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

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05-14-2013, 06:24 PM
  #201
LadyStanley
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http://www.oursportscentral.com/serv...es/?id=4594412

SPHL Augusta team statement: hiatus for 13-14; hope to be back for 14-15.

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05-14-2013, 10:44 PM
  #202
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Originally Posted by Cyclones Rock View Post
The SPHL just made a move which caught almost everyone off guard. I'd think that this is just a first step in a strategic plan to grow single A hockey in the midwest and the east along with their traditional southern base.

In the midwest, Quad City (CHL) and St. Charles (CHL expansion) come immediately to mind as future SPHL markets. In the east, Elmira (ECHL), Wheeling (ECHL), Danbury (FHL), Trenton (formerly ECHL) and, yes, Reading (ECHL). In the south, both South Carolina (ECHL), Greenville(ECHL) and even Gwinnett (ECHL) and Florida (ECHL) could be target SPHL markets as well. These markets-for various reasons-seem more suited to the single A model of hockey than the AA.

I agree, many more moves could be coming very soon. The Peoria move to the SPHL instead of the ECHL was a shocker, and Bloomington bolting the CHL for the SPHL set the groundwork for moves which weren't even on most peoples' radars just two days ago.
Your just upset that Reading beat the Cyclones in 5 to advance to the Kelly Cup Finals. I'd like to know what your basis is for making these predictions. If it's attendance only you better look around a little more. Attendance between Reading and Cincy is comparable. Why didn't you include Kalamazoo?

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05-15-2013, 01:31 AM
  #203
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The ECHL would have been better off getting Peoria, Rapid City and Allen while dumping Elmira and Wheeling.

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05-15-2013, 01:49 AM
  #204
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Am I the only one here that wants the ECHL to keep Wheeling? In a way, it's the last of the original small-town markets of the ECHL. If the Nailers die, so does a large piece of league history.

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05-15-2013, 02:22 AM
  #205
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Originally Posted by bhigo59 View Post
Your just upset that Reading beat the Cyclones in 5 to advance to the Kelly Cup Finals. I'd like to know what your basis is for making these predictions. If it's attendance only you better look around a little more. Attendance between Reading and Cincy is comparable. Why didn't you include Kalamazoo?
I am not happy that the Cyclones lost to the Royals, but that's not why I have them on a potential endangered list.

Their nearest rival-Trenton-just folded. Elmira and Wheeling both have well-documented problems. If these two teams leave the ECHL, then the Royals would be about 500 miles from their nearest ECHL opponent.

Add the Allentown AHL Flyer affiliate in a brand new arena less than 35 miles away from Reading and that doesn't help the Royals at all.

The Royals attendance has been falling for years as well.

I went to both of the Conf. Finals games in Reading and enjoyed myself. The arena is great and the fans and staff were very nice. I do not wish the Royals any ill at all. In fact, I hope that they can win the Kelly Cup. I think that they will. Enjoy it, if you're a Royals fan.

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05-15-2013, 02:24 AM
  #206
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Am I the only one here that wants the ECHL to keep Wheeling? In a way, it's the last of the original small-town markets of the ECHL. If the Nailers die, so does a large piece of league history.
I'm with you completely. I make it a point to go see a Cyclones game each year in Wheeling.

I never like seeing a city lose its team. The Wheeling market is a throwback to the original days of the ECHL. Losing Wheeling and/or Elmira would be a shame. The league still seems to be missing a piece to me. No Johnstown was/is a huge loss.

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05-15-2013, 03:14 AM
  #207
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The Aces have only played the Nailers three times. All three were in Alaska during the 2004-05 season, and if I remember correctly, Aces swept them.

I still have a ton of respect for Wheeling. I remember that they made a point of playing tough, hard-nosed hockey with lots of grinding on the boards. Do they still play that kind of style?

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05-15-2013, 06:18 AM
  #208
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Originally Posted by bhigo59 View Post
Your just upset that Reading beat the Cyclones in 5 to advance to the Kelly Cup Finals. I'd like to know what your basis is for making these predictions. If it's attendance only you better look around a little more. Attendance between Reading and Cincy is comparable. Why didn't you include Kalamazoo?
Because Kalamazoo owns their arena 1,000 in K-zoo equal 8,000 in most other buildings in terms of profit.

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05-15-2013, 10:38 AM
  #209
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There are a lot of minor-league teams that are money-losing operations. It isn't limited to some of the lower leagues of hockey, like the SPHL, and it certainly isn't limited to hockey. Attrition is part of minor-league sports - it takes deep pockets, patience and a willingness to eat some loss to be a minor-league owner.

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05-15-2013, 11:45 AM
  #210
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Originally Posted by akacesfan View Post
The Aces have only played the Nailers three times. All three were in Alaska during the 2004-05 season, and if I remember correctly, Aces swept them.

I still have a ton of respect for Wheeling. I remember that they made a point of playing tough, hard-nosed hockey with lots of grinding on the boards. Do they still play that kind of style?
Much less hitting and fighting these days. IMO, that's a big part of the problem regarding attendance with a lot of the markets which are dying or have died.

The casual hockey attendee LOVES the fighting. I hear these types all the time. "When are they going to fight?"
Bettman hockey might work in the NHL and possibly the AHL, but the lack of fighting is really taking a toll in the lower minor league markets, Wheeling being one of those. It doesn't have to be that way.

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05-15-2013, 01:16 PM
  #211
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Definitely. When the Pensacola Ice Flyers brought in Mark Vida, he knocked a guy out with one punch in his first game. When he got cut leading up to the playoffs you'd think the team had folded mid-season. People lost their minds.

That's not even playing "Bettman Hockey", that's realizing that scoring takes precedence over flying fists and even more so in the post season.

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05-15-2013, 02:03 PM
  #212
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyclones Rock View Post
I am not happy that the Cyclones lost to the Royals, but that's not why I have them on a potential endangered list.

Their nearest rival-Trenton-just folded. Elmira and Wheeling both have well-documented problems. If these two teams leave the ECHL, then the Royals would be about 500 miles from their nearest ECHL opponent.

Add the Allentown AHL Flyer affiliate in a brand new arena less than 35 miles away from Reading and that doesn't help the Royals at all.

The Royals attendance has been falling for years as well.

I went to both of the Conf. Finals games in Reading and enjoyed myself. The arena is great and the fans and staff were very nice. I do not wish the Royals any ill at all. In fact, I hope that they can win the Kelly Cup. I think that they will. Enjoy it, if you're a Royals fan.
Some....lol

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05-15-2013, 02:09 PM
  #213
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Originally Posted by Cyclones Rock View Post
Much less hitting and fighting these days. IMO, that's a big part of the problem regarding attendance with a lot of the markets which are dying or have died.

The casual hockey attendee LOVES the fighting. I hear these types all the time. "When are they going to fight?"
Bettman hockey might work in the NHL and possibly the AHL, but the lack of fighting is really taking a toll in the lower minor league markets, Wheeling being one of those. It doesn't have to be that way.
True. Thats because these Wheeling/Elmira types have seen the other side of the coin. Wheeling the small ECHL. Elmira the old UHL. The smaller ECHL meant you played teams quite often so rivalries would develop. The old UHL was similar. Now you have roste shufling every week and more opponents on the schedule. I miss the fighting/excitement/passion. Now it's a bunch of self-righteous young pukes who think they are entitled and better than where they are at, at that moment.

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05-15-2013, 02:12 PM
  #214
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Originally Posted by Cyclones Rock View Post
I'm with you completely. I make it a point to go see a Cyclones game each year in Wheeling.

I never like seeing a city lose its team. The Wheeling market is a throwback to the original days of the ECHL. Losing Wheeling and/or Elmira would be a shame. The league still seems to be missing a piece to me. No Johnstown was/is a huge loss.
I guess I could see Wheeling as they are a long standing member and all. But Elmira not so much. I just think it's the inevitable truth. Minor league hockey really passed over the small markets a decade ago. Don't ever really expect another small market to land in this league again.

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05-15-2013, 02:24 PM
  #215
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I guess I could see Wheeling as they are a long standing member and all. But Elmira not so much. I just think it's the inevitable truth. Minor league hockey really passed over the small markets a decade ago. Don't ever really expect another small market to land in this league again.
Sad, isn't it? 10 years ago we had Huntington, WV, Johnstown, PA, and Trenton, NJ. Now we have San Francisco, Orlando and Las Vegas.

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05-15-2013, 02:34 PM
  #216
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It was sad that Johnstown left the ECHL, but they had an outside owner and he put very little $$$ into the team. Their last season was a joke.
But now they have a team in the NAHL, the Tomahawks. Very good first season, made the playoffs. Averaged over 2,500 look to see that increase next season. Season tickets should pass the 1,000 mark.
Difference - group of owners (local - Pittsburgh area), brought back a few of the ex-Chiefs to run the team as GM, coach and asst. coach. Made an impact in the community - their presence was known.
I would not want them to return to a higher class league as would most people in Johnstown. For many of the small cities juniors is the way to go.
Would not be surprised to see Wheeling & Elmira drop down in a few years.

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05-15-2013, 02:41 PM
  #217
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Originally Posted by SenorChifles View Post
It was sad that Johnstown left the ECHL, but they had an outside owner and he put very little $$$ into the team. Their last season was a joke.But now they have a team in the NAHL, the Tomahawks. Very good first season, made the playoffs. Averaged over 2,500 look to see that increase next season. Season tickets should pass the 1,000 mark.Difference - group of owners (local - Pittsburgh area), brought back a few of the ex-Chiefs to run the team as GM, coach and asst. coach. Made an impact in the community - their presence was known.I would not want them to return to a higher class league as would most people in Johnstown. For many of the small cities juniors is the way to go. Would not be surprised to see Wheeling & Elmira drop down in a few years.
Never made it out to a game but I was dying to go to a 'Hawks game. Been to the arena a bit for a Chiefs game and went to one between Reading and Wheeling a few years ago. There couldn't have been more than 500 people there... From the looks of videos, the Tomahawks seem to be a success in Johnstown for now. Let's hope people don't get bored of the team and stop supporting them.

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05-15-2013, 02:59 PM
  #218
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At least according to Peoria media, the Rivermen are coming back.... albeit in the SPHL, a low-tier barely Single A league.

http://www.pjstar.com/news/x81143787...team-in-Peoria

It corroborates the reports that the Nucks' AHL franchise will be dormant for a year, though.
So Peoria getting SPHL hockey.

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05-15-2013, 06:09 PM
  #219
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Originally Posted by SenorChifles View Post
It was sad that Johnstown left the ECHL, but they had an outside owner and he put very little $$$ into the team. Their last season was a joke.
But now they have a team in the NAHL, the Tomahawks. Very good first season, made the playoffs. Averaged over 2,500 look to see that increase next season. Season tickets should pass the 1,000 mark.
Difference - group of owners (local - Pittsburgh area), brought back a few of the ex-Chiefs to run the team as GM, coach and asst. coach. Made an impact in the community - their presence was known.
I would not want them to return to a higher class league as would most people in Johnstown. For many of the small cities juniors is the way to go.
Would not be surprised to see Wheeling & Elmira drop down in a few years.
I look at it as Juniors have improved and the ECHL to a degree has declined. It's not the league it started out as. Maybe they intended it to be a developmental league but it did not always play out as it does now. Now the majority of the players in the league are of organizational contract, etc. Playing for the team is secondary it's more so your career. People from a big place wouldn't get this but in a smaller city, the type in which this league was started in player continuity is important, you just don't have that anymore

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05-16-2013, 12:37 AM
  #220
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Wait, am I reading this right?

Quote:
HUNTERSVILLE, NC – The Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL) today announced its Board of Governors has unanimously approved the Bloomington Blaze and Peoria Rivermen to join the league for the 2013-2014 season.

The teams will be owned and operated by Illinois Pro Sports, LLC, whose members have extensive experience at all levels of professional hockey.
http://www.thesphl.com/view/thesphl/news/news_72402

The new Rivermen and the Blaze are going to be owned by the same group?

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05-16-2013, 08:19 AM
  #221
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I live in Bloomington and work in Peoria, been around the Rivermen since I was 3. The way it's sounding around here is that they are just kind of pooling the resources to get both teams and get a rivalry going. I think Saurs will run Peoria and the Bloom guys will run them obviously but to me, knowing the local "hockey fans" this is going to be BIG around here. (In minor league hockey scope) Saurs is a GREAT person and a smart man, he will do the things necessary to get Peoria back to the atmosphere they used to have.

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05-16-2013, 09:52 AM
  #222
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Good to know, and hope you're right. I'm originally from Champaign, but have only been to a few Rivermen games and never to a game in Bloomington, so I barely have passing knowledge of their fandom, history, and culture. Hope they're able to build a real good rivalry and grow on that, though I'm half expecting a bit of a shock from Peoria fans used to AAA hockey experiencing Single A for a change.

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05-16-2013, 12:39 PM
  #223
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Kupaks says the St. Charles Chill will play this season and in a follow up tweet she says she is no longer on staff.

https://twitter.com/NHLTIM/status/334459774664069121

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05-16-2013, 02:32 PM
  #224
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I am excited about Peoria and Bloomington joining the SPHL,The IceGators and Peoria can renew their 1999-2000 ECHL Championship Series Rivalary.

Cannot wait for the 2013-2014 season to start

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05-17-2013, 08:41 AM
  #225
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Hi guys. I am really interested in minor pro hockey in the States and Canada but as a European I have barely a chance to follow all this. Am I right that the SPHL is the big winner this year regarding team changes?

And why is the league actually considered to be of such low quality? For a single a league they seem to have quite big and modern arenas.

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