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Anyone hear of expansion/merger plans for ECHL, CHL, SPHL FOR 2013-14?

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01-06-2013, 09:13 PM
  #1
paul-laus
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Anyone hear of expansion/merger plans for ECHL, CHL, SPHL FOR 2013-14?

I know it's eaTrly, but has anyone heard of any expansion plans for the leagues in the thread title. I know the SPHL commisioner had mentioned last summer that league would add anywhere between 1 and 3 teams for next season. One would think that they would want to add 1 for certain to even out the disparity.

As far as the CHL goes, St Charles is an automatic but I've been hearing about Casper Wy. in a relocation of a former Texas team that's gone dormant. This would make sense for the CHL to get up to an even number with St. Charles coming in. All current teams returning for next season isn't a guarantee, but it's starting to look like Quad will be back although Bloomington and Arizona are struggling. Anyone know of anything? Indianapolis?

The ECHL is the most interesting. They've capped membership at 26 with future expansion targeted for the Western Conference. Do they look at further poaching from the CHL with markets like Witchita, Allen, Rapid City, Missouri etc. Or do they go back to markets like Fresno or San Diego? I just hope that after 8 years, the ECHL throws in the joke of the towel that is the Reno Raiders tire fire year after year. One thing that is interesting is that on hockey forums, there is mention of the ECHL returning to a dormant market. Columbia Inferno?

Any info or thoughts are welcome. Thanks.

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01-06-2013, 10:59 PM
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I think for the most part it is a little too early for the talk of expansion/ contraction.

One thing I do know as far the the SPHL is that the commisioner of the league had made comments about hoping to add Bosier/Shreveport a few weeks ago. I don't know if it will happen but, it was talked about.

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01-07-2013, 12:22 AM
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I'm pretty sure the CHL will be contracting further this summer as it continues its slow journey into the grave. The SPHL seems primed to expand but I think a lot of markets that would be ideal for it are already occupied by the ECHL's southern division. Winston-Salem, Roanoke, Richmond could all be options for franchises, though they all have previously had and lost teams...

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01-07-2013, 11:21 PM
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I do like the Bosier-Shreveport idea to be quite honest for the SPHL. I don't really see the CHL dropping below ten teams at this point. Quad has finalized an arena deal for next season, and even if Arizona and Bloomington do fold, St.Charles is coming and thy probably would bring in at least one other to even out numbers. Like I said earlier, Casper maybe.

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01-08-2013, 01:04 PM
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I'm wondering if the ECHL would pick up the Rapid City Rush from the CHL? Rapid City to Loveland is a 6 hour drive so it does seem a bit far fetched but it could happen. If Arizona wasn't second to last in attendance I'd think they would also pick them up.

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01-08-2013, 01:33 PM
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I believe Bossier-Shreveport will return. I've also heard Baton Rouge and Mobile. (SPHL)

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01-08-2013, 02:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mkhockeygoalie View Post
I think for the most part it is a little too early for the talk of expansion/ contraction.
It may be too early to talk about teams folding, but it's almost too LATE to only start talking about expansion for 2013-14. Historically, teams that have announced more than a full season before they take the ice do much better with attendance and marketing than teams just hurriedly announced in an off-season. The best time to announce expansion teams would be RIGHT NOW, while people are in a hockey-going mood, and maybe piggyback off the NHL's return.

That said, I'm more out of the loop than usual, and have only heard things on boards, mostly CHL St. Charles.

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01-08-2013, 02:27 PM
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The ECHL might pick off a team from the CHL, but truth be told I think they're just sitting still and seeing when/if that league finally collapses and they have free range over the teams of their choice.

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01-08-2013, 04:41 PM
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Originally Posted by jeben51 View Post
I'm wondering if the ECHL would pick up the Rapid City Rush from the CHL? Rapid City to Loveland is a 6 hour drive so it does seem a bit far fetched but it could happen. If Arizona wasn't second to last in attendance I'd think they would also pick them up.
It's ~6 hours from SF to Ontario in California. (8+ hours SF to Vegas), so this is not out of other travel in ECHL.

But I'm guessing that until league "fails" or ownership decides to try to "upgrade" to ECHL that much will happen.

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01-09-2013, 11:12 AM
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Originally Posted by LadyStanley View Post
It's ~6 hours from SF to Ontario in California. (8+ hours SF to Vegas), so this is not out of other travel in ECHL.

But I'm guessing that until league "fails" or ownership decides to try to "upgrade" to ECHL that much will happen.
But what I'm saying is Rapid City's closet team is in Loveland which is a 6 hour drive, the next farthest is Salt Lake to Boise, which is 5. Okay, it's not that much of a difference. Forget what I said, Rapid City looks good.

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01-10-2013, 05:10 AM
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Haven't heard anything but as far as contraction goes I would be shocked if Elmira and Wheeling return, possibly even Trenton.

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01-10-2013, 10:09 AM
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Originally Posted by jeben51 View Post
But what I'm saying is Rapid City's closet team is in Loveland which is a 6 hour drive, the next farthest is Salt Lake to Boise, which is 5. Okay, it's not that much of a difference. Forget what I said, Rapid City looks good.
Colorado's closest drive is 8 hours to Utah right now. Travel really doesn't matter in the West, no matter what you are going to have to take some long trips. 60 hour drive from Vegas to Alaska....

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01-10-2013, 10:10 AM
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We could possibly have an entirely new Single A league....

http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Uni...188435?fref=ts

Hopefully this one would be run the right way like the SPHL and not end up being a joke like the FHL, EPHL or AAHL.

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01-10-2013, 10:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Avsrule2002 View Post
60 hour drive from Vegas to Alaska....
Which is why teams fly to/from Alaska. (Even Alaska buses between cities once they're in lower 48, usually.)

Idaho/Utah -- "one off" (series) usually are far enough away from California teams that they fly into those cities.

But they do fly commercial, not charter.

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01-11-2013, 06:53 PM
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Originally Posted by mkhockeygoalie View Post
We could possibly have an entirely new Single A league....

http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Uni...188435?fref=ts

Hopefully this one would be run the right way like the SPHL and not end up being a joke like the FHL, EPHL or AAHL.
Well, the league is off to a great start! It's always a good sign when a new pro league starts on Facebook

I have played in beer leagues that have real websites.

But back to real topic;

I would like to see Bossier-Shreveport get a club back, but how much longer will the CHL be around? Will the ECHL eventually overtake the entire 'AA' market?

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01-19-2013, 09:11 AM
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Rumor has it, Williamsport Outlaws of the Federal Hockey League are relocating to Richmond, Virginia, and joining the SPHL

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01-19-2013, 01:41 PM
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Rumor has it, Williamsport Outlaws of the Federal Hockey League are relocating to Richmond, Virginia, and joining the SPHL
LOL, knew that wouldn't last.

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01-19-2013, 02:34 PM
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Originally Posted by jeben51 View Post
Rumor has it, Williamsport Outlaws of the Federal Hockey League are relocating to Richmond, Virginia, and joining the SPHL
Source?

If they barely have the money to operate in the FHL, they don't have the money to join the SPHL, much less operate the team.

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01-19-2013, 03:41 PM
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There is no source... Best I can tell from making the message board rounds it was started on the FHL fourm by someone who said it was the word around bowman field....

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01-20-2013, 09:45 AM
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Just a note....."I heard from someone" or "A bunch of people were saying" are not legit sources. If it's not published in media in a newspaper or online, then it's not a source. Anything else is just heresay. Rumors need to be clear that they're rumors

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01-20-2013, 09:51 AM
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I keep hoping the SPHL will locate in Pelham, AL since there's a new leadership team in that city. Bobby Hayes, the old mayor of Pelham, got burned pretty bad by the WHA2. With the popularity of University of Alabama Hockey around here, it seems like the 3,000 seat arena would be the perfect SPHL venue...Plus, there's a team nearby in Huntsville.

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01-20-2013, 01:00 PM
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Not that I overly care(because I don't)but almost every rumor at this level of sports has no media coverage until it happens. I've spent various time on minor league sports forums in my day. They are chop full of rumors. I guess I don't understand what the big deal is? I can't imagine that the teams read this so I don't see lawsuits ever forthcoming. If they had or have, you would have heard about it before 2013.

As for Albaama....

They would mistake it for SEC Football. I mean for whatever its worth i'm not a hockey guy and that regionalization arguement to me doesn't matter. Theres just certain places you look at as an outsider and know it would be over the locals eads and wont work.

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01-21-2013, 06:49 AM
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Originally Posted by BK Triple Threat View Post
Not that I overly care(because I don't)but almost every rumor at this level of sports has no media coverage until it happens. I've spent various time on minor league sports forums in my day. They are chop full of rumors. I guess I don't understand what the big deal is? I can't imagine that the teams read this so I don't see lawsuits ever forthcoming. If they had or have, you would have heard about it before 2013.

As for Albaama....

They would mistake it for SEC Football. I mean for whatever its worth i'm not a hockey guy and that regionalization arguement to me doesn't matter. Theres just certain places you look at as an outsider and know it would be over the locals eads and wont work.
yeah...... Whatever.....

In Alabama, we have the southernmost NCAA hockey team at University of Alabama-Huntsville. Huntsville also has the Huntsville Havoc SPHL team and a rather robust junior hockey program that produced NHL player Jared Ross.

Birmingham was home to the WHA Birmingham Bulls in the 70's which played to sold out crowds. Gordie Howe scored his 1,000th goal in our barn here. The ECHL Birmingham Bulls were a successful franchise until the ownership decided to run the team into the ground as a tax writeoff. We also have a large junior program here, as well as three adult rec leagues and a high school league.

Plus, just two weeks ago, the Pelham arena was sold out for three consecutive nights for Alabama v. Auburn CLUB hockey..... Alabama averages around 2500 playing CLUB hockey in Pelham.

A little research goes a long way.

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01-21-2013, 04:45 PM
  #24
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Have I watched it? Yes. Would I pay to watch it? No.

If we want hockey in this country to grow, schools that play in the ACHA need to step up and play real college hockey.
So you should GROW hockey by eliminating the ACHA??? THAT makes sense. Here we go - if you don't play 'elite' then don't play at all! That's how to grow a sport!

Do your research - many NCAA schools with hockey teams also have ACHA teams. And many ACHA schools cannot qualify for NCAA status for their teams.


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01-22-2013, 09:18 AM
  #25
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please relocate to Richmond. I will go to games!

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