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New Pro league with a twist (AHA)

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12-30-2010, 07:50 AM
  #1
billycanuck
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New Pro league with a twist (AHA)

First I noticed this independent pro team pop up; New Jersey Spartans, which I thought was a little strange. Then I saw that they joined the AHA, and I thought to myself 'why would a pro team join a college hockey conference?'.

Well turns out that this AHA is a DIFFERENT Atlantic Hockey Association and has nothing to do with this AHA, or this AHA.

Here is the write up on this new semi-pro/pro/senior AAA league:
The Atlantic Hockey Association, also known as the AHA, is a semi-professional hockey association based out of North America.

With players ranging in experience from high level Canadian Juniors to former NHLers, the AHA provides fast paced exciting hockey sure to please all hockey fans.

The AHA maintains most of the rules used in the NHL, however there are some differences including a shortend season.

Unlike most professional hockey leagues, the AHA independent in nature, allowing AHA teams to play Senior AAA, Minor Pro, and Pro Touring teams from a variety of leagues spread out through the United States and Canada. Another difference is that there is AHA players are not permitted to receive a set amount of compensation, rather teams are only permitted to offer players a percentage of the revenue generated from ticket sales. Teams are also permitted to maintain a 5 player Inactive Reserve (IR) list. Due to the nature of the association, season's will last 8 to 20 games at a rate of 1 to 3 games per month. The 2010-2011 Inaugural season begins in February 2011

http://www.atlantichockeyassociation.co.nr/

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12-30-2010, 09:15 AM
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Seems like the Major Leauge Roller Hockey league. I'd be surprised if it works out well.

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01-02-2011, 12:00 AM
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They seem very unprofessional, not even a real domain name....

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01-02-2011, 04:20 PM
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I don't know where you got that link for the NJ team, but the link Ive had was www.SpartansHockey.co.nr

As far as the league goes, or association, I pretty positive about the outlook provided they stick to the guidelines they've set. After seeing so many teams and leagues fold over the years I'd be content with the unique rules and setup provided it lasts.

Def glad they changed the name

Anyone else notice Benoit Hogue is rostered on the LI team?

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01-06-2011, 09:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MoreMapleSyrup View Post
I don't know where you got that link for the NJ team, but the link Ive had was www.SpartansHockey.co.nr

As far as the league goes, or association, I pretty positive about the outlook provided they stick to the guidelines they've set. After seeing so many teams and leagues fold over the years I'd be content with the unique rules and setup provided it lasts.

Def glad they changed the name

Anyone else notice Benoit Hogue is rostered on the LI team?
Hogue making a comeback! Love it. Maybe the Islanders will give him a call up?

The Coastal Atlantic Hockey Association also added a new team - Atlantic City Kings.

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01-06-2011, 02:15 PM
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Hogue making a comeback! Love it. Maybe the Islanders will give him a call up?

The Coastal Atlantic Hockey Association also added a new team - Atlantic City Kings.
A lot of fanfare with that announcement.

Not even a mention of where they will play or who is behind the ownership group.

How exactly do they intend to attract players when they can only be compensated based on a percentage of ticket sales?

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01-07-2011, 12:50 AM
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Having only a 10 game schedule if that I don't see any of these guys playing doing it for the money...just my 2 cents.

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01-07-2011, 07:53 AM
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Originally Posted by pelts35.com View Post
A lot of fanfare with that announcement.

Not even a mention of where they will play or who is behind the ownership group.

How exactly do they intend to attract players when they can only be compensated based on a percentage of ticket sales?
"if you build it, they will come"

meaning, if you put a 'pro' team up anywhere, players with the dream of playing 'pro' hockey will all of a sudden show up.

I am thinking this league will be more a senior league team. However, attendance will most likely be low so a salary earned in this league will also be low.

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01-08-2011, 10:15 AM
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Originally Posted by billycanuck View Post
"if you build it, they will come"

meaning, if you put a 'pro' team up anywhere, players with the dream of playing 'pro' hockey will all of a sudden show up.

I am thinking this league will be more a senior league team. However, attendance will most likely be low so a salary earned in this league will also be low.
I think you mean "attendance will most likely be nonexistent so a salary earned in this league will also be nonexistent," correct?

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01-08-2011, 10:24 PM
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Originally Posted by CrazyEddie20 View Post
I think you mean "attendance will most likely be nonexistent so a salary earned in this league will also be nonexistent," correct?
unless there are some Benoit Hogue fans

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01-09-2011, 05:31 PM
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I disagree on the low attendance as they aren't trying to pack in excess of 800, they aren't trying to model this after another league, hell even Evansville back last season packed a steady 1000-1200, you notice each game for the NJ team is dedicated to a local based charities and dedications that are BEYOND strong throughout the NJ community.

....I've spoken with several involved in the NJ team who have flat out said they expect realistically expect 250-500 per in attendance per game for the Spartans games and players will average between 50 to 200 dollars in pay per game...I guess that I'm the only one without selective reading skills because when you read the league announcement they are pretty honest when they say this is geared towards small communities(Don't quote me on that with regard to the AC team, that's a move I whole heartedly disagree with as AC is a tourist city, too large for this and not the right target crowd...again just my 2 cents based on my experiences throughout my career)

Canucker...I agree there is a very Canadian Senior/Junior-esque feel to this...Also a somewhat alumni style feel too because of the charities and the basis for this...I notice Brule is the Captain of the NJ team....

But just like in every walk in life, the keyboard warriors and mens leaguers must put out "their expert opinion"........What the hell would I know anyway, I dont have an NHL backround as Im sure most of you do hence the expertise here, and my experience and backround in hockey is limited to just leagues like the SP and what not...

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01-09-2011, 07:06 PM
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Ok I just got everyone some answers from a very reliable source from the NJ team's front office staff.

After speaking to her, I truly feel that many of us have been quick to assume(Mainly because we've all seen leagues come and go over night) about the CAHA, but after speaking to the girl Jennifer I feel like we're all barking up the wrong tree here. The CAHA association as a whole is simply a structure which is governed by it's members whom are select reps from each team.

The "special" team sponsorship arrangement, after explained to me, kind of kills the ownership portion of this. The way they set it up is that each team MUST retain X amount of sponsors (Lowering team financial responsibilities to pretty much nothing except promoting the event and coordinating sponsorships/charities/events).

The players are set to make with in a range of 50-200 per game depending on their experience and skill level as well as the attendance which is expected to peak around 600(And if you jog the numbers a bit with Ticket prices, you'll be as shocked as me when you figure out that it actually does work....atleast on paper).

Now here is where I think all of us including myself jumped the gun here so to speak, I was corrected by her when I referred to this as "pro" hockey, and she made it clear to me that the members had chosen the semi-professional name specifically to show people that this isn't another attempt to form an actual pro hockey league such as NEHL NEPHL EPHL attempts, but rather a community based monthly event where there's a mix of pro's including some bigger names like Hogue and Brule, some good clean hockey. She made it clear to me that they aren't trying to make this something it's not, rather they are approaching this with a "a recession proof/current economy safe mindset where, our owners are not looking to make financial gains from this, nor are the players, this is about community first with a bit of good hockey included."

She also went on to say to me that "The people involved are frustrated with being associated with the pro leagues despite the clear Semi-Pro label". I also found out from her that the teams are also going to be playing some exhibition games potentially against Canadian Senior teams and possibly FHL teams.

Now, I apologize for my prior post if it seemed harsh, and when I say I miss the old school days with few leagues, I truly do, but its a new age now, an unstable one at the lower levels, so I think it's only fair to give this somewhat a chance(Considering they flat out say this is also to try and help bring in some stability....We all want that right? I personally dont care about the team affairs who pays who etc etc provided its not an overnight here and gone type deal...). Plus I'm very familiar with the NJ hockey community, and although it's a small hockey community, it's a loyal and strong one, so her saying 600 fans is easily obtainable from the NJ Youth hockey community alone, especially with only 2 games a month, I mean they could reach that with limited promotions. You look at the "causes", which bring in the non-hockey community...

(For the record though, I dont see the Kings lasting in AC...again, in my opinion I think the Bullies back during the times with Mike, proved that AC is not a hockey market, its a tourist market.)

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01-10-2011, 07:41 AM
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Since you've spoken to someone involved with the AC franchise, did you ask/did they tell you, where the team would play?

I agree with you 100% about AC not working though. That team couldn't even draw decent sized crowds during a Kelly Cup run. Even the worst of markets typically do well in a finals series.

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01-10-2011, 05:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MoreMapleSyrup View Post
Having only a 10 game schedule if that I don't see any of these guys playing doing it for the money...just my 2 cents.
Quote:
Originally Posted by MoreMapleSyrup View Post
...She also went on to say to me that "The people involved are frustrated with being associated with the pro leagues despite the clear Semi-Pro label". I also found out from her that the teams are also going to be playing some exhibition games potentially against Canadian Senior teams and possibly FHL teams...
I'm all for more hockey options but things have to be done right, a lot of these little "pro" and semi-pro leagues fail because they don't run things professionally, they're not organized, and they're goals and ideas for the leagues are bigger than their wallets.

10 games is VERY small for senior level/semi-pro hockey. Rec league teams play 10-15 games, some A level rec leagues play 20. Senior teams in Canada play 30-40 and in the US 20-30.

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01-10-2011, 08:48 PM
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SBK, I agree 100%. I do agree it's a very light season, much like a touring team would be, but again, they clearly stated they aren't modelling this after any other league nor tryng to, and on top of it all I'll give them that, they are keeping this very realistic. When she said 500-600 attendance I was shocked because thats a lowball number in NJ provided the marketing and location is right, I was thinking more along the lines of 900-1100.

I'm honestly very optimistic for this though, not as another "a-level pro league" because if they were trying for that I would predict doom, but as a unique small semi-pro deal with quality players and a few higher level guys playing the bi-weekly game with a local charity or community type event, I mean, it's good for the communities and charities, good for the semi-retired pro's who still like to lace them up on occasion, good for the younger guys who may be free agents or just looking for some extra ice.


As far as info on the AC team goes, really their only option would be the skate zone
(Its the only size appropriate facility in that area unless you head out towards Vineland)....AC will not last tho, I see them relocating to a small community(Not a tourist CITY) either in PA or Northern NJ/NY area.

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01-26-2011, 11:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrazyEddie20 View Post
I think you mean "attendance will most likely be nonexistent so a salary earned in this league will also be nonexistent," correct?
We've had our differences Eddie but in this case I agree 100%. Nonexistent attendance. The only website when you search for the league are 1) the leagues poorly updated/constructed website with little info besides the basics. 2) the link to this thread 3) facebook pages for 2 teams and the league with a HUGE number of 30 "fans".

There's absolutely no links to reputable media articles, or even league/team press releases published by media in the CAHA markets.

Social media marketing campaigns can be an effective marketing and promotion tool but should not be the ONLY exposure for the leauge and teams. I have searched and found more info and resources about local men's rec leagues than this "semi-pro" league has.

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01-27-2011, 05:38 AM
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Here is Atlantic City's Roster so far. Not an impressive line up so far. Pretty much guys who couldn't crack the MAHL or EPHL or AAHL. So that tells you there how terrible the hockey will be. Sorry, but I wouldn't pay a dime to watch guys that are worse than me play in a crappy arena. If I wanted to watch beer leagues I would go to my local arena at 11pm, with a beer in hand, and watch something for free and probably more entertaining from the mistakes and unusual equipment selections.


Last edited by billycanuck: 01-27-2011 at 05:45 AM.
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01-27-2011, 01:36 PM
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Originally Posted by billycanuck View Post
Here is Atlantic City's Roster so far. Not an impressive line up so far. Pretty much guys who couldn't crack the MAHL or EPHL or AAHL. So that tells you there how terrible the hockey will be. Sorry, but I wouldn't pay a dime to watch guys that are worse than me play in a crappy arena. If I wanted to watch beer leagues I would go to my local arena at 11pm, with a beer in hand, and watch something for free and probably more entertaining from the mistakes and unusual equipment selections.
There's some pretty good rec leagues out there at the rec A level. Depending on the area/city there's ex minor pro, major jr, jr A-B, college players on the rosters. I play on a summer A league team with other college players home/in town for the summer. And I'm pretty sure we'd be able to run up the score against AC with the roster they have now.

Billycanuck's post answered my lack of marketing question. There's no marketing/promotion because there's nothing to market. It seems with these rosters, even the lable of "semi-pro" is a stretch.

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01-29-2011, 01:49 PM
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Wow never would have guess a thing for small community and charity type stuff was subject to such criticism....lol

I may, ok ok ok I DO have to withdraw my previous defenses though after hearing the NJ team mark some similar concerns......I don't expect the Spartans team to stay in CAHA....The word on the street from the one office girl is that they are bringing in a few more exECHLers and may go back to just being a pro touring team to travel around and play exhibition games against other pro leagues....IMO I can't blame them, you have players like Brule, Armagan, Hurley, OConnor, Dolan, etc etc...those type of players I dont see being ok with playing any garbage hockey...

Billy and SKB, I know for a fact from the girl Jen that the Spartans team is the only one who has been in touch with media on a pretty big scale and has an actual fanbase.....Cant say the same about LI or AC tho

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01-29-2011, 06:03 PM
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indeed the news were correct:

i've got these news just a moment ago

THE NEW JERSEY SPARTANS HAVE WITHDRAWN FROM THE
CAHA AND HAVE RESUMED OPERATIONS AS A PRO TOURING
TEAM.
THE AC KINGS ORGANIZATION CAN BE REMOVED FROM THE
CAHA AS WELL AS THAT ORGANIZATION HAS DISSIPATED.

too bad

also on http://www.spartanshockey.co.nr/

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01-29-2011, 06:17 PM
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Jen who is on staff with that team is my source so....I'd rather see that team stack up on some talent and just play exhibition games.....not to sound old school but should be like I said SPHL/CHL/ECHL/AHL and of course the show!

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01-29-2011, 06:28 PM
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"Turn that frown upside down Chevy"

She may have mentioned to me that the team's gm was considering maybe a summer tour over in Europe (I guess a tournament or some exhibition games?) and having a longer schedule....I'm really curious which ex ECHL players are joining that squad...I know theres a few local guys in that area who have ECHL experience, one also happens to be a late NHL draft pick....guess only time will reveal that part

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02-15-2011, 12:24 PM
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Rip Caha, Aha

The league is dead, not much else to say there. No comeback for Benoit Hogue and there has not been word on a scheduled press conference date.

All that remains are the New Jersey Spartans, who are officially 'an independent touring professional hockey team'.

The Spartans opened their tour last weekend against the Philly Blades (anyone know who this team is?) and lost 6-2. The game was a tribute to a Rutgers University hockey player, Josh Esformes, who lost his life in a tragic car accident in 2010.

According to the website:
Quote:
The game riddled with bad officiating and many questionable calls still maintained a fast pace and high level of competition through all three periods.
Maybe they are referring to the lack of calls as the total penalty minutes in this game were 4; Slashing against NJ and Tripping against Philly.

On Friday, February 11, the team sacked their GM, Pradeep Premachandran. Not sure where Pradeep played hockey, but apparently he and the club didn't see eye to eye. No word on who will replace the void left by Pradeep, but I am sure there a number of willing candidates lining up.

The next game for the Spartans is scheduled... soon.

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02-15-2011, 12:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MoreMapleSyrup View Post
Wow never would have guess a thing for small community and charity type stuff was subject to such criticism....lol

I may, ok ok ok I DO have to withdraw my previous defenses though after hearing the NJ team mark some similar concerns......I don't expect the Spartans team to stay in CAHA....The word on the street from the one office girl is that they are bringing in a few more exECHLers and may go back to just being a pro touring team to travel around and play exhibition games against other pro leagues....IMO I can't blame them, you have players like Brule, Armagan, Hurley, OConnor, Dolan, etc etc...those type of players I dont see being ok with playing any garbage hockey...

Billy and SKB, I know for a fact from the girl Jen that the Spartans team is the only one who has been in touch with media on a pretty big scale and has an actual fanbase.....Cant say the same about LI or AC tho
With the exception of Brule, what do those players care about garbage hockey though? Armagan... who? Where did he play? Hurley and O'Connor, played in the AAHL (Anyone Allowed Hockey League). Hurley 2 games, and O'Connor not even a full season. Dolan played NCAA D3, so he could really only be the other player who would want to play high quality hockey. However, he only played 7 games at Neumann and then 7 in the AAHL.

Still have a hard time seeing people pay $10 a ticket to watch a beer league game even if it is for a 'charity'. Spartans website didn't even announce if the game they played on the 12th was for a charity.

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02-18-2011, 11:04 AM
  #25
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OMG total shock that a "semi-pro" league in the Northeast US (where there already lots of quality hockey options for fans failed before even playing a game. No ones going to pay money to see a league that is nothing more than a disorganized men's league.

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