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What's happening with potential USHL expansion?

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Old
05-18-2013, 03:01 PM
  #1
paul-laus
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What's happening with potential USHL expansion?

I had been hearing about this Eastern push for expansion that would include Lewiston Me. amongst others. What's happened with this? What about this arena project in Marion Indiana? If Indiana jumps to the ECHL next season is the league hoping to fill the void with another franchise or two? Any info would help. Cheers!


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05-18-2013, 03:14 PM
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Eastern push fell apart. The east coast junior hockey scene is a bit of a mess right now. The top teams of the EJHL including Lewiston are breaking off to form a new "elite" league called the USPHL. It will still be tier 3 pay to play. The USHL is no longer part of the conversation.

Marion Indiana can't ge financing together to build their planned arena so no go there.

Indianapolis is likely looking at ECHL but nothing solid yet.

The most likely chance for expansion barring something completely out of the blue will be the Quad Cities whenever the CHL falls apart. I would have liked some potential conversation about Peoria and Bloomington, but they just jumped to the SPHL.

So in short, nothing obvious. If anyone hears of anything I'd be curious though.

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05-20-2013, 01:12 PM
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SPORTSMANIAC
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Lewiston doesn't have a junior franchise...just yet...The Portland Jr. Pirates who are apart of the USPHL/EJHL have told me the USPHL franchise is going to play at the MHG Center (which they own and will be the new practice facility for the Portland Pirates (AHL) next year.) down in Saco (45 minutes south of Lewiston). The Androscoggin Bank Colisee (Lewiston) which is a partner of the Maine Hockey Group/Portland Jr. Pirates/Portland Pirates thinks they will get the USPHL franchise in my opinion would be for 14-15.

Obviously Lewiston wants a full-time tenant and I think they would try to sell the USPHL as a fan-driven league like the QMJHL is. Which I don't think would work because talking to Toby Harris New Jersey Hitmen's coach the USPHL isn't going to be a fan driven league.

I think the picture will be much clearer when the USPHL becomes an USA Hockey sanction league which should be 14-15.

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05-20-2013, 02:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SPORTSMANIAC View Post
I think the picture will be much clearer when the USPHL becomes an USA Hockey sanction league which should be 14-15.
It is going to be USA Hockey sanctioned for this season.

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05-22-2013, 04:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slowe View Post
Eastern push fell apart. The east coast junior hockey scene is a bit of a mess right now. The top teams of the EJHL including Lewiston are breaking off to form a new "elite" league called the USPHL. It will still be tier 3 pay to play. The USHL is no longer part of the conversation.

Marion Indiana can't ge financing together to build their planned arena so no go there.

Indianapolis is likely looking at ECHL but nothing solid yet.

The most likely chance for expansion barring something completely out of the blue will be the Quad Cities whenever the CHL falls apart. I would have liked some potential conversation about Peoria and Bloomington, but they just jumped to the SPHL.

So in short, nothing obvious. If anyone hears of anything I'd be curious though.
I would like to see the USHL add former CHL markets, the league seems to be shrinking fast with the ECHL and now SPHL taking pieces from its footprint. If some of the top few CHL teams are eventually absorbed into the ECHL there could be some good arenas and markets for the USHL to move in. There's also some former UHL/IHL markets that could be potential for USHL to expand into.

Also We'll see how the SPHL works in Peoria and Bloomington, I especially think Bloomington and Quad Cities would work well in the USHL. The SPHL in Peoria could be temporary until the city can return to the ECHL.

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05-22-2013, 05:28 PM
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SenorChifles
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In looking at the ECHL and it's mid-west expansion - if Indianapolis does join next year and Peoria, was wondering if Muskegon would try to field an AA team again. It would have many more of the teams they played against before in other leagues.
With what is happening it seems like the East Coast is losing teams or they are dropping down to juniors. Can see that happening with Wheeling, Erie (reports/rumors they are leaving the OHL), Elmira and then maybe we would see Youngstown switch to have more travel partners.

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05-29-2013, 08:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeben51 View Post
It is going to be USA Hockey sanctioned for this season.
No they didn't get the paperwork in time. They will abide by USA Hockey rules etc and I believe players will insured under USA Hockey. But they aren't a junior league under USA Hockey's umbrella just yet.

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05-29-2013, 08:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SenorChifles View Post
In looking at the ECHL and it's mid-west expansion - if Indianapolis does join next year and Peoria, was wondering if Muskegon would try to field an AA team again. It would have many more of the teams they played against before in other leagues.
With what is happening it seems like the East Coast is losing teams or they are dropping down to juniors. Can see that happening with Wheeling, Erie (reports/rumors they are leaving the OHL), Elmira and then maybe we would see Youngstown switch to have more travel partners.
I think if Erie opens up, I think that will be the gateway to the East for the USHL in some form of fashion. I think Buffalo could be possible too for the USHL.

You take a look at the Buffalo Jr. Sabres of the OJHL, the OJHL is going to a pay-to-play model like Tier III Jr. Hockey in the states would they like to make a jump?

I believe the Sabres (NHL) team is building a new practice facility/there's a new hockey complex going up in the city. I believe there's a partnership between the Jr. Sabres/Sabres. It would a way for Terry Pegula to get kids to go to Penn State eh?

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05-31-2013, 07:18 AM
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Jenben is correct.
Because the USPHL caused so much upheaval on the East Coast with them declaring the league as a U20 first, then all of the teams looking at different leagues to join, USAH stepped in told the USPHL to play nice in the sandbox, register as a Junior League, instead of U20 and they are going to sanction them this year..

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06-02-2013, 11:22 AM
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JB51Hockey
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Originally Posted by ECS Scout View Post
Jenben is correct.
Because the USPHL caused so much upheaval on the East Coast with them declaring the league as a U20 first, then all of the teams looking at different leagues to join, USAH stepped in told the USPHL to play nice in the sandbox, register as a Junior League, instead of U20 and they are going to sanction them this year..
Yes thank you. I knew I was right but I couldn't find any article proving it. Couldn't remember where I saw it.

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06-02-2013, 05:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SPORTSMANIAC View Post
I think if Erie opens up, I think that will be the gateway to the East for the USHL in some form of fashion. I think Buffalo could be possible too for the USHL.

You take a look at the Buffalo Jr. Sabres of the OJHL, the OJHL is going to a pay-to-play model like Tier III Jr. Hockey in the states would they like to make a jump?

I believe the Sabres (NHL) team is building a new practice facility/there's a new hockey complex going up in the city. I believe there's a partnership between the Jr. Sabres/Sabres. It would a way for Terry Pegula to get kids to go to Penn State eh?
Correct; said practice facility/hockey complex is part of the HarborCenter project. Incorrect in who the Sabres' partner is; they acquired the Buffalo Regals and as of next March, they'll be known as the Buffalo Jr. Sabres and the move becomes effective as of the 2014-15 season. (Of course, there's already a Buffalo Jr. Sabres in the OJHL-which has attracted the attention of quite a few scouts thanks to their good play of late.)

However, do NOT look for Buffalo to join the USHL. There simply isn't any rink in WNY besides FNC that can offer enough seating capacity. And I don't think Erie will open up, either. The ECHL would probably get into there first before the USHL did if the Otters did get out of Erie.

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07-13-2013, 10:35 PM
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Not sure if this effects anything but I know the USHL will be having some kind of showcase in the east coast to promote their league very soon. One will be at Hackensack NJ where the Avalanche AAA play, and the other in LI, NY at the Ferraro Bros new arena where the LI gulls AAA will continue to play.

I know there is some drama going on between USHL and USPHL so them USHL making this move here definitely has to be a sign of something else to come. I might be completely wrong though.

Here is a link: http://icehousenj.com/4860/ushl-coming-to-ice-house/

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07-20-2013, 09:13 PM
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I know the USHL have said they are committed to Muskegon, but with the Showcase in NY/NJ in September makes you wonder if this some sort of a test for the future. In my opinion the Ferraro brothers must be thinking in the back of their mind if Muskegon doesn't work out maybe we should bring the franchise out east.

We will see...I thought two years ago we would have more of a clearer picture of junior hockey on the East coast but hasn't become more clearer.

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07-21-2013, 01:03 AM
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Originally Posted by SPORTSMANIAC View Post
I know the USHL have said they are committed to Muskegon, but with the Showcase in NY/NJ in September makes you wonder if this some sort of a test for the future. In my opinion the Ferraro brothers must be thinking in the back of their mind if Muskegon doesn't work out maybe we should bring the franchise out east.

We will see...I thought two years ago we would have more of a clearer picture of junior hockey on the East coast but hasn't become more clearer.

It's really interesting to see how this pans out but it looks like a really big power struggle in junior hockey is brewing on the east coast.


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07-21-2013, 08:23 PM
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The only way I see the USHL heading East is to go into buildings that previously had minor hockey. Possible markets: Dayton, Johnstown, Erie, Jamestown, Lewiston, Trenton, Elmira, Richmond, Reading, Nassau Coliseum. Maybe Danbury and Richmond. I still think there won't be a USHL expansion for a few years. The league doesn't want to water down the talent and have the NAHL catch up.

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08-01-2013, 10:54 AM
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Originally Posted by paul-laus View Post
Any info would help. Cheers!
Today's latest speculation (as reported by JuniorHockey.com) is that the USHL has unanimously approved an application to place an expansion team in Madison, Wisconsin. The ownership group is rumored to be spearheaded by Charles Bidwell III.

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08-01-2013, 12:09 PM
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Madison Second Fiddles (compared to the Badgers)

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08-05-2013, 12:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Woodhouse View Post
Today's latest speculation (as reported by JuniorHockey.com) is that the USHL has unanimously approved an application to place an expansion team in Madison, Wisconsin. The ownership group is rumored to be spearheaded by Charles Bidwell III.
An announcement of this by the league is expected within the next hour or so.

A lot of hockey fans up that way but as stated by NoFun, if they're in town the same nights as the Badgers they'll likely have a tough time at the gate.

EDIT: Announcement made.

http://www.ushl.com/news.php?action=detail&news_id=1899


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08-05-2013, 01:05 PM
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I think that the demand for a second team is high enough up there, but I hope they have the good sense to try to book home games around the Badgers schedule. Last thing they want to do is schedule a good number of their games to go head-to-head against the Badger

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08-05-2013, 01:16 PM
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I'm sure the University of Wisconsin's staff like the thought of being able to scout the USHL in their own backyard.

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08-05-2013, 01:21 PM
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I'm sure the University of Wisconsin's staff like the thought of being able to scout the USHL in their own backyard.
Actually a very good point.

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08-05-2013, 04:07 PM
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With the addition of Madison, I take it the USHL is looking to replace Indy if their move to the ECHL next year is in fact true.

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08-05-2013, 05:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SenorChifles View Post
With the addition of Madison, I take it the USHL is looking to replace Indy if their move to the ECHL next year is in fact true.
Anybody's guess. There have been rumblings about the ECHL moving after Indianapolis (and now Peoria as well with their loss of the AHL Rivermen and drop down to the SPHL) for a little while now, but who knows if it's just random speculation on internet message boards or a sign of an actual league plan.

That being said, I'm sure that the USHL has a plan B for where they'd like the Ice to move if the ECHL manages to get a potential owner in Indy. After all, if a bunch of nobodies like us can hear the rumblings, the USHL sure as heck had to as well if they're true.


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