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Komet's Franke suggests a minor league hockey system more like baseball

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Old
01-23-2012, 11:01 PM
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Komet's Franke suggests a minor league hockey system more like baseball

It appears that Fort Wayne Komets' owner Michael Franke would like to see a minor league hockey system more along the lines of minor league baseball (link). Players would move through the ranks and leagues would have defined territories. The minor league systems would also work in concert with each other on development.

I don't think this would work that well. NHL teams do not draft as many players as baseball, thus it would be harder to fill up the lower minor league tiers. If the draft were expanded, I think there would be little chance that these later round picks would go from A to AA to AAA (whichever league that might be).

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01-23-2012, 11:52 PM
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I made a similar argument over on the ECHL board a few months back, and the biggest point we ended up addressing was what you said, the simple fact that MLB's draft is much larger then the NHL's.

If anyone's interested, here it is:

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Originally Posted by No Fun Shogun View Post
Well, then you really wouldn't like my overall idea on how to expand/improve minor league hockey..... officially make it three-tiered and have teams with long-standing relationships and expanded subsidies from the NHL. Basically, my idea would work like this....

Major League - NHL - 30 teams
AAA - AHL - 30 teams
AA - ECHL/CHL - 30 teams
A - SPHL/FHL/etc. - 30 teams

Honestly think that hockey should follow baseball's model and create a three-tiered farm system, with existing and stable structures at the top and then the NHL stepping in directly to stabilize at the bottom where it really needs help and long-term stability has never been guaranteed.

So, looking at the Hawks, for example.... they'd remained partnered with the Rockford IceHogs in the AHL, let Detroit have sole partnership with the Toledo Walleye in the ECHL and form a partnership of their own with another team at that level, say the Quad City Mallards of the CHL, and then reach down one more level to have a single A affiliate as well, like the Danville Dashers of the FHL. So, the Blackhawks-IceHogs-Mallards-Dashers system would exist under a confederated superstructure similar to what exists in Minor League Baseball. Each team is independently owned and operated, but the Blackhawks provide travel and salary subsidies for the three teams below while retaining sole right to promote, demote, and trade players from within their system.

IMHO, that would be a major win-win for all parties involved. The NHL teams would have a much deeper source of talent development and even potentially have a system where injured players could rehab at lower levels like you see in baseball all the time. The lower league teams, especially at the AA and A level, would get much greater financial stability and still retain day-to-day operational control, while granted losing the ability to make trades. Maybe still have a system where teams at the lower levels can still sign players independently to their team that no one else picked up, and if they turn out to be attractive players wanted at a higher level, then their parent club could have some reward system in place to compensate teams that lose a player that they brought in.

And the NHL could use the A level, as it's mostly non-existent save for the fairly undersized SPHL and FHL, to develop hockey interest in regions that don't have access to professional hockey, such as in parts of the Great Plains, South, and West. And on top of that, major win for players, too, as they'd have more open roster positions with four professional leagues operating and better access for non-drafted or supposedly washed up players a chance to get back in if they impress at lower levels and have the opportunity to move up.

Just my two cents....

And, as far as I know, the western part of the ECHL follows the same rules as the rest of the league.
The topic itself over there brings up a few additional problems with the idea of modeling minor league hockey after minor league baseball, too.

http://hfboards.hockeysfuture.com/sh....php?t=1051107

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Old
01-24-2012, 06:46 AM
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This has been beaten to death over time. I can't believe Franke of all people is for it when you consider his team hasn't been in a "developmental" league in over a decade....

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01-24-2012, 07:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Green Men Rule View Post
This has been beaten to death over time. I can't believe Franke of all people is for it when you consider his team hasn't been in a "developmental" league in over a decade....
But then we could implement the idea of keeping some veterans on the teams to develop name recognition/continuity as well as rivalries.

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01-24-2012, 07:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Solution View Post
But then we could implement the idea of keeping some veterans on the teams to develop name recognition/continuity as well as rivalries.
I admit I no longer follow minor league baseball so I don't know the roster specifics. But the CHL has a vet rule of I think 6? The ECHL is 4. The old UHL I believe was like 8.

Truth be told the ECHL was what you claim like 12, 15 years ago before they got all big into development.

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01-24-2012, 09:04 PM
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Not only the veteran rule, but minor league baseball doesn't have Europe to deal with. Hockey players who can't make the NHL can make a solid living overseas and a lot of minor league cities on this side of the pond simply can't compete for high-end talent.

There had often been talk about trying to make the ECHL a Double A league to get a 30-30-30 system going, but the economics just won't support the concept.

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01-24-2012, 10:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rumblick View Post
Not only the veteran rule, but minor league baseball doesn't have Europe to deal with. Hockey players who can't make the NHL can make a solid living overseas and a lot of minor league cities on this side of the pond simply can't compete for high-end talent.

There had often been talk about trying to make the ECHL a Double A league to get a 30-30-30 system going, but the economics just won't support the concept.
Good point about Europe, though not necessarily for the second point. When you boil it down, with the ECHL and CHL combined there are currently 34 "double A" franchises right now. Obviously, that's not to say that everybody is affiliated or on stable grounds, but have to imagine a scenario where a single league (or two) managing to eek out a living in a 30-30-30 system going is at least possible.

Not saying it will happen, but don't think that the economics are necessarily against it. Especially with the CHL's continued problems, wouldn't be surprised if there's an CHL/ECHL merger at some point in the near future (or just an outright raiding of the CHL by the ECHL), and if that were done think that there might be a push for a one-for-one-for-one relationship being developed between the NHL, AHL, and ECHL/CHL.

Only difference is that it couldn't work like MiLB's model, which has more teams, leagues, and roster spots thanks to baseball's expanded draft and significantly smaller overseas market for American and Canadian players to ply their trade and make a solid living.

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01-24-2012, 10:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rumblick View Post
Not only the veteran rule, but minor league baseball doesn't have Europe to deal with. Hockey players who can't make the NHL can make a solid living overseas and a lot of minor league cities on this side of the pond simply can't compete for high-end talent.

There had often been talk about trying to make the ECHL a Double A league to get a 30-30-30 system going, but the economics just won't support the concept.
the ECHL AS A WHOLE is where the AHL was mid 70s, and a lot of rules were either modernized or adopted but recall there was a split at the AAA level until '01, when the original I collapsed and was beginning to splinter as early as 1999..... the AHL never had a veteran rule cap until the loophole was closed allowing our league to sign veterans who just completed the European season and the minor league season wasn't a week old right around the time Portland joined the league, as the history goes, in 1977, this league was at a crossroads and there wasn't as much control handed to the NHL clubs as it has since.

the E did the same thing when they acquired the WCHL, IN ESSENCE, giving them a west division, the other major difference is how many of our member franchises have dared go Independent since the requirement to remain active, is the requirement of a NHL Club, which is why that requisite was added in and approved after watching Baltimore and Binghamton not be competitive and why Utah left because they didn't agree w/ that philosophy.

I wouldn't trust the Frankes anymore than we saw what the Afr's did, and why they were barred, as were the Schlegels in Iowa, when that club was terminated, they are to blame for their arrogance to be in business, much less how they thumbed their noses at both the IHL and the AHL bc if they were smart they blew their opportunity to be in a stable league, and basically put themselves and the UHL/CHL in jeopardy w/ their stance, who are they to dictate to any member club or league, which btw, is older than their franchise overall....

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01-25-2012, 10:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rumblick View Post
Not only the veteran rule, but minor league baseball doesn't have Europe to deal with. Hockey players who can't make the NHL can make a solid living overseas and a lot of minor league cities on this side of the pond simply can't compete for high-end talent.

There had often been talk about trying to make the ECHL a Double A league to get a 30-30-30 system going, but the economics just won't support the concept.
In Baseball instead of Europe they have Latin America or Japan.

As for the 30-30-30...we have 36 AA Franchises(Counting SF and Orlando coming next year)with the possibility of some teams probably folding. Back in like 2000 we had double this number, we are gettin closer....

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01-25-2012, 01:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Green Men Rule View Post
In Baseball instead of Europe they have Latin America or Japan.
Nowhere near the amount and level of leagues in those places that there are for hockey in Europe. And while you might get paid well in Japan, you won't in Latin America.

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01-25-2012, 08:28 PM
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The baseball minor leagues are much smaller also. 15 teams is plenty for a minor league.

North American hockey players can make six figures playing in Europe. Baseball players are lucky to make 5 figures in the minors before making it to AA, the same is true playing overseas. The guys who do it are looking for more some exposure, or hanging on for a last chance. There are exceptions, but in general that's the case.

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01-25-2012, 08:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RFA View Post
The baseball minor leagues are much smaller also. 15 teams is plenty for a minor league.

North American hockey players can make six figures playing in Europe. Baseball players are lucky to make 5 figures in the minors before making it to AA, the same is true playing overseas. The guys who do it are looking for more some exposure, or hanging on for a last chance. There are exceptions, but in general that's the case.
THIS.

I think thats what people are forgetting. MiLB doesnt have one big league. Each class level has multiple geographic leagues. Now if we had an East Coast Hockey League that would willingly stretch it's boundaries to parts of the Midwest then so be it. Then bring back the old West Coast Hockey League. As for the AHL you have a geographic mess in trying to divide up 15 teams in 2 seperate leagues(one being the American Hockey League and the second being whatever you would like)

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01-26-2012, 04:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Green Men Rule View Post
THIS.

I think thats what people are forgetting. MiLB doesnt have one big league. Each class level has multiple geographic leagues. Now if we had an East Coast Hockey League that would willingly stretch it's boundaries to parts of the Midwest then so be it. Then bring back the old West Coast Hockey League. As for the AHL you have a geographic mess in trying to divide up 15 teams in 2 seperate leagues(one being the American Hockey League and the second being whatever you would like)
That's pretty much what the ECHL already does, though. For all intents and purposes, there's an eastern league and a western league that don't play each other at all except for the championship series. If the ECHL does swallow up the CHL and become evenly matched team-wise with the NHL and AHL, would have to imagine that they'd keep it at the same two distinct conference format they already have or break it down even more to three or four conferences that don't play each other until the final round(s) of the playoffs.

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01-26-2012, 07:25 PM
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More champions of leagues equals more happy fans, better publicity, etc. I'm sure Houston would be happier with some cup, and the extra round of playoffs did nothing for Binghamton. Except make the summer shorter.....

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