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Victoria, BC to join ECHL for 2004-2005

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09-23-2003, 01:26 PM
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Quellet The Dogs Out
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Victoria, BC to join ECHL for 2004-2005



Monday Sep 22, 2003

PRINCETON, N.J. – The ECHL announced on Monday that it will welcome Victoria, British Columbia as its newest member, and the first ECHL member outside of the United States.

Victoria will begin playing in the ECHL in 2004-05 at the Victoria Arena, a $30 million state-of-the-art multipurpose facility with a seating capacity of 7,000, scheduled to open in the Fall of 2004.

The Victoria membership is a relocation of the Baton Rouge membership whose sale and request for voluntary suspension for 2003-04 were approved by the ECHL Board of Governors. The membership is owned by RG Properties and represented by Graham Lee, who is President of RG Properties.

“The ECHL is excited to welcome Victoria into the league,” said ECHL Commissioner Brian McKenna. “We are confident that the combination of strong ownership, a good building and the support of hockey fans in the Victoria market will prove to be an enormous success in the ECHL. Victoria fits nicely into the Western Conference and we expect that it will quickly develop rivalries within the Pacific Division.”

Victoria Arena will be managed by RG Arenas, a division of RG Properties which is headquartered in Vancouver, British Columbia. In addition to the Victoria Arena, RG Arenas manages and/or owns facilities in Kelowna, Greater Vancouver, and Parksville.

The ECHL welcomes nine new markets for 2003-04, including six from the former West Coast Hockey League, with the addition of the Alaska Aces, the Bakersfield Condors, the Fresno Falcons, the Gwinnett (Georgia) Gladiators, the Idaho (Boise) Steelheads, the Las Vegas Wranglers, the Long Beach Ice Dogs, the San Diego Gulls, and the Texas (Beaumont) Wildcatters.

The ECHL surpassed a milestone in 2002-03 as the 200th former ECHL player advanced to the National Hockey League. Twenty former ECHL players made their first-ever NHL appearances in 2002-03 and 90 former ECHL alums played in the NHL last season. In addition to 215 former players, the ECHL has had on-ice officials, front-office personnel and coaches advance to the NHL. Washington Capitals Coach Bruce Cassidy and veteran linesman Tim Nowak, who worked the 2003 Stanley Cup Finals, both began their careers in the ECHL.

Taken from www.echl.com

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09-23-2003, 08:03 PM
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People in Victoria aren't too thrilled. It's not that they're pissed off, it's just that they voted to build the new arena based on promises of a new WHL franchise.

I don't think Victoria will support this team too well.

BTW, when will the ECHL change its name with the merger with the WCHL?

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09-23-2003, 11:58 PM
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I posted this on the Nucks board and I'll post it here as well:

All I have to say about this is that I'm pissed off. VERY pissed off.

And local Times Colonist writer here, Cleve Dheensaw actually defended the echl.

I was stunned. He was actually saying the echl was better than the whl. I almost barfed all over the paper. He was actually pissing on the W and saying having the echl here would be way better.

Brutal.

I'll have to see what the prices will be, but I don't think I'll be going to many games. The level of hockey is just too bad. In the chl, you see the stars of tomorrow. In the echl you see.....the rejects of yesterday.

Very unfortunate. I think Victoria would support a whl team very well. I know for sure that I'd go to A LOT of games, which is more than I can say for the echl.

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09-24-2003, 12:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Van
BTW, when will the ECHL change its name with the merger with the WCHL?
What I heard is that they are keeping the name "ECHL" but it will no longer stand for anything. No more East Coast Hockey League, it will simply be the ECHL.

Seems dumb if you ask me, but I guess keeping a recognizable name is a big factor in the decision.

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09-24-2003, 06:39 AM
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Right, they've already "changed" the name, to just be ECHL, no longer the East Coast Hockey League. Although it seems dumb at first glance, I can see why they did it, the league had a widely recognized name and good reputation. Why throw that away.

It's untrue that the ECHL is rejects, as the average age is around 23 or 24. It's guys out of college and juniors who still hope to make it. That will likley become more true this year as they tinker with the veteran rules. The quality of play is better than juniors, in my opinion. Not by leaps and bounds, but somewhat.

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09-24-2003, 02:47 PM
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Originally Posted by HollyG
Right, they've already "changed" the name, to just be ECHL, no longer the East Coast Hockey League. Although it seems dumb at first glance, I can see why they did it, the league had a widely recognized name and good reputation. Why throw that away.

It's untrue that the ECHL is rejects, as the average age is around 23 or 24. It's guys out of college and juniors who still hope to make it. That will likley become more true this year as they tinker with the veteran rules. The quality of play is better than juniors, in my opinion. Not by leaps and bounds, but somewhat.
Ok, perhaps the quaolity is better, considering they are men, not boys.

But still, do I want to see guys who most likely will never make it, and if they do, it will be as fourth liners, or do I want to see future nhl superstars?

I think the answer is easy.

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09-24-2003, 05:45 PM
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I dont see how players in the WHL will be future NHL Superstars?? Do you want to elaborate??

The WHL is not a professional league and it definitely won't be close to the quality of play that the other major juniors leagues offer. I'd personally rather see the ECHL - most guys are still young and considered prospects, and you wouldn't have to drive very far to see other WHL or junior hockey.

ECHL - just because the guys aren't popular and might now always go to the top doesn't mean its not good hockey...

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09-24-2003, 06:08 PM
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i believe that is the unofficial motto of the CHL come see the stars of tomorrow today,personally i would rather watch a WHL or anytype of Junior hockey over the ECHL, im not saying its bad hockey but people in Canada generally love Junior Hockey and the ECHL may not see that being in Canada is a good thing because I dont think they can compete with the CHL.

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09-24-2003, 06:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quellet The Dogs Out
The WHL is a professional league
No it's not. I don't know what WHL you watch, but the Western Hockey League is part of the Canadian Hockey League, which is Major Junior Hockey.

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09-24-2003, 06:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Van
No it's not. I don't know what WHL you watch, but the Western Hockey League is part of the Canadian Hockey League, which is Major Junior Hockey.
Sorry - I meant to say that the WHL is "not" a professional league. You get the picture though...

I edited it BTW

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09-24-2003, 08:58 PM
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I'll respond to this edit:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Quellet The Dogs Out
The WHL is not a professional league and it definitely won't be close to the quality of play that the other major juniors leagues offer. I
The WHL not close to being as good as the OHL and QMJHL??? Are you kidding me?

Take a look at these names who have graduated from WHL teams...I included some of the better known current prospects too...

Brandon Wheat Kings
Brad McCrimmon
Brian Propp
Ron Hextall
Trevor Kidd
Peter Schaefer
Mike Leclerc
Wade Redden
Jordin Tootoo
Eric Fehr
Ryan Stone

Moose Jaw Warriors
Mike Keane
Kelly Buchberger
Lyle Odelein
Theoren Fleury
Ryan Smyth
Curtis Brown
Brian Sutherby
Nathan Paetsch

Saskatoon Blades
Wade Belak
Tim Cheveldae
Bernie Federko
Marc Habscheid
Joe Kocur
Curtis Leschyshyn
Richard Matvichuk
Cory Sarich
Bobby Schmautz
Brian Skrudland
Brent Sopel
Shaun Van Allen

Calgary Hitmen (in existance since 95-96)
Kris Beech
Pavel Brendl
Stephen Peat
Matt Pettinger
Frederik Sjostrom
Brad Stuart

Medicine Hat Tigers
Bob Gasoff
Ken Gasoff
Lanny MacDonald
Pete Peters
Kelly Hrudey
Murray Craven
Rob DiMaio
Trevor Linden
Chris Osgood
Mike Rathje
Rob Niedermayer
Joffrey Lupul
Jay Bouwmeester

Red Deer Rebels
Matt Ellison
Boyd Gordon
Dion Phaneuf
Kyle Wanvig
Jeff Woywitka

Swift Current Broncos
Josh Green
Milan Hnilicka
Dean McAmmond
Michal Rozsival
Joe Sakic
Geoff Sanderson
Dave Schultz
Dave (Tiger) Williams

Kamloops Blazers
Rob Brown
Mark Recchi
Darryl Sydor
Scott Niedermayer
Darcy Tucker
Shane Doan
Jarome Iginla
Robyn Regehr
Kyle Calder
Scottie Upshall

Prince George Cougars
Grant Fuhr (Victoria Cougars)
Russ Courtnall (Victoria Cougars)
Geoff Courtnall (Victoria Cougars)
Blair Betts
Tyler Bouck
Eric Brewer
Zdeno Chara
Dan Hamhuis
Trent Hunter
Joel Kwiatkowski
Chris Mason
Ronald Petrovicky
Billy Thompson

Seattle Thunderbirds
Ken Daneyko
Turner Stevenson
Petr Nedved
Patrick Marleau
Oleg Saprykin
Brooks Laich

Tri City Americans
Olaf Kolzig
Scott Gomez
Brian Boucher
Daymond Langkow
Stu Barnes


I was unable to find alumni lists from the follwing teams (some players I know of in brackets):
Prince Albert Raiders (Scott Hartnell)
Regina Pats (Jeff Friesen, Barret Jackman)
Lethbridge Hurricanes (Chris Phillips)
Kelowna/Tacoma Rockets (Kyle McLaren, Scott Hannan)
Kootenay Ice (Dan Blackburn, Steve McCarthy, Mike Comrie)
Portland Winterhawks (Marian Hossa, Brendan Morrow, Mark Messier, Adam Deadmarsh, Andrew Ference)
Spokane Chiefs (Valeri Bure, Bryan McCabe)

I did not include the Vancouver Giants, who are in their 3rd year of existance, and the Everett Silvertips who are only 2 games into their existance.


Now tell me...

How can you criticize the WHL for its quality of major junior hockey in comparison to the other 2 leagues...

And honestly, who would you rather watch....the next Joe Sakic, or Steve Dowhy? Seriously...20 year-olds cut from WHL teams go to the ECHL.

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09-24-2003, 09:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quellet The Dogs Out
I dont see how players in the WHL will be future NHL Superstars?? Do you want to elaborate??

The WHL is not a professional league and it definitely won't be close to the quality of play that the other major juniors leagues offer. I'd personally rather see the ECHL - most guys are still young and considered prospects, and you wouldn't have to drive very far to see other WHL or junior hockey.

ECHL - just because the guys aren't popular and might now always go to the top doesn't mean its not good hockey...
the only way i can see this thing is that the echl and the whl aren't comparable.. period.. whl = teenagers while the echl = 20+ in age...

is the quality of hockey better in the echl? for the most part, maybe.. but the players are also what, around 4 or 5 yrs older in most cases...

as for the quality of players in the echl.. i've got two words.. blake robson .. pg folk will understand me..

i won't take anything away from either league, they are not comparable imo

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09-24-2003, 09:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Van
People in Victoria aren't too thrilled. It's not that they're pissed off, it's just that they voted to build the new arena based on promises of a new WHL franchise.
So when did things get changed and why? In other words: What went wrong?

I obviously don't follow these leagues or I'd know b/c I do live in Victoria but I am curious nonetheless.

 
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09-24-2003, 09:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quellet The Dogs Out
I dont see how players in the WHL will be future NHL Superstars?? Do you want to elaborate??

The WHL is not a professional league and it definitely won't be close to the quality of play that the other major juniors leagues offer. I'd personally rather see the ECHL - most guys are still young and considered prospects, and you wouldn't have to drive very far to see other WHL or junior hockey.

ECHL - just because the guys aren't popular and might now always go to the top doesn't mean its not good hockey...
I think you are seriously misinformed.

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09-24-2003, 10:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Jewelly
So when did things get changed and why? In other words: What went wrong?

I obviously don't follow these leagues or I'd know b/c I do live in Victoria but I am curious nonetheless.
I follow this stuff pretty closely, and the reason we aren't getting a whl team is that the league does not want to expand any more. Plus, there is no franchise in a position to relocate like the Victoria Cougars were 10 years ago.

They tried to get a whl team, but it just couldn't happen. There was talk of the Prince Albert Raiders coming here, but nothing came of that. And with the Everett Silvertips(?) coming into the league next year, the league is pretty much full. It would take some heavy duty realignment to fit Victoria in and it just wouldn't work.

So we get stuck with the next best thing, which unfortunately, is the echl.


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09-24-2003, 10:22 PM
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the silvertips began their reign as a franchise this year.. and they are 0-2

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09-25-2003, 07:58 AM
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Originally Posted by evman150
I follow this stuff pretty closely, and the reason we aren't getting a whl team is that the league does not want to expand any more. Plus, there is no franchise in a position to relocate like the Victoria Cougars were 10 years ago.

They tried to get a whl team, but it just couldn't happen. There was talk of the Prince Albert Raiders coming here, but nothing came of that. And with the Everett Silvertips(?) coming into the league next year, the league is pretty much full. It would take some heavy duty realignment to fit Victoria in and it just wouldn't work.

So we get stuck with the next best thing, which unfortunately, is the echl.

Thanks for the explanation. It's too bad it didn't work out but on the bright side, Victoria desperately needed a new arena. The Memorial Arena was just hideous; an embarrassment to the capital city which thrives on tourism.

 
Old
09-25-2003, 01:06 PM
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Originally Posted by evman150
Plus, there is no franchise in a position to relocate like the Victoria Cougars were 10 years ago.
Actually, both Swift Current and Moose Jaw are in danger of being in that position very soon. Both only have approximately 2,000 seat arenas, and the towns are not big enough to support an average Major Junior arena of 4,000-5,000 seats.

It is conceivable that one of these teams move to Victoria and Kootenay moves back to the Central Division....but this is something that the WHL Board of Governors would only approve if they have absolutely no other choice.

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09-25-2003, 03:08 PM
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Originally Posted by andora's box
the silvertips began their reign as a franchise this year.. and they are 0-2
That's what I meant, but I'm just not used to referring to 03-04 as "this" year yet.


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09-26-2003, 01:26 PM
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Well I just thought that Victoria would be happy to see some hockey in the city.

We'll see how things go...

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09-26-2003, 11:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quellet The Dogs Out
Well I just thought that Victoria would be happy to see some hockey in the city.

We'll see how things go...
They have Jr.A hockey (BCHL), and they support it as well as any normal Jr.A city.

My cousin was up from Victoria a few weeks ago (before the Victoria team was for sure), and we chatted about the subject. He says that all the campaigning for the new arena was for a WHL tenant. He thinks that if the ECHL was marketed as the main tenant for the arena, the vote would have been largely in favour of "NO".

The building has 7,300 seats. I think the team will average no more than 3,000-3,500 per game.

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09-27-2003, 08:59 AM
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3,000 to 3,500 isn't horrible - but not very good compared to ECHL standards. Places around here really have a nice average crowd capacity (Trenton and Atlantic City)...

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09-27-2003, 09:35 AM
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I've been following the ECHL the last few years and it's seemed to me that NHL teams are focusing more and more on making it a development league. Teams DO send prospects to ECHL affiliates. Not great prospects, but decent players. And it's a trend that I think is going to continue. You're going to see more of a focus on developing players in the ECHL. It's not great hockey, but it's fun. The Renegades games I've been to have always been exciting, often more interesting than AHL games. It's not that bad a league.


As for the name change, well all the good league names have already been taken. What were they going to call it, the IHL? The best I could think of was the Southern Hockey League but that doesn't even apply well anymore.

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09-27-2003, 01:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Ruckus007
I've been following the ECHL the last few years and it's seemed to me that NHL teams are focusing more and more on making it a development league. Teams DO send prospects to ECHL affiliates. Not great prospects, but decent players. And it's a trend that I think is going to continue.
This is what the ECHL is meant for....project players. These are players who might be "late bloomers".


Quellet...while 3,000-3,500 may not be that bad, Victoria is a city of approximately 300,000 with a lot more population in the surrounding area of the southern tip of Vancouver Island. This team is going to be marketed to other cities like Duncan and Nanaimo, which are an hour or two drive from Victoria. I know people on the island, and they would all rather see the WHL.

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09-27-2003, 08:33 PM
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Van you're really bitter about this whole thing, just accept it for what it is and move on...

Ruckus - yes, the ECHL is a lot of fun - always entertaining and I think its really on the rise. As for the name, its just the "ECHL" it doesn't stand for anything, they just wanted to keep the good reputation.

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