
I think you need to go back and look at the records when the CHL and ECHL played ten games during the 2007 preseason. It wasn't even close, the ECHL went 10-0-0 against the CHL, and with a lot of players who got cut... and went to play in the CHL. I was at three of those 10 games, and believe me, it was like watching men against boys.

Yeah, there's more veterans in the CHL, but that's because they can't play with the young guys in the ECHL anymore. Go watch a few CHL games and you'll se what I mean... should you ever decide to venture out of Hamilton Twp.

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03-26-2010, 09:08 PM
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Piscotta View Post
You are correct in one point - other than goalies and possibly enforcers - few players from the CHL are likely to make it to the NHL as compared to the handful who of ECHLers who will do so. However, I think you are unfairly casting aspersions on the CHL because of this.

Actually, top-to-bottom the CHL is probably a bit stronger league and the level of play is probably a bit higher for two reasons.

For the most part, there are far more affiliated players allocated to the ECHL so of course they would get opportunities that their CHL counterparts may not. However, due to their veteran rules, the ECHL is a league comprised overwhelmingly of players in their early twenties - many of whom weren't even the key guys on their college or junior teams. While some of these prospects will eventually develop into pros, others will not. Conversely, the CHL is more of a veteran league and many of these players, while deemed no longer NHL prospects by the parent clubs that either drafted them or signed them, were effective at the AHL level and some may have even gotten some opportunities to play in the NHL. With the exception of the rare Jason Bonsignore or other players of that ilk, there are very few ex-NHLers in the ECHL.

The other factor in favor of the CHL is the relative stability of rosters in that league as opposed to the transitory nature of the ECHL. Looking at some of the all-time rosters of CHL teams, it is not uncommon to see players who spent four or more years with a given club. That is rarely the case at the ECHL level. While you can suggest that the players in the CHL may not be as gifted as those in the ECHL, it stands to reason that the level of play would be higher the longer a group of players are playing together. While it's true that there are very few high round draft picks in the CHL, there are also far fewer part-time college players or low level juniors filling out the back side of the roster. And again, the experience at the higher level leagues - particularly the AHL and NHL but also the national leagues in Europe and in some cases the former IHL - would seem to indicate that the players were more finished than some of their younger counterparts.
You pretty much answered the question I had about the CHL. I was noticing how some of the teams (namely Laredo and Colorado, when looking at their rosters on hockeydb.com) have a very stable core of players who have been with the team for multiple seasons.

I wondered how this was happening in the CHL, yet not in the ECHL (forgetting their veteran rules), and also why some of these players would commit to making such low pay for so many of years. Especially ones who have a college education, be it from the NCAA or CIS.

Regardless of why, it obviously says a lot about how these players are treated by the clubs if they continue to re-sign and not bolt to a lower European league for perhaps better pay, tax free.

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04-09-2010, 06:19 PM
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You pretty much answered the question I had about the CHL. I was noticing how some of the teams (namely Laredo and Colorado, when looking at their rosters on hockeydb.com) have a very stable core of players who have been with the team for multiple seasons.

I wondered how this was happening in the CHL, yet not in the ECHL (forgetting their veteran rules), and also why some of these players would commit to making such low pay for so many of years. Especially ones who have a college education, be it from the NCAA or CIS.

Regardless of why, it obviously says a lot about how these players are treated by the clubs if they continue to re-sign and not bolt to a lower European league for perhaps better pay, tax free.
Yes, its true the CHL has a salary cap, the players aren't paid well, but all of the teams pay for their apartments/condos which help their income significantly. These apartments/condos are usually in the high rent district too, near or in country clubs, sometmes the best neighborhoods in these medium sized cities that will never get a major league club. Many of the CHL clubs outdraw many AHL clubs as well. Notice that the three AHL clubs in Texas outdraw half of the league. Outdrawing cities with long AHL hockey histories, cities such as Springfield, Portland, Rochester, Syracuse, Albany, Binghampton, Hartford, and Providence...

Are you suggesting that half of the AHL clubs will fold soon too?


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04-11-2010, 06:47 PM
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Arizona just hired a new GM who has a horrible track record.
Arizona's new GM has promptly dropped attendance by 950+/game and the team's membership was revoked by the CHL. Any thoughts on what will happen in Yavapai County?

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05-12-2010, 11:29 AM
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While its not going to happen next year, or anytime soon, with the success of the new Oklahoma City franchise upcoming, it wouldn't surprise me if a few more AHL clubs left the northeast and moved into Independence, Tulsa, Wichita, and possibly a few other CHL cities as well if the CHL had a massive fold. Without any doubt these AHL cities would draw better in these southern plains ciites. And the hockey fans of the southern plains would welcome a better grade of hockey...

It appears many of the north east AHL hockey clubs don't draw well because they don't win. There are a few teams that do, but they tend to buy their wins without a strong AHL salary cap. One wonders whether Hamiliton, Hershey, and Chicago would draw well if they lose more than they win...

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05-12-2010, 12:38 PM
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I haven't seen any recent (as in this season) rationale/reasoning for AHL teams to relocate (excluding the rumored AHL Manitoba to Thunder Bay should the NHL Phoenix franchise be bought/relocated to Wininpeg).

The NHL Sharks have another five years on a lease agreement for their (owned) AHL franchise in Worcester.

Until/if the western NHL teams want to move their franchises closer en masse (or within a year or few of the first move), I doubt there will be any mass move. Abbotsford has like $1m in travel expenses they have to reimburse the league and opponents as they are "so far" west.

As for midwest locations, why would AHL teams want to relocate?

The reasons the NHL Sharks state for keeping their team on the opposite side of the country include:

  • Bus drive of a few hours or less to most of their opponents venues (they usually do 2-3 "overnights required" trips a season busing to Virginia/Pennsylvania or flying to Texas, etc.)
  • Ability to be home and in own bed after games
  • Less travel = more practice time which is important in development
  • Less travel = lower franchise expenses (notwithstanding the expense of flying callups cross country)

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05-12-2010, 08:27 PM
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The NHL Sharks have another five years on a lease agreement for their (owned) AHL franchise in Worcester.
Well that certainly didn't stop them in 2004 and 2005 when Jamison and Lehr tried to move the team to: Quad Cities, Tulsa, Kansas City, and Oklahoma City. All cities they negotiated with while having time left on their lease at Gund Arena/Quicken Loans Arena.

I guess that's a good way to get your prospects ready for the NHL by having them play in front of abysmal "crowds" like they do in Worcester. If we spin the excuse wheel, where will it land? Bad team? Oh, yeah, they won their division this year, yet finished 27th out of 29 teams in attendance. Bad market? Bad marketing? Perhaps a combination of both. What ever the case, it isn't a good situation, and it will probably end sooner rather than later.

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05-12-2010, 08:37 PM
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Well that certainly didn't stop them in 2004 and 2005 when Jamison and Lehr tried to move the team to: Quad Cities, Tulsa, Kansas City, and Oklahoma City. All cities they negotiated with while having time left on their lease at Gund Arena/Quicken Loans Arena.

I guess that's a good way to get your prospects ready for the NHL by having them play in front of abysmal "crowds" like they do in Worcester. If we spin the excuse wheel, where will it land? Bad team? Oh, yeah, they won their division this year, yet finished 27th out of 29 teams in attendance. Bad market? Bad marketing? Perhaps a combination of both. What ever the case, it isn't a good situation, and it will probably end sooner rather than later.
http://www.telegram.com/article/2010...13/1009/SPORTS

Please read the live chat from this morning by the Worcester beat writer on attendance, competition, etc.


WRT the Sharks looking in the midwest to move their AHL affiliate out of Cleveland, there was also the issue of the arena being sold. (There may have been an "out" clause in their lease after sale of arena, but not sure.)

The NHL Sharks like their arrangement and have no plans to break their lease. (Now, when it comes near expiration, there's a number of possibilities that could happen for the future.)

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05-13-2010, 08:18 PM
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http://www.telegram.com/article/2010...13/1009/SPORTS

Please read the live chat from this morning by the Worcester beat writer on attendance, competition, etc.


WRT the Sharks looking in the midwest to move their AHL affiliate out of Cleveland, there was also the issue of the arena being sold. (There may have been an "out" clause in their lease after sale of arena, but not sure.)

The NHL Sharks like their arrangement and have no plans to break their lease. (Now, when it comes near expiration, there's a number of possibilities that could happen for the future.)
There was no "out" clause. That's why they ended up staying until the contract expired. And the arena has never been sold. Cuyahoga County owns it, the operations changed hands.

As far as that fluff article, did you really expect their beat writer to be at all honest about the situation? The economy is bad everywhere, yet some teams actually went up, or at least stayed the same. Do you really think that New England is the only economically-challenged region? If Worcester really needs to win a title to support the team on any level, then they are just bandwagon fans, and can't support a team at all. Period.

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05-14-2010, 11:01 AM
  #24
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Well that certainly didn't stop them in 2004 and 2005 when Jamison and Lehr tried to move the team to: Quad Cities, Tulsa, Kansas City, and Oklahoma City. All cities they negotiated with while having time left on their lease at Gund Arena/Quicken Loans Arena.

I guess that's a good way to get your prospects ready for the NHL by having them play in front of abysmal "crowds" like they do in Worcester. If we spin the excuse wheel, where will it land? Bad team? Oh, yeah, they won their division this year, yet finished 27th out of 29 teams in attendance. Bad market? Bad marketing? Perhaps a combination of both. What ever the case, it isn't a good situation, and it will probably end sooner rather than later.
It hasn't hurt the Devils all that much has it?

Conversely, how well have the Thrashers prospects developed by playing in front of good crowds in Chicago?

IMO how a minor league team draws isn't a factor in getting prospects "ready for the NHL".

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05-21-2010, 10:42 AM
  #25
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It's not going to take much for the dominoes to start falling. Let's start with Amarillo, which is drawing a stellar 1,515 per night, good for dead last in CHL attendance. Amarillo folds, and Odessa loses it's only day trip. Odessa is only drawing 2,484 per game thus far, so you can bet they are losing money, and there have been several articles over the past few years about how that club is barely hanging on. Then look at Corpus Christi. That team is drawing 2,886 a night, and had the fold-and-unfold drama in the not-too-distant past. If CC is gone, Laredo and RGV are on an island. Bossier-Shreveport nearly folded last year, and I doubt they are doing much better this year. They're drawing almost 1,000 less than they did two years ago. And the team that really shocks me is Arizona. Their average attendance is off 800+ from last season thus far and nearly 1,600 from two years ago, and they were one of the leagues' marquee franchises for their first few years.

The vultures are starting to circle. Right now, I'd bet at least three and as many as six teams folding in the CHL after this season.
Amarillo is done and Arizona's franchise was revoked by the league after their attendance dropped by 1K/night this season. There are rumors about Corpus being done too, though not sure if they've hit the public yet. Stay tuned...

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