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AHL response to team eligibility when a franchise loses its NHL affiliate

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06-06-2011, 06:08 PM
  #26
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Originally Posted by wildcat48 View Post
That is absolutely correct... Not only that, if the AHL didn't take this path it wouldn't exists today because player cost would have driven a large majority of teams out of business. That's a lost fact in all of this.

There is an economic reality to the way the AHL operates.
Totally true. I don't think people get it, in todays world you see many NHL owned AHL franchises BECAUSE not so many "local" owners can afford them, unlike in AA Hockey(for now)

I found this interesting article out of Fort Wayne:

http://fwnextweb1.fortwayne.com/ns/s...komets/?p=6839

Only taking one part out of this statement:

Quote:
The way this all works, teams sign licensing agreements with their leagues, and when those agreements are up, that’s when it’s easiest for them to change leagues.
I had no idea that every league had this requirement. I thought it was only the CHL.

I think this paragraph at the very least could apply to this though:

Quote:
A bunch of teams throughout all leagues have their agreements finish up after next season. If a major restructuring is ever going to happen, that’s when it will be. There are also a bunch of teams in every league for sale with no buyers.
I'm sure AHL teams are included in that. The thing is....your an IDIOT if you think your gunna own a minor league sports franchise to make a profit. I can only think of a handful of PROFITABLE minor league hockey franchises. They would be....The alaska Aces(ECHL) Colorado Eagles(now of the ECHL, formerly of the CHL), Hershey Bears(AHL), Fort Wayne Komets(CHL), Stockton Thunder and possibly Bakersfield Condors of the ECHL. Not sure about the chicago Wolves. i'm not even sure on the 2 Cali ECHL Franchises but I do know the first 4 are profitable, there aren't many, and as you can see if they are they are in AA Hockey.

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06-06-2011, 07:02 PM
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Originally Posted by mtlhddoc2 View Post
Majik: they do in every other developmental league type deal. AAA, AA, A and rookie leagues in baseball, Continental League Basketball, college football. The NHL is the goal of all players in hockey. everything is a developmental league.
They do what? Hold scrimmages and let people in for free? I'm confused by your statement. I'm talking about doing that exclusively. Just have perpetual training camps.

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06-06-2011, 10:05 PM
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Developmentally, they are all teh same, and you make it out as if nothing they do on the ice, to win, matters, when in fact, it does.

Heck, why do we even have games in the juniors then? These kids are just trying to get into college or the NHL draft anyway. Why have PeeWee games? It is all the same. the only leagues that play for "the love of the game" are beer leagues. And that goes for every sport.

Green: Providence is profitable.

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06-06-2011, 10:49 PM
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Originally Posted by wildcat48 View Post
That is absolutely correct... Not only that, if the AHL didn't take this path it wouldn't exists today because player cost would have driven a large majority of teams out of business. That's a lost fact in all of this.

There is an economic reality to the way the AHL operates.
Unfortunately this mentality keeps seeping into the AHL and it continues to degrade the quality of the league. If only the AHL had more management teams like Chicago and Hershey and demanding fans like Rochester. The league would be in way better shape.

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06-06-2011, 10:56 PM
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Originally Posted by sabrefan27 View Post
Unfortunately this mentality keeps seeping into the AHL and it continues to degrade the quality of the league. If only the AHL had more management teams like Chicago and Hershey and demanding fans like Rochester. The league would be in way better shape.
Or, it could be out of business like the 90s IHL. You can't possibly say for sure which way that theoretical setup would put the league in terms of viability, much less know for sure that the quality on the ice would be ANY different. All we can know is how we got here - change one variable, and the whole set of dominoes falls differently.

Plus, wasn't hockey ALWAYS better "15 years ago", no matter when that statement is made? Rose-tinted rear-view glasses are a heck of a thing to wear permanently.

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06-06-2011, 11:08 PM
  #31
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Originally Posted by HansH View Post
Or, it could be out of business like the 90s IHL. You can't possibly say for sure which way that theoretical setup would put the league in terms of viability, much less know for sure that the quality on the ice would be ANY different. All we can know is how we got here - change one variable, and the whole set of dominoes falls differently.

Plus, wasn't hockey ALWAYS better "15 years ago", no matter when that statement is made? Rose-tinted rear-view glasses are a heck of a thing to wear permanently.
I'm not saying it should be the IHL of the 90's. But there needs to be a happy medium. The AHL shouldn't be the NHL's *****. It shouldn't be all development. That's ridiculous. But it shouldn't be all veterans with no focus on development either. Every team's main goal should be to win. Any pro team should. Development should be a large part of that also, considering it is the AHL.

But if this league is going in the direction where it's simply all about developing at all times, just forget it. Don't even keep score and don't force the fans to pay their hard earned dollars.

People always do seem to look fondly at the past. But I have yet to meet a single person, whether they are from Rochester, Hershey, Providence or Syracuse, who thinks the AHL is better now than a decade ago.

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06-06-2011, 11:23 PM
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Actually, you have virtually met one. Me. I have been attending Providence games since the late 90s and think that the hockey is much better now than it was then.

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06-06-2011, 11:26 PM
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Heres the simple fact...the league is TOO BIG, but then again, so is just about every major 4 pro league though as well(NBA, NFL, NHL and MLB)30 teams waters it down. Now throw in the fact the league is "developmental" and not every organization views it in the same light and not evcery affiliated team is ran the same way because of it. If we were to discount all the lower than AA leagues in minor league hockey after this summer you are looking at maybe 62 at the fewest(12 CHL, 20 ECHL and 30 AHL) There used to be I can't even think of the number of teams in say like 2000. You had 2 AAA leagues, 3 AA leagues, well over 100. The economy and such has weeded things out for sure.

Heres a simple theory, but it will never work anyway. 15 AHL teams, 2 affiliations for each club, an Eastern and Western Affiliation. Another idea, take out every questionable market in the minor leagues and have a 15 team ECHL where a franchises top prospects play and a 15 team AHL with the same concept. Of course I know thats not very likely either, but it would atleast make things a little more interesting. More teams=increasing costs, thats just part of why the NHL teams are taking over this league.

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06-07-2011, 07:23 AM
  #34
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Originally Posted by mtlhddoc2 View Post
Actually, you have virtually met one. Me. I have been attending Providence games since the late 90s and think that the hockey is much better now than it was then.
You are in the vast minority. I started going to AHL games when the Flyers brought the Phantoms to Philadelphia and IMO the hockey is much worse today than it was then.

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06-07-2011, 08:46 AM
  #35
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Originally Posted by mtlhddoc2 View Post
Actually, you have virtually met one. Me. I have been attending Providence games since the late 90s and think that the hockey is much better now than it was then.
Lol I've traveled extensively to see the Amerks and have met fans in cities all over the AHL. In cities where the AHL has been around longer than 10 years, not a single fan preferred the way it is now. You're the exception, not the rule.

The reality is, why would any fan prefer to see so much turnover? Even 10 years ago you had older players sticking around longer. Any fan of any team in any sport wants to see some familiarity from year to year. The AHL used to have that. You used to know your own players and you used to know, and hate, your opponents. It made for a much, much better league. And the talent was just simply better then.

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06-07-2011, 09:39 AM
  #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtlhddoc2 View Post
Developmentally, they are all teh same, and you make it out as if nothing they do on the ice, to win, matters, when in fact, it does.

Heck, why do we even have games in the juniors then? These kids are just trying to get into college or the NHL draft anyway. Why have PeeWee games? It is all the same. the only leagues that play for "the love of the game" are beer leagues. And that goes for every sport.

Green: Providence is profitable.
Agreed! If the point is purely development, and consequently winning doesn't matter, then why have leagues like the AHL, juniors, etc?

Let me ask this, does winning matter in a development scenario? If the answer is yes, then teams should be trying to get veterans and look for long playoff runs. Teams that aren't would seem to be doing a disservice to development.

If the answer is no, then I come back to why even play games or keep score. If development is or should be the number one goal for AHL teams, why have a championship? Let's just hand out a series of most improved trophies and be done with it. That way, players can rest in the offseaon and be ready to help their NHL teams the following year. Heck, let's expand the draft to 14 rounds and comprise AHL teams entirely of draft picks. You never know when that guy who would have gone undrafted could make an impact.

Ultimately, my answer is that winning does matter. You can instill an attitude in players that nothing less is acceptable so you better play hard all the time. Young players shouldn't just get used to losing for the sake of development. They shouldn't be handed playing time becuase they were drafted players. They should earn playing time by working hard and helping the team win. Conversely, if you stink up the joint because you are disinterested in playing in the minors or don't have the skills to play, then you sit until you can prove you are worthy.

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06-07-2011, 11:43 AM
  #37
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Winning does matter, as I said in the first line. Playing the "game" matters too, win or lose. Drills do not instill gamesmanship, sportsmanship or a real game feel. In the end, though, winning matters, but not as much as development in the minor leagues. I mean, how can you compete when a big name comes down for a rehab assignment? Boston Red Sox regularly assign guys like Dice-K down to Pawtucket for rehab and guess what? they wind up winning more than not when a big name like that plays.

Answer me this: what are "AHL veterans but guys who couldnt make it in the bigs? My argument there holds as much water as yours does. And if winning is what matters, why are there age limits in the juniors? Winning is not all that matters, thats why. Winning is all the matters when you hit the top, but not anywhere below that.

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06-07-2011, 11:46 AM
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Originally Posted by sabrefan27 View Post
Lol I've traveled extensively to see the Amerks and have met fans in cities all over the AHL. In cities where the AHL has been around longer than 10 years, not a single fan preferred the way it is now. You're the exception, not the rule.

The reality is, why would any fan prefer to see so much turnover? Even 10 years ago you had older players sticking around longer. Any fan of any team in any sport wants to see some familiarity from year to year. The AHL used to have that. You used to know your own players and you used to know, and hate, your opponents. It made for a much, much better league. And the talent was just simply better then.
Ahhhh, there we get to the heart of your argument. You are upset about the turnover and not having the same guys on your roster year after year. Yeah, I agree with that. I hate wanting to buy a jersey but knowing the guy will be gone this year or the next. The quality may or may not have changed at all in 10 20 30 years whatever, but the turnover rate has, and I would bet, that is what really pisses off the purists like yourselves.

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06-07-2011, 12:13 PM
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Originally Posted by mtlhddoc2 View Post
Ahhhh, there we get to the heart of your argument. You are upset about the turnover and not having the same guys on your roster year after year. Yeah, I agree with that. I hate wanting to buy a jersey but knowing the guy will be gone this year or the next. The quality may or may not have changed at all in 10 20 30 years whatever, but the turnover rate has, and I would bet, that is what really pisses off the purists like yourselves.
No I'm talking about the quality of any league. The AHL is still a business. A business that needs fans, and fans need to be pleased and thought of to allow the league to be successful. And fans do not want to see a revolving door of kids every season with no emphasis on winning. If the AHL wants to continue in that direction, fine, but the league will die a slow death.

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06-07-2011, 12:24 PM
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No I'm talking about the quality of any league. The AHL is still a business. A business that needs fans, and fans need to be pleased and thought of to allow the league to be successful. And fans do not want to see a revolving door of kids every season with no emphasis on winning. If the AHL wants to continue in that direction, fine, but the league will die a slow death.

If that is the case, why is college hockey and football so popular? There is an emphasis on winning, everyone wants to win. But these are the tools you are given and you do the best you can. If you are correct, then the entire MLB baseball system would have gone out of business 40 years ago and colleges wouldn't even bother with sports. Yet people still tune in to watch USC Trojans football demolish Northwestern East Western Mississippi Community Technical College 88-0

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06-07-2011, 12:37 PM
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Originally Posted by mtlhddoc2 View Post
Ahhhh, there we get to the heart of your argument. You are upset about the turnover and not having the same guys on your roster year after year. Yeah, I agree with that. I hate wanting to buy a jersey but knowing the guy will be gone this year or the next. The quality may or may not have changed at all in 10 20 30 years whatever, but the turnover rate has, and I would bet, that is what really pisses off the purists like yourselves.
For me it has nothing to do with buying a jersey of current players. It's about having a steady roster with familiar names year after year that you can build a winning team around. So, no, it's not that turnover has changed, it's that the product on the ice is not nearly as good as it was 10 years ago and teams are not built to win games, they are built to develop prospects.

IMO, the majority of parent clubs don't care about winning at the AHL level. See the Devils who, up until this season, were among the NHL's elite season after season. Were their AHL affiliates decent in those seasons? No, but they learned the Devils system so that when they were called up they could fit right in.

I also don't think your baseball analogy, specifically using Dice K as an example works. Yes, if an MLB pitcher is assigned it gives the minor league team a better chance to win since it is the pitcher that controls the game. Put a position player in the lineup and he has only 4 or 5 chances to make an impact on the game. That hardly gives a team a greater chance of winning or losing. What does that have to do with the quality of the AHL today vs yesterday though?

To answer your other question "what are "AHL veterans but guys who couldnt make it in the bigs", it's very simple. They are players that can play at the AHL level at a high level and I'd rather see those players to fill out an AHL roster instead of unsigned free agents or 8th round draft picks who are only there because of the moronic veteran rule that has destroyed the AHL.


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06-07-2011, 12:42 PM
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If that is the case, why is college hockey and football so popular? There is an emphasis on winning, everyone wants to win. But these are the tools you are given and you do the best you can. If you are correct, then the entire MLB baseball system would have gone out of business 40 years ago and colleges wouldn't even bother with sports. Yet people still tune in to watch USC Trojans football demolish Northwestern East Western Mississippi Community Technical College 88-0
What does USC beating up on a small school have to do with this? USC plays this school as a warmup game in the beginning of the season. The small school plays the game for the money, but then the small school competes in a conference where they are competitive, just as USC does.

But, when it comes down to it, we (and many others here) are going to have to agree to disagree with you on whether today's AHL is as good as yesteryear's AHL. There is not a single argument that you can make that will change my mind and, from what I've been reading, there's not a single argument that will change your mind either.


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06-07-2011, 02:00 PM
  #43
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Originally Posted by mtlhddoc2 View Post
If that is the case, why is college hockey and football so popular? There is an emphasis on winning, everyone wants to win. But these are the tools you are given and you do the best you can. If you are correct, then the entire MLB baseball system would have gone out of business 40 years ago and colleges wouldn't even bother with sports. Yet people still tune in to watch USC Trojans football demolish Northwestern East Western Mississippi Community Technical College 88-0
Terrible comparison and I don't even really know where you're going with it.

Ask any AHL fan on here or any other board who's been around for more than 10 years or so and see the responses you get. I don't think you'll get too many who think the AHL of 2011 is better than the AHL of 1998.

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06-07-2011, 02:06 PM
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Speaking of USC, that "Dynasty" is now a lie!!

Daisuke....should STAY in the minors, he's awful. LOL

Okay, back to topic. I've figured it out....this is what the AHL should allow then...

have a luxury tax, like the old UHL used to do. It's basically a soft cap, where the teams who want to win can spend over the cap and they have to pay a luxury tax to the league for it. There was also a penalty fee to be paid for it though. Teams were able to make up a decent amount of that money by generating some revenue on a deep playoff run. The only good thing about this is, the STRUGGLING franchises get some money out of this

or have a protected list like they do in the ECHL, except for the veterans in this case....that way your chances of resigning them becomes greater I guess.

Not to stick up for the guy, but I guess if you wanted to make one arguement....the players today are much better than they were 10-15 years ago skill wise, because in general athletes today are bigger, faster and perhaps even stronger with all the resources out there. That doesn't make the league better. The fact is, this aint baseball. The really really great players will never sniff a day in the A(like Crosby and Ovechkin)

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06-07-2011, 02:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Green Men Rule View Post
Speaking of USC, that "Dynasty" is now a lie!!

Daisuke....should STAY in the minors, he's awful. LOL

Okay, back to topic. I've figured it out....this is what the AHL should allow then...

have a luxury tax, like the old UHL used to do. It's basically a soft cap, where the teams who want to win can spend over the cap and they have to pay a luxury tax to the league for it. There was also a penalty fee to be paid for it though. Teams were able to make up a decent amount of that money by generating some revenue on a deep playoff run. The only good thing about this is, the STRUGGLING franchises get some money out of this

or have a protected list like they do in the ECHL, except for the veterans in this case....that way your chances of resigning them becomes greater I guess.

Not to stick up for the guy, but I guess if you wanted to make one arguement....the players today are much better than they were 10-15 years ago skill wise, because in general athletes today are bigger, faster and perhaps even stronger with all the resources out there. That doesn't make the league better. The fact is, this aint baseball. The really really great players will never sniff a day in the A(like Crosby and Ovechkin)
While what you are proposing may sound good, with the NHL's influence on the AHL it's just not going to happen.

As for your last paragraph, even if the players hare more skiled today than they were 10 years ago, a proven AHL veteran has more skill than a 20 year old undrafted free agent and I'd much rather have that veteran on my team than the 20 year old.

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06-07-2011, 02:29 PM
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Originally Posted by sabrefan27 View Post
Terrible comparison and I don't even really know where you're going with it.

Ask any AHL fan on here or any other board who's been around for more than 10 years or so and see the responses you get. I don't think you'll get too many who think the AHL of 2011 is better than the AHL of 1998.
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.

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06-07-2011, 02:29 PM
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That's the big problem. You have these undrafted prospects, or real low round guys who don't belong in the AHL getting spots on teams. No. Teams should be comprised of only the best prospects and then veterans. Those other prospects should be in the ECHL earning their way up.

With so many better veterans in the AHL a decade ago, it made the league more competitive and more fun.

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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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06-07-2011, 03:25 PM
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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.
I love when people say that one person's argument is crap just because they have a different opinion. I do not agree with you that all NHL teams care whether their AHL teams win or lose. I certainly agree that the players are trying to win, but, no, I do not agree that the management of the parent clubs cares. Again, look at the Devils. Season after season their affiliate is terrible, yet they develop players who step right in when needed at the NHL level. So, do you really think that the Devils brass cares that the River Rats, then Lock Monsters, then L-Devils, now Albany Devils are perennial losers?

With regard to your first paragraph, no, we are never going back to 1998, but it doesn't change sabrefan's or my opinion that the league was much better then than it is now.

However, I do wonder what kind of roster an AHL team could field if they didn't have to pay the NHL affiliation fee and paid for their own players in a league with a salary cap. The main reason why signing high priced players long term is because currently NHL teams are paying their salary in a system with no salary cap. Put in a salary cap and, voila, salaries for such players will go down and could be signed for multiple seasons, where, gasp, there could actually be some continuity on an AHL roster instead of the local fans wondering who is going to be on their team next year.

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06-07-2011, 03:56 PM
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Originally Posted by pelts35.com View Post
I love when people say that one person's argument is crap just because they have a different opinion. I do not agree with you that all NHL teams care whether their AHL teams win or lose. I certainly agree that the players are trying to win, but, no, I do not agree that the management of the parent clubs cares. Again, look at the Devils. Season after season their affiliate is terrible, yet they develop players who step right in when needed at the NHL level. So, do you really think that the Devils brass cares that the River Rats, then Lock Monsters, then L-Devils, now Albany Devils are perennial losers?

With regard to your first paragraph, no, we are never going back to 1998, but it doesn't change sabrefan's or my opinion that the league was much better then than it is now.

However, I do wonder what kind of roster an AHL team could field if they didn't have to pay the NHL affiliation fee and paid for their own players in a league with a salary cap. The main reason why signing high priced players long term is because currently NHL teams are paying their salary in a system with no salary cap. Put in a salary cap and, voila, salaries for such players will go down and could be signed for multiple seasons, where, gasp, there could actually be some continuity on an AHL roster instead of the local fans wondering who is going to be on their team next year.
Not saying that it wasn't better... Some of my fondest memories were the Pirates of the early 90's, but those are just memories. I'll always have them and cherish them, but for me those days are gone and this is the here and now.

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