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"AA" superleague

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Old
08-06-2010, 05:36 PM
  #1
TopCityAirCapHockey
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"AA" superleague

I was on the Icethetics Blog the other day and he had posted the ECHL and CHL maps and it said that "The CHL perfectly fills in the ECHL's geographical gaps across the United States." So, I thought to myself "Since it fits in so perfectly, what would happen if the ECHL and CHL were to merge?" The following is my proposal of a merger between the ECHL and CHL, creating a 'AA' Superleague:
American Continental Hockey League

Western Conference
Brabham
Alaska Aces - Anchorage, Alaska
Idaho Steelheads - Boise, Idaho
Utah Grizzlies - Salt Lake City, Utah
Victoria Salmon Kings - Victoria, British Columbia
Colorado Eagles - Loveland, Colorado
Rapid City Rush - Rapid City, South Dakota

Taylor

Bakersfield Condors - Bakersfield, California
Las Vegas Wranglers - Las Vegas, Nevada
Ontario Reign - Ontario, California
Stockton Thunder - Stockton, California
Arizona Sundogs - Prescott Valley, Arizona
Odessa Jackalopes - Odessa, Texas

Miron
Allen Americans - Allen, Texas
Laredo Bucks - Laredo, Texas
Missouri Mavericks - Independence, Missouri
Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees - Hidalgo, Texas
Texas Brahmas - Fort Worth, Texas
Tulsa Oilers - Tulsa, Oklahoma
Wichita Thunder - Wichita, Kansas


Eastern Conference

Gingher
Cincinnati Cyclones - Cincinnati, Ohio
Elmira Jackals - Elmira, New York
Reading Royals - Reading, Pennsylvania
Toledo Walleye - Toledo, Ohio
Trenton Devils - Trenton, New Jersey
Wheeling Nailers - Wheeling, West Virginia

Turner
Kalamazoo Wings - Kalamazoo, Michigan
Bloomington PrairieThunder - Bloomington, Illinois
Dayton Gems - Dayton, Ohio
Evansville IceMen - Evansville, Indiana
Fort Wayne Komets - Fort Wayne, Indiana
Quad City Mallards - Moline, Illinois

Kelly
Florida Everblades - Fort Myers, Florida
Greenville Road Warriors - Greenville, South Carolina
Gwinnett Gladiators - Atlanta, Georgia
South Carolina Stingrays - North Charleston, South Carolina
Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs - Bossier City, Louisiana
Mississippi RiverKings - Memphis, Tennessee



I updated this with the proposed division names, they all allude to the history of the leagues that would create the superleague.


What does everyone think? I know it is crazy and there is planned future expansion but I just used the current teams.


Last edited by TopCityAirCapHockey: 08-09-2010 at 01:27 AM. Reason: Removed Charlotte, Changed division names
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Old
08-06-2010, 05:48 PM
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LadyStanley
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Charlotte is now in AHL.


It would depend on ECHL & CHL BOGs (and IHL?). ECHL nominally has larger budget than CHL.

PHPA represents players in both leagues. So there might need to be a new CBA of the "merged" leagues.

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08-06-2010, 06:05 PM
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TopCityAirCapHockey
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Thank you on Charlotte, I don't know how I missed that on the list. I knew it, it just didn't process.

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08-07-2010, 08:13 AM
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worstfaceoffmanever
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Well, that's very... erm, ambitious.

If we're assuming that the CHL is absorbed by the ECHL, then that means that Global Entertainment Corp. has folded the CHL, so it would only be a handful of healthy clubs like Colorado and Fort Wayne that would make the move to the ECHL. With the way the league is designed now, Plains States clubs like Wichita (which would presumably be among those still afloat) would have very difficult travel schedules compared to the rest of the league, depending on what teams survived. You also run the risk of increasing travel costs for the existing ECHL teams, which is a big risk to take considering how fragile the league was not too long ago.

The new league that would be formed from that type of scenario also would not exceed the number of NHL teams in existence at the time, so you're looking at an absolute maximum of 32 teams, probably 30 with expansion franchises for future clubs, which means you're looking at nine teams from the CHL at absolute maximum.

In truth, I think it's in the best interests of all parties if the two remain separate, and only compete in the Midwest. The CHL's central ownership and low-cost model has worked really well for them so far; however, if they try to start competing directly with the ECHL, which has NHL backing, we could see a situation similar to the AHL/IHL ordeal from the late 90s, when teams pulled out any support of the IHL and the league collapsed. Admittedly, that was out of fear that the IHL was trying to compete with the NHL, but I doubt the NHL wants anything disrupting its food chain, even that far down.

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08-07-2010, 03:01 PM
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TopCityAirCapHockey
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These are all very good points. As I stated in my initial post, I know that this is crazy but I did it more as a "what if?" type situation. I really don't see the CHL folding but more of a true merger where both leagues involved would retain a shared interest in the new superleague.

I really don't see travel costs increasing too much with the way I organized divisions. The only super bad trips would be between the North Division and the two teams that are the farthest south in the Western conference,also the Atlantic and the far western South Division teams, these trips would be limited by having a schedule which emphasizes home division play.

As to the point of not having more teams than there are NHL franchises, that makes perfect sense. The reason that I included all teams was for simplicity. As to only nine teams from the CHL, I say that if we are getting rid of anybody, we should do it based on overall strength of the individual teams in both leagues.
In their current situations, it probably does make sense for the leagues to stay separate, but I really think that sometime in the future the NHL needs to create a true farm system.

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08-07-2010, 03:22 PM
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Prussian_Blue
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TopCityAirCapHockey View Post
In their current situations, it probably does make sense for the leagues to stay separate, but I really think that sometime in the future the NHL needs to create a true farm system.
Agreed.

NHL - majors
AHL - AAA
ECHL/CHL - AA

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08-08-2010, 01:43 AM
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oops double post

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08-08-2010, 03:10 PM
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I love your ambition, thanks for opening up this thread. As a Regin STH and former STH of the now defunct OKC Blazers, i would love to see old rivals like Wichita and Tulsa out here in SoCal.

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08-16-2010, 06:20 PM
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worstfaceoffmanever
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prussian_Blue View Post
Agreed.

NHL - majors
AHL - AAA
ECHL/CHL - AA
See, that's a really awesome idea on paper, but a lot would have to change to make it work.

For one thing, the NHL teams would have to have more direct control over their developmental entities, which likely means a lot of geographic shuffling in the AHL. San Jose and LA, for example, would likely move their teams out to Sacramento and San Diego (or somewhere on the West Coast). This is actually a good thing, because it a.) allows West Coast teams more immediate access to their farm players, and b.) it helps reduce travel costs for teams already out west, namely Abbotsford. The draft would likely have to be expanded back to eight or nine rounds so that these affiliations are actually utilized, instead of occasionally sending one or two grinder prospects down to the ECHL, or maybe a goalie who needs some playing time to stay sharp for backup duty in the AHL. Double-A would have to be a viable option for player development instead of being by-and-large a waste basket for the fat off of AHL teams.

Then there's the matter of the CHL. The NHL's CBA only recognizes the AHL and ECHL as developmental leagues, and players on NHL contracts can only go to those leagues. I don't know how open the NHLPA would be to adding the CHL to that classification. If they were absorbed into the ECHL, they could probably get around that problem.

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08-17-2010, 09:03 AM
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Prussian_Blue
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Quote:
Originally Posted by worstfaceoffmanever View Post
See, that's a really awesome idea on paper, but a lot would have to change to make it work.

For one thing, the NHL teams would have to have more direct control over their developmental entities, which likely means a lot of geographic shuffling in the AHL. San Jose and LA, for example, would likely move their teams out to Sacramento and San Diego (or somewhere on the West Coast). This is actually a good thing, because it a.) allows West Coast teams more immediate access to their farm players, and b.) it helps reduce travel costs for teams already out west, namely Abbotsford. The draft would likely have to be expanded back to eight or nine rounds so that these affiliations are actually utilized, instead of occasionally sending one or two grinder prospects down to the ECHL, or maybe a goalie who needs some playing time to stay sharp for backup duty in the AHL. Double-A would have to be a viable option for player development instead of being by-and-large a waste basket for the fat off of AHL teams.

Then there's the matter of the CHL. The NHL's CBA only recognizes the AHL and ECHL as developmental leagues, and players on NHL contracts can only go to those leagues. I don't know how open the NHLPA would be to adding the CHL to that classification. If they were absorbed into the ECHL, they could probably get around that problem.
You make lots of good points, and I have several areas of discussion I'd like to engage in re: most of them... duty calls at work right now, however, so I'll have to postpone it.

Count on carrying on this discussion for a bit longer in the near future, however...

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