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

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05-17-2013, 01:07 PM
  #226
Cyclones Rock
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Originally Posted by Vicente View Post
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.
I think that you are correct that the SPHL is the big winner.

The league has taken a bold move out of its geography-although not a crazy one-and is now primed to move to many markets in the midwest. There is an abundance of arenas and markets in the midwest which would be better served by the business model (economics) of the SPHL compared to the ECHL or CHL. A typical SPHL budget is in the $1.2 million range compared to about double that for an ECHL team.

The league is a lower level than the ECHL or CHL, but it has some good players in it. I've seen more than a few SPHL players make it up to the ECHL and some have been quite good.


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05-17-2013, 01:09 PM
  #227
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vicente View Post
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.
Kinda. Peoria's a good grab for the SPHL, but that was mostly a circumstance of the AHL moving out and the ECHL and CHL not being able to add/move a team fast enough. I'd say that the AHL is a wash, ECHL is a wash, CHL is a loss (albeit they're losing a very underperforming team), and SPHL is a gain, so overall a net positive, but I wouldn't say that they're huge winners. Time will tell regarding Peoria and Bloomington, as the former is a market used to much higher levels of play so it's not clear that a drop from AAA to single A will be entirely embraced and Bloomington has their fair share of economic issues, too.

And it's considered low quality just because there are plenty of other leagues above it. It's undeniable that the AHL, ECHL, and CHL feature higher qualities of play, due to actual affiliation agreements that are in place.

It's just a low-tier, Single-A league. Nothing wrong with that, though.


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05-17-2013, 01:32 PM
  #228
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Just curious - I bet this has been discussed multiple times but hey I am not from the States - why don't they merge the ECHL/CHL and let the current CHL teams become some sort of own ECHL conference?

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05-17-2013, 01:36 PM
  #229
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Just curious - I bet this has been discussed multiple times but hey I am not from the States - why don't they merge the ECHL/CHL and let the current CHL teams become some sort of own ECHL conference?
Different leagues. ECHL merged with WCHL in 2003.

Will take effort from current ECHL and CHL "powers that be" to do merger.

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05-17-2013, 01:40 PM
  #230
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Originally Posted by Vicente View Post
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.

This is the arena that the Louisiana Icegators play in:




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05-17-2013, 01:47 PM
  #231
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Different leagues. ECHL merged with WCHL in 2003.

Will take effort from current ECHL and CHL "powers that be" to do merger.
Sure. But let's say you are a team owner. Would you rather try your luck in a big, well-working league like ECHL then would be or in a league where nobody knows how long they will make it?!

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05-17-2013, 02:03 PM
  #232
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Originally Posted by LadyStanley View Post
Different leagues. ECHL merged with WCHL in 2003.

Will take effort from current ECHL and CHL "powers that be" to do merger.
Technically, it was not a merger. The teams from the WCHL joined the ECHL as expansion teams, and the WCHL ceased to exist.

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05-17-2013, 02:29 PM
  #233
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Different leagues. ECHL merged with WCHL in 2003.
That's not actually correct. The WCHL folded, and the six remaining teams were admitted as expansion teams to the ECHL, having to purchase expansion franchises (they weren't let in for free). The UHL (doing business as the IHL) "merged" with the WPHL (doing business as the CHL) for a couple of seasons - and there were different circumstances and negotiations required.

Yes, I'm being technical, and the effect is similar to a merger, but there are some details and fine points where it matters.

(Similarly, there was no merger of the IHL and the AHL -- the IHL folded, and a few remaining teams were granted AHL expansion franchises -- I'm not sure whether they had to purchase those franchises a la the former WCHL teams and the ECHL, but I'd wager there was some need for the remaining IHL teams to "buy in" to the league with more than just their yearly dues).

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05-17-2013, 02:33 PM
  #234
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Originally Posted by Vicente View Post
Sure. But let's say you are a team owner. Would you rather try your luck in a big, well-working league like ECHL then would be or in a league where nobody knows how long they will make it?!
Let's say you're an owner of a team that is currently playing in the WPHL (doing business as the CHL). You have a signed agreement with the WPHL that allows you to play as a team in that league, and you have other assets. Most leagues have provisions in their agreements that prevent team owners from just jumping to another league without paying some kind of penalty, or, like a non-compete agreement, without sitting out at least one season. So, during the time of the contract (agreement) with the league, you, the WPHL team owner, cannot simply just move to the ECHL. You need to wait until the period of the contract is up, or hope the league folds, or grants you permission, or that you can buy your way out.

Fort Wayne and Evansville were, IIRC, technically UHL franchises playing in a merged interlocking schedule with the CHL for a couple of seasons during the period of the UHL/WPHL agreement. When that agreement was over (two seasons, again, IIRC) those owners became free agents, and chose to acquire ECHL franchises instead of re-upping with the UHL (which no longer exists) or the WPHL.

That may be why Rapid City (rumored to be going to the ECHL) didn't jump with Evansville and Fort Wayne -- they were a full WPHL franchise, and were thus restricted by the terms of their agreement with the WPHL. This season's portability likely is because their WPHL agreement's term is over.

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05-17-2013, 04:42 PM
  #235
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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.
Trenton is on hiatus I think. They'll be back soon enough.

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05-17-2013, 05:30 PM
  #236
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Thank you guys for all your information! So we can say "good" CHL teams are more or less hoping for their league to get in serious trouble asap to get into another league?!

Does this terrible Federal Hockey League actually still exist?! I mean I followed the thread about the league from time to time during the last 3 years and it was more than amusing. Just like pure comedy. And what's up with teams like Danbury Whalers? I always thought they could do a little better than FHL.

From time to time you would have a look at the standings on the FHL website and half the teams were missing the others relocated or renamed or both.

I remember a NY Times article about them aswell. I guess they won't expand once more?!

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05-17-2013, 06:53 PM
  #237
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The agreement was between the CHL and the IHL(2), the league that the Frankes helped to create. It was a two year marketing agreement between the two leagues. At the end of it Quad City chose to sign a standard 10 year agreement with the CHL, The IceMen and the Komets joined the ECHL and the Gems folded. The Bloomington Prairie Thunder had gone out of business the season before and had been replaced by the Blaze, who again signed a standard 10 year deal with the CHL.

I have heard that the ECHL revoked Trenton's franchise after they went dark. Despite what they stated in their pressser, they are not widely expected to come back.

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05-17-2013, 06:59 PM
  #238
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SPHL Augusta team statement: hiatus for 13-14; hope to be back for 14-15.


Well good luck with that. In other news the Cincinatti Railraiders will finally take the ice next season.

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05-17-2013, 11:46 PM
  #239
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Well from the looks of it, it sounds like the SPHL will have more of a decent season this year compared to the last few. Now my question is, will the rosters of Peoria and Bloomington already be set or will there be an 'expansion' draft like what happened with Pensacola and the others? Now with Augusta, that hurts IMO. Losing a team in a league like this hurts for the fans. I honestly hope here in the future they can get the ice machines fixed and come back in 14-15. With Peoria and Bloomington being added, it really makes for some long travels, especially for Pensacola and Louisiana..... Hopefully they can add a few more teams in-between to make the road trip a little easier....Now here is hoping that Richmond and maybe Pee-Dee could get teams back together and possible throw in Jacksonville again? This league has all it needs to be great and make fans really want to go to games, just need more teams!

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05-18-2013, 11:29 PM
  #240
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Originally Posted by Gibbie42 View Post
The agreement was between the CHL and the IHL(2), the league that the Frankes helped to create. It was a two year marketing agreement between the two leagues. At the end of it Quad City chose to sign a standard 10 year agreement with the CHL, The IceMen and the Komets joined the ECHL and the Gems folded. The Bloomington Prairie Thunder had gone out of business the season before and had been replaced by the Blaze, who again signed a standard 10 year deal with the CHL.

I have heard that the ECHL revoked Trenton's franchise after they went dark. Despite what they stated in their pressser, they are not widely expected to come back.
Where did you hear that? Shocking since the commish is a former GM of theirs.

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05-19-2013, 09:55 AM
  #241
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I picked that tidbit up off another hockey board and there was a new article for it, trying to locate it now. I think the thread it was in may have been deleted (not for that reason, it had rambled somewhere bad). I'll post it if I the article again.

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05-19-2013, 10:46 AM
  #242
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Trenton is on hiatus I think. They'll be back soon enough.
They sold all their training equipment to the new Rivermen. I'm not sure they plan on coming back.

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Originally Posted by Whiskers06 View Post
With Peoria and Bloomington being added, it really makes for some long travels, especially for Pensacola and Louisiana.
It's funny you mention Louisiana. Bloomington and Peoria are actually closer to Lafayette than Fayetteville is.

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Originally Posted by Whiskers06 View Post
Now here is hoping that Richmond and maybe Pee-Dee could get teams back together and possible throw in Jacksonville again?
Jacksonville's not going to happen. There's a reason the Barracudas played one season in a rec rink after they couldn't get a favorable lease extension with the JVMA.

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05-22-2013, 08:21 PM
  #243
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Would love to see the Green Bay Gamblers make the jump to the ECHL. Ive gone to Gamblers games, I know they are usually a good team, but I just cant get into Junior Hockey, guys are young and not developed yet, its hard to get into it when your used to watching the NHL and AHL.

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05-22-2013, 11:07 PM
  #244
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That's a big jump, though. Complete roster turnover and they actually have to pay their players in the ECHL, albeit a pittance. Not to mention giving up complete organizational independence to be affiliated with the NHL and AHL might be a tough pill for them to swallow.

Green Bay's ownership is probably very happy where they're at, with such low overhead. Probably in the same boat as the Toledo Walleye's ownership, who are perfectly happy to be in the ECHL versus the AHL.

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05-23-2013, 01:15 AM
  #245
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Color me stupid but is this Green Bay Wisconsin?

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05-23-2013, 09:14 AM
  #246
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Color me stupid but is this Green Bay Wisconsin?
Yes, the Green Bay Gamblers of the USHL.

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05-23-2013, 03:56 PM
  #247
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That's a big jump, though. Complete roster turnover and they actually have to pay their players in the ECHL, albeit a pittance. Not to mention giving up complete organizational independence to be affiliated with the NHL and AHL might be a tough pill for them to swallow.

Green Bay's ownership is probably very happy where they're at, with such low overhead. Probably in the same boat as the Toledo Walleye's ownership, who are perfectly happy to be in the ECHL versus the AHL.
Just cause your an ECHL Franchise doesn't necessarily mean you have to be affiliated with an AHL and NHL team. The Las Vegas Wranglers aren't affiliated with anyone for an example.

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05-23-2013, 05:35 PM
  #248
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Okay I see. If they can house an NFL team with less than 1 million I think they can try ECHL.

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05-28-2013, 09:20 PM
  #249
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Fort Worth is now being run by the CHL according to the Brahma's Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Fort-...ation=timeline

Looks like another Quad City in the making.

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05-29-2013, 12:14 AM
  #250
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According to some connected fans, it's a frustrated staffer and the post was designed to put pressure on the ownership and the league. The CHL isn't running Fort Worth quite yet and the players/staff are frustrated due to bounced checks.

Basically some of the staff has gone rogue and if the team wasn't dead already, they pretty much are now thanks to the added drama.


Last edited by FrancoRussianAlaskan: 05-29-2013 at 10:08 AM.
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