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AHL clubs moving closer to their parents

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Old
02-14-2010, 04:48 PM
  #26
Tommy Hawk
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adsfan View Post
I would like to add to what AdmiralPred has said. From Milwaukee to Nashville is a 90 minute flight. You can fly Midwest Airlines, which has a hub in Milwaukee. Other airlines may fly that route. If not, it is 90 minutes via car to O'Hare, where you can get a direct flight to Nashville or Germany, if you need one. The Admirals and Preds can send players back and forth fairly easily. The Brewers AAA farm team is in Nashville, although baseball players don't get moved around as much.

cjerina: you are correct about flights as far as Milwaukee is concerned. I don't know of many that leave after 9 PM. Dallas/Ft. Worth has a few that leave late at night. I had a midnight flight to Ft. Lauderdale once. Landing at 2 AM wasn't fun.

I believe that proximity to affiliates is important. A lot of hockey players get hurt during a season. Your can also send your NHL assistant coach or goaltending coach to watch or work with the farm players on nights off for the NHL team. You really can't do that coming from San Jose to the east coast.

Norfolk was an outpost city in the AHL. Now Charlotte will take its place. Maybe the AHL will find another city in the region to support a team in the next year or two. Then both teams will have less travel. The AHL keeps such discussions quiet.

There are very few airports that have flights intentionally leaving after 10 PM these days. Also, Southwest has started serving Milwaukee.

What do you mean Charlotte is going to take Norfolk's place? If you look at outliers, you have Abbotsford and before that you had the St. John's and Saint John teams.

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02-14-2010, 11:47 PM
  #27
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"What do you mean Charlotte is going to take Norfolk's place?"

Charlotte is 250 miles south of Norfolk, so it is the southeastern outpost now.

"If you look at outliers, you have Abbotsford and before that you had the St. John's and Saint John teams."

I agree that Abbotsford, being 1500 miles west of Winnipeg, is now the northwestern outpost. Wolvesfan, you are making my point about outposts being doomed if they stay that way for a few years. Portland may relocate, St John's and Saint John are both gone from the AHL. The Moose survive on big attendance and the league scheduling 2 games per weekend for their visitors.

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03-02-2010, 07:49 PM
  #28
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I just don't get this thread. Financial matters is a problem in any
league. But, try to think of what it will do in the future. I mean,
as I read the thread. AHL doesn't have enough money to provide players in their travels right? They do it for promotion purposes
to increase peoples interest in this sport. This is my opinion on this thread.

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Old
03-03-2010, 09:35 AM
  #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrSports View Post
I just don't get this thread. Financial matters is a problem in any
league. But, try to think of what it will do in the future. I mean,
as I read the thread. AHL doesn't have enough money to provide players in their travels right? They do it for promotion purposes
to increase peoples interest in this sport. This is my opinion on this thread.
Who has said that the AHL doesn't have enough money to provide players in their travels?

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03-03-2010, 01:42 PM
  #30
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PHPA/AHL CBA provides guidnace on a club's travel expense responsibilities.

AHL players on NHL contracts would abide by the terms of the NHL/NHLPA CBA I would presume.

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Old
03-18-2010, 09:21 AM
  #31
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Well the Pirates arent moving to Albany.


Maine Hockey Journal
Updated 3/17 Pirates, Civic Center agree to new two-year lease

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Old
03-27-2010, 04:23 PM
  #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adsfan View Post
I agree that Abbotsford, being 1500 miles west of Winnipeg, is now the northwestern outpost. Wolvesfan, you are making my point about outposts being doomed if they stay that way for a few years. Portland may relocate, St John's and Saint John are both gone from the AHL. The Moose survive on big attendance and the league scheduling 2 games per weekend for their visitors.
Abbotsford relies on the 2 game homestand for their visitors as well. They're in big trouble already though, as the city of Abbotsford is using tax dollars to break them even.

Perhaps being the Flames affliate in Canuck country wasn't the smartest of moves. Their only sellouts are when Manitoba comes to town.

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Old
03-27-2010, 05:42 PM
  #33
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Originally Posted by RWC View Post
Abbotsford relies on the 2 game homestand for their visitors as well. They're in big trouble already though, as the city of Abbotsford is using tax dollars to break them even.

Perhaps being the Flames affliate in Canuck country wasn't the smartest of moves. Their only sellouts are when Manitoba comes to town.
Calgary likes to keep their team on the move. Give it a couple years, and they will move it somewhere else.

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03-29-2010, 11:31 AM
  #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adsfan View Post
I agree that Abbotsford, being 1500 miles west of Winnipeg, is now the northwestern outpost. Wolvesfan, you are making my point about outposts being doomed if they stay that way for a few years. Portland may relocate, St John's and Saint John are both gone from the AHL. The Moose survive on big attendance and the league scheduling 2 games per weekend for their visitors.
Curious - aside from the fact that they are indeed sticking around, do you consider Portland to be an outpost city? With Manchester, Worcester, Springfield, Providence, Hartford and Lowell (if they stay) all under 3.5 hours away, I can't see how it'd qualify.

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Old
03-29-2010, 02:20 PM
  #35
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Originally Posted by Denzil View Post
Why is this becoming the norm these days? I can understand the convenience of having your call-ups closer to home, but barring a huge increase in attendance isn't it a big time money loser? It has to cost a lot of money to run a team from say, Charlotte to games in Glens Falls, Portland, Manchester and so on.
A bit more insight on the topic:

CBJ article

- Joint advertising campaign between the Hurricanes and Checkers
- Rebranding means a spike in merch sales this year
- Hurricanes absorb players' and coaches' salaries and medical costs
- Ticket sales should go up, as prices are not rising to match the quality of the new product
- Tickets and merch sales will be at least slightly bumped by traveling Canes fans

It sounds like the arena lease is the only thing stopping the Checkers from making a killing off this situation.

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Old
03-29-2010, 03:12 PM
  #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tarheelhockey View Post
A bit more insight on the topic:

CBJ article

- Joint advertising campaign between the Hurricanes and Checkers
- Rebranding means a spike in merch sales this year
- Hurricanes absorb players' and coaches' salaries and medical costs
- Ticket sales should go up, as prices are not rising to match the quality of the new product
- Tickets and merch sales will be at least slightly bumped by traveling Canes fans

It sounds like the arena lease is the only thing stopping the Checkers from making a killing off this situation.
Sounds good in theory.

While the Hurricanes are absorbing the players/coaching staff salaries, what about the cost of purchasing an AHL franchise and the annual AHL affiliation fee?

I'm also not sure why it is a given that ticket sales will go up. If the Canes put a losing AHL team on the ice, then is that a better product than a winning ECHL team?

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03-29-2010, 03:22 PM
  #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pelts35.com View Post
While the Hurricanes are absorbing the players/coaching staff salaries, what about the cost of purchasing an AHL franchise and the annual AHL affiliation fee?
The purchase fee is a unique issue to the Checkers' situation, and doesn't really apply to the universal question of why a team would want to be located close to its parent club.

As for the Checkers specifically, I wouldn't think they'd have made such a dramatic move if they didn't think it would be profitable.

Quote:
I'm also not sure why it is a given that ticket sales will go up. If the Canes put a losing AHL team on the ice, then is that a better product than a winning ECHL team?
It's not an absolute given, but it follows logically that if you are giving the fans a better product without raising ticket prices, they will buy more tickets. Especially if they are really stretching for corporations to buy season tickets (Charlotte is a business town).

They are no more likely to be a losing team in the AHL than they were in the ECHL (given that it's a 50/50 proposition in every league) so that seems like a universal risk for everyone.

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03-29-2010, 03:41 PM
  #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tarheelhockey View Post
The purchase fee is a unique issue to the Checkers' situation, and doesn't really apply to the universal question of why a team would want to be located close to its parent club.

As for the Checkers specifically, I wouldn't think they'd have made such a dramatic move if they didn't think it would be profitable.
You are probably correct. I'm just saying in exchange for players/coaching staff salaries you are now paying an affiliation fee. It's certainly possible that the affiliation fee is more than what they are paying in ECHL salaries.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tarheelhockey
It's not an absolute given, but it follows logically that if you are giving the fans a better product without raising ticket prices, they will buy more tickets. Especially if they are really stretching for corporations to buy season tickets (Charlotte is a business town).
And some people don't like change and won't support an AHL product just because it's different. Also, some will not see the AHL product as being better. While the talent level is better I actually enjoy watching the ECHL product more than I do the AHL product. ECHL teams are put together to win, AHL teams are put together to develop players.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tarheelhockey
They are no more likely to be a losing team in the AHL than they were in the ECHL (given that it's a 50/50 proposition in every league) so that seems like a universal risk for everyone.
I don't agree with your last statement at all. There is less turnover in the ECHL than there is in the AHL so you can build a team over a course of seasons. The same cannot be said in the AHL when your roster from year to year can be drastically different. And then of course you have the player development is more important than winning mentality at the AHL level as well.

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03-29-2010, 03:53 PM
  #39
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Originally Posted by pelts35.com View Post
There is less turnover in the ECHL than there is in the AHL so you can build a team over a course of seasons. The same cannot be said in the AHL when your roster from year to year can be drastically different. And then of course you have the player development is more important than winning mentality at the AHL level as well.
Do not concur with the bolded statement above (emphasis mine). The ECHL has a league rule that only allows FOUR skaters (goalies are exempt, IIRC) who are defined as "veterans" -- and IIRC, that level is now at about 250 pro games. That means that if someone has played four seasons at any level, they're a veteran, and have to be exceptional for an ECHL team to feel justified in using one of their veteran slots to sign them. If you look at ECHL rosters, I'm pretty confident that you'll see just as much turnover as you would in the AHL (as long as you follow affiliations, not literally the same franchise).

The ECHL has been emphasizing the "developmental" nature of the league for may years -- it was VERY obvious the difference in philosophy when the ECHL absorbed the former WCHL teams. Heck, even the "All-Star" game in the ECHL isn't a true all-star game, but is instead a "all-prospects" game.

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03-29-2010, 04:18 PM
  #40
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Originally Posted by HansH View Post
Do not concur with the bolded statement above (emphasis mine). The ECHL has a league rule that only allows FOUR skaters (goalies are exempt, IIRC) who are defined as "veterans" -- and IIRC, that level is now at about 250 pro games. That means that if someone has played four seasons at any level, they're a veteran, and have to be exceptional for an ECHL team to feel justified in using one of their veteran slots to sign them. If you look at ECHL rosters, I'm pretty confident that you'll see just as much turnover as you would in the AHL (as long as you follow affiliations, not literally the same franchise).

The ECHL has been emphasizing the "developmental" nature of the league for may years -- it was VERY obvious the difference in philosophy when the ECHL absorbed the former WCHL teams. Heck, even the "All-Star" game in the ECHL isn't a true all-star game, but is instead a "all-prospects" game.
You may be right. I looked at some of the more successful ECHL teams' rosters over the past few seasons and I see a lot of the same names. I suppose, though, you can say the same for some of the more successful AHL teams too.

As for ECHL and development, while there may be some emphasis, there's not nearly as much as there is in the AHL. I said it before and I'll say it again, the ECHL on-ice product is better than the AHL's at this point IMO.

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03-29-2010, 04:42 PM
  #41
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Originally Posted by pelts35.com View Post
You are probably correct. I'm just saying in exchange for players/coaching staff salaries you are now paying an affiliation fee. It's certainly possible that the affiliation fee is more than what they are paying in ECHL salaries.
Possibly so. If anyone knows the amount of the fee, we can compare it to the ECHL salary cap and perhaps take an educated guess at their medical costs.

Quote:
And some people don't like change and won't support an AHL product just because it's different.
This is true. The last time Charlotte was being considered for an AHL team (mid/late 1990s), there was a bit of pushback from the STH base. Part of that was a fondness for the ECHL and the rivalries that existed there. Of course most of those are gone now anyway.

It's probable that there will be some grumbling, but the franchise has been around for 17 years. Those who are loyal and satisfied with the current product aren't likely to jump ship if the ticket prices aren't rising.

Quote:
I don't agree with your last statement at all. There is less turnover in the ECHL than there is in the AHL so you can build a team over a course of seasons. The same cannot be said in the AHL when your roster from year to year can be drastically different.
That's an interesting perspective, but I'm not sure it applies to the reality of life in the ECHL. Only five players on the Checkers' roster played more than a half-season with the team last year. Not one of them was with the team before that. It actually compares badly with Albany, who carried over roughly a dozen players from last year to this and have had several players spend 3 or 4 years on the team so far.

In fact, come to think of it, I'd make the opposite argument -- the ECHL is a journeyman's league whereas the AHL involves longer-term contracts that virtually guarantee a bit of consistency from year to year. Right now, we can already predict about 10 players on any given AHL roster for '10-'11.


Quote:
And then of course you have the player development is more important than winning mentality at the AHL level as well.
I think we have already had this discussion elsewhere, but here it is again for those who haven't seen it:

Historically, almost exactly 50% of the AHL has won more games than it lost in any given season. The other 50% has lost more games than it won.

As of right now, exactly 50% of the ECHL is above that mark and 50% is below.

The likelihood that the Checkers will be a winning team is exactly the same in the AHL as it was in the ECHL. They will operate under the same roster conditions as every other team in the league. Notwithstanding Albany's poor record in recent years, there's no basis for believing that the Checkers will be at a disadvantage compared to their peers -- they will still have a 50/50 shot at a winning record in any given season, slightly more if team management proves capable.

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03-29-2010, 05:58 PM
  #42
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Poor record in recent years? Haven't we made the playoffs three out of four years as the Hurricanes' affiliate? Very good team this year too.

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03-29-2010, 06:59 PM
  #43
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Originally Posted by tarheelhockey View Post
Possibly so. If anyone knows the amount of the fee, we can compare it to the ECHL salary cap and perhaps take an educated guess at their medical costs.
The figures that I've seen bandied about when it comes to affiliation fees seem to be on the order of a million dollars a year. Obviously some will be more, and some will be less, but IMO, it'll do for a "back of the envelope" calculation.

In a similar vein, the ECHL's salary cap is about $10k/week. The ECHL season was 25 weeks this year -- that works out to about a quarter-million in salary.

So, we're looking at a fourfold increase in player costs from the ECHL to the AHL -- again, approximately, and "back-of-the-envelope".

Obviously the Checkers' owners believe that there are either other cost savings (perhaps in travel, etc) or increased revenue abilities, or both, or they wouldn't be making this move. It's not the same as Peoria's move to the AHL from the ECHL -- in that situation, Peoria was a definite island in the ECHL, and had definitely closer rivals in the AHL. In this case, Charlotte is pretty much equally isolated in the AHL and the ECHL.

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03-29-2010, 08:41 PM
  #44
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that is right on. charlotte fans might be very disappointed in the ahl product. ive seen better games this year in elmira to be honest.
the ahl is to much of to many guys that dont want to be here or just way to raw players. its not like the old days......
but again maybe im not the person to ask about the ahl quality as my home team hasnt made the playoffs in 5 years. maybe fans in hershey,hamilton,chicago etc might have a different opinion

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03-29-2010, 08:46 PM
  #45
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If I recall Rockford was paying $850,000 to the Blackhawks at the start of their affiliation - so, $1 million is a solid figure.

Also, the Hurricanes already pay the AHL salaries and medical expenses for the players on a two-way NHL contract. Depending on the agreement with Albany, Carolina may have been supplying the coaches and other hockey staff as well.

Certainly branding and cross promotion will benifit from the proximity. It should be easy to earn fans of both teams given the developmental relationship. As far as profitability, well... call me the skeptic. But hey, $1 in net income each year is still technically profitable!

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03-30-2010, 09:05 AM
  #46
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Originally Posted by Denzil View Post
Poor record in recent years? Haven't we made the playoffs three out of four years as the Hurricanes' affiliate? Very good team this year too.
Is making the playoffs a measure of success given that over half the division makes the playoffs? I'll look at overall win/loss records and playoff success.

One season they finished last with losing record, one season they finished 4th 1 game over .500, another they finished in 3rd with a .581 winning %age and this season they will finish 2nd with a solid record.

Both times they made the playoffs they lost in the first round and their combined record is 154-133-13-16.

Poor? No. Very good? No. Respectable? Yes.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out. While I wouldn't be surprised if they are successful, I also wouldn't be surprised if they are a failure either.

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03-30-2010, 10:31 AM
  #47
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It seemed that the ECHL Checkers had more corporate support than any of the 6 AHL teams I've visited in the past couple of years. I don't know how many dollars the Checkers recieved for that support though.

I've been to two ECHL games this year in Charlotte, and most of the Phantoms and RAts home games.... I can think of four AHL games that were more entertaining than the ECHL ones.

There was an interview between the periods of the Phantoms game a couple of weeks ago, he said that the Phantoms have to charge $.25 extra per ticket next year to cover the cost of travel to Charlotte instead of Albany.

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03-30-2010, 12:17 PM
  #48
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There was an interview between the periods of the Phantoms game a couple of weeks ago, he said that the Phantoms have to charge $.25 extra per ticket next year to cover the cost of travel to Charlotte instead of Albany.
I call BS.

Owners, if they are smart, set ticket prices to maximize their incoming revenue -- not "just to cover costs". They may be able to SELL the ticket increase as "covering travel to Charlotte", but the simple laws of supply and demand dictate that ticket prices have far less to do with expenses than people keep claiming they do.

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03-30-2010, 02:54 PM
  #49
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Poor record in recent years? Haven't we made the playoffs three out of four years as the Hurricanes' affiliate? Very good team this year too.
Clumsy choice of words on my part. That wasn't intended as a slap at the Rats; I was just trying to make the point that the chances of on-ice success are going to lie mostly with the Hurricanes management and with the staff that relocates from Albany.

I was looking at Albany's record over the past 10 seasons (only one year over .500) without considering that the affiliation didn't begin until more recently. It's not Albany's fault that Carolina had a relatively strong, veteran-laden team at that time and was not sending many blue-chip prospects through the system.

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03-30-2010, 02:55 PM
  #50
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I call BS.
Ditto that. Sounds like a CYA comment, scapegoating another franchise for an unpopular price increase.

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