Montreal will have to find another ECHL affiliate for 2004-05.
ECHL Press release
PRINCETON, N.J. – The ECHL announced on Wednesday that the Board of Governors has approved voluntary suspension requests from Cincinnati and Columbus for the 2004-05 playing season. The Board of Governors also approved a Transfer of Home Territory request from DVA Sports to relocate from Columbus to Bradenton/Sarasota, Florida. The team is scheduled to begin play in 2005-06 in a $46 million, 7,400-seat multi-use arena, scheduled to open in September of 2005 in Manatee County.
The ECHL will play with 30 teams in 2004-05, including the remaining 29 teams that played in 2003-04 as well as the Victoria Salmon Kings, who will play in Victoria, British Columbia. The first ECHL team outside of the United States, Victoria will play 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 Board of Governors has approved a 72-game schedule for 2004-05 with the season beginning October 22 and concluding April 9. The ECHL is developing the 2004-05 playing schedule to be released in early May.
Began in 1988 with five teams in three states, the ECHL is the largest league in professional hockey and will have 30 teams in 17 states and one Canadian province playing 1,080 games in 2004-05. There have been 253 ECHL players that have advanced to the NHL, including a record 36 players in 2003-04 that appeared in the NHL after playing in the ECHL. The ECHL has affiliations with 21 of the 30 teams in the NHL in 2003-04 and there has been an ECHL player on each of the 30 NHL teams in 2003-04. There are nine ECHL coaches in the NHL, including Carolina Hurricanes Head Coach Peter Laviolette and Florida Panthers Head Coach John Torchetti, and there are 13 referees and three linesmen with ECHL experience on the 2003-04 NHL officiating staff. There are former ECHL coaches behind the bench on 14 of the 28 AHL teams, and the ECHL has affiliation agreements with 21 of the 28 teams in the AHL in 2003-04.
Guess that rumor was true. Looks like the Habs will need to find a team for next year to put a few guys in the E. I've heard Dover Delaware and Vermont may be getting new teams, and there's another new ECHL team that has no affilation as of yet but I forget what city that is.
There are plenty of teams with no affiliations, it shouldn't be hard to find a partner if they still want one. Greenville would be a good one. Atlanta was affiliated with them and was happy with the situation, but decided to go with Gwinnett now because it's in the same metro area. The only new team for 2004-05 is the Victoria Salmon Kings. I've heard they might go with Vancouver, we'll see.