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ECHL: Please Expand and Stop Making Me Nuts

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02-11-2011, 10:32 PM
  #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter6625 View Post
I think it's only a matter of time before the ECHL moves into New England. I'm sure Worcester is going to lose the Sharks, there going to want to move them out west. Think an ECHL Bruins team would work well in Lowell. The place is designed for hockey and Lowell hockey fans would definitely support a Boston team. I know it's a long shot, but think it would be a smart move.
you don't sign ten year contracts then, Peter.... if that's the case Adios Rockford & a few others

Lowell will never see professional hockey again as long as U-Mass Lowell controls the arena, which is why pro hockey cracked w/ the Lock Monsters were sold and then fell through the ice when UML got their wish and got Tsongas all to themselves....

San Jose seems pretty happy w/ the arrangement they've gotten and rest assured nothing is going to break the contract between WOR & SJ........

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02-11-2011, 11:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Peter6625 View Post
I think it's only a matter of time before the ECHL moves into New England. I'm sure Worcester is going to lose the Sharks, there going to want to move them out west. Think an ECHL Bruins team would work well in Lowell. The place is designed for hockey and Lowell hockey fans would definitely support a Boston team. I know it's a long shot, but think it would be a smart move.
Not a chance. They don't want their AHL team anywhere near them. They will use Stockton for conditioning assignments.

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02-12-2011, 11:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter6625 View Post
I think it's only a matter of time before the ECHL moves into New England. I'm sure Worcester is going to lose the Sharks, there going to want to move them out west. Think an ECHL Bruins team would work well in Lowell. The place is designed for hockey and Lowell hockey fans would definitely support a Boston team. I know it's a long shot, but think it would be a smart move.
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Originally Posted by CHRDANHUTCH View Post
you don't sign ten year contracts then, Peter.... if that's the case Adios Rockford & a few others
...
San Jose seems pretty happy w/ the arrangement they've gotten and rest assured nothing is going to break the contract between WOR & SJ........
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Originally Posted by Steelhead16 View Post
Not a chance. They don't want their AHL team anywhere near them. They will use Stockton for conditioning assignments.
San Jose would love to have their AHL and ECHL franchises near them for ease of call ups/assignments, development.

And they do have their ECHL franchise 90+ minutes away.

But where their AHL franchise is situated gives the players more practice time/in their own beds due to all the there-and-back bus trips they're able to do to play against opponents -- at a great cost savings compared to what it would be to fly to every opponent -- they're dealing with the situation.

And, you don't institute a Worcester Hockey Hall of Fame in your sixth year mentioning some real long term plans (like decades down the road) if you're planning on moving on after 10 years' contract is up.

They are developing/managing a local Worcester ice rink (similar model to the three -- plus one in development -- the Sharks' organization has in the greater Bay Area). They are doing a lot of community activities with players, interacting with fans.

The NHL Sharks are very happy with their arrangement with Worcester (and Stockton). (Now, I can understand some dissatisfaction from Stockton's POV that the Sharks have only provided one goalie and one player under contract rather than the 4-5 promised, but some of the players at NHL or AHL Sharks training camps were signed in Stockton.)

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02-12-2011, 01:11 PM
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Once again, I have to come in with the San Diego resident's perspective.

As much hating as goes on against the SDSA, it's still a perfectly serviceable arena for minor-pro hockey -- it's one of the few facilities that was built for hockey first, instead of having hockey cobbled into some basketball-first or other "multi-purpose" arena, so the sightlines are hard to beat (and honestly, you wouldn't hear a word about it if the operators of the arena put unscratched plexiglass in while they had still had a team.

The reason the junior Gulls play in Escondido has nothing to do with the "poor condition" of the SDSA -- it's that Tier III Junior A teams in this market can MAYBE draw 1,000 per game, no matter which arena they're in, so the SDSA with its 13,000 capacity would be too expensive for that league to afford.

And, many of you seem to have ignored or missed the fact that there would be an ECHL team playing this very moment in the SDSA, for the 2010-11 season, were the arena not being managed by the son of the man who folded the ECHL Gulls 5 years ago. Remember, the ECHL Checkers franchise was conditionally sold to a San Diego businessman last season, who planned to use it to bring San Diego back to the ECHL -- only Ernie Hahn decided not to even offer the "new" ECHL team a lease at all. Not even "the lease was too expensive", but "we're not even going to give you the chance to pay us to put your hockey team here". Personally, to me that reeks of sour grapes left over from whatever tiff with the league led to the Hahns folding the Gulls in the first place -- either that, or an attempt to keep the arena vacant until the AHL Monarchs' lease in Manchester is up (2013? 2015?).

So, San Diego doesn't "need" a new arena -- they need new arena management. I keep praying the Kings owners (who now own the master lease on the SDSA) will fire Ernie. THAT, more than anything else, would re-open this market for professional hockey. However, I'm not holding my breath.

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02-12-2011, 02:53 PM
  #30
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What about Tuscon as a possible expansion site? I know that the University of Arizona IceCats pack in a decent amount of fans in the Tuscon Arena (Capacity 9,000). I have heard in the past few years that when Arizona plays Arizona State they will see around 4000 fans for the games. Not bad for a ACHA Division 1 team.

There was talk in 2009 that the Tuscon government was in talk with 360 Architecture to build a new 10,000 seat arena. But I think the economy crash helped yield the plans.

Video from a Arizona game in 2007.

Video from 2010


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02-12-2011, 05:11 PM
  #31
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[QUOTE=billycanuck;30863078]What about Tuscon as a possible expansion site? I know that the University of Arizona IceCats pack in a decent amount of fans in the Tuscon Arena (Capacity 9,000). I have heard in the past few years that when Arizona plays Arizona State they will see around 4000 fans for the games. Not bad for a ACHA Division 1 team.

There was talk in 2009 that the Tuscon government was in talk with 360 Architecture to build a new 10,000 seat arena. But I think the economy crash helped yield the plans.

The Gila Monsters used to play there so it would definately be an adequate facility. Not sure of the reason they folded but it was definately in better economic times than we currently have. Don't know if it was from lack of ticket sales or not. I don't remember what their crowds were like back then. They only lasted a season and a half so it could have been any number of reasons that did them in. But I would think that it could certainly be on a short list of places in the west that could operate without having a new building.

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02-12-2011, 06:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steelhead16 View Post
The Gila Monsters used to play there (Tucson) so it would definately be an adequate facility. Not sure of the reason they folded but it was definately in better economic times than we currently have. Don't know if it was from lack of ticket sales or not. I don't remember what their crowds were like back then. They only lasted a season and a half so it could have been any number of reasons that did them in. But I would think that it could certainly be on a short list of places in the west that could operate without having a new building.
As a new resident of Phoenix, I'd be happy as a clam to see the ECHL in Tucson.

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02-12-2011, 08:05 PM
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The IceCats are the single biggest reason that the WCHL Gila Monsters folded mid-season of their second year. The professional team was seen as intruding on the territory owned by the college team, and local media were cool to outright hostile at the intrusion. Much like the Colorado Gold Kings (Colorado Springs) were never accepted over Colorado College's team, the Gilas never really had a chance in that market.

I honestly don't know whether the intervening 13 or so years have softened that stance in Tucson, or just fed the possessive fire. Plans for a 10k arena were circulating long before 2009, but like in other markets, Tucson has never "gotten off the pot" when it comes to pulling the trigger.

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02-12-2011, 08:07 PM
  #34
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Originally Posted by adsfan View Post
Like to KC?
Naah, the Islanders will be playing there before the AHL is

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02-12-2011, 10:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HansH View Post
The IceCats are the single biggest reason that the WCHL Gila Monsters folded mid-season of their second year. The professional team was seen as intruding on the territory owned by the college team, and local media were cool to outright hostile at the intrusion. Much like the Colorado Gold Kings (Colorado Springs) were never accepted over Colorado College's team, the Gilas never really had a chance in that market.

I honestly don't know whether the intervening 13 or so years have softened that stance in Tucson, or just fed the possessive fire. Plans for a 10k arena were circulating long before 2009, but like in other markets, Tucson has never "gotten off the pot" when it comes to pulling the trigger.
I can understand Colorado Spring fan's not accepting the pro team. I have been to a few CC Tigers games and that is really good hockey, and the town loves that team. Not too mention it is a NCAA Division 1 team that plays in one of the toughest conferences (WCHA). BUT what I cannot understand is that fans in Tuscon would want a CLUB hockey team over a professional hockey team? The quality of hockey between the ECHL and the ACHA is.... well... I can't find a comparison because it is that different.

Tuscon knows that the IceCats are a club team? With players who will never play in the ECHL, right?

Maybe they were confused by the horrible team name Gila Monsters and couldn't figure out what they were. But could figure out what an IceCat was.

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02-13-2011, 12:12 AM
  #36
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Yes, they know they're club and no where near the level the pro team was but people hate change especially when they feel that change could endanger something they love. In all honesty, having both pro and ACHA D1 would be best for the community but it seems most in Tuscon don't see it that way.

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02-13-2011, 09:51 AM
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Originally Posted by billycanuck View Post
I can understand Colorado Spring fan's not accepting the pro team. I have been to a few CC Tigers games and that is really good hockey, and the town loves that team. Not too mention it is a NCAA Division 1 team that plays in one of the toughest conferences (WCHA). BUT what I cannot understand is that fans in Tuscon would want a CLUB hockey team over a professional hockey team? The quality of hockey between the ECHL and the ACHA is.... well... I can't find a comparison because it is that different.

Tuscon knows that the IceCats are a club team? With players who will never play in the ECHL, right?

Maybe they were confused by the horrible team name Gila Monsters and couldn't figure out what they were. But could figure out what an IceCat was.

Sometimes college towns are weird that way.

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02-14-2011, 08:07 AM
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What about putting team back in Louisville, Kentucky? They had a ECHL team in the 90's. Played in the Broadbent Arena

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02-14-2011, 08:34 AM
  #39
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Lots of great points here, guys. Thanks.

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02-14-2011, 01:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billycanuck View Post
What about putting team back in Louisville, Kentucky? They had a ECHL team in the 90's. Played in the Broadbent Arena
it's not hockey country and after the Afr debacle, they're not interested in a repeat occurrence.......

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02-14-2011, 01:50 PM
  #41
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Possible west coast expansion communities

Midsized markets
Billings, Montana
Eugene, Oregon
Tacoma, Washington
Salem, Oregon
Yakima, Washington

Smaller markets
Cheyenne, Wyoming
Fort McMurray, AB
Nanaimo, BC
Olympia, Washginton
Penticton, BC

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02-14-2011, 01:53 PM
  #42
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Arenas?

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02-14-2011, 05:32 PM
  #43
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Last I heard of hockey in Louisville was that the ECHL and the USHL were looking at hopefully hopping into the remodeled Louisville Gardens but I haven't heard anything about it in a couple of years. Louisville would have three possibilities as far as arenas with Freedom Hall, Broadbent, and the Gardens.

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Arenas?
Billings, Montana: Rimrock Auto Arena (12,000), currently home of the NORPAC's Billings Bulls
Eugene, Oregon: Lane Event Center (2,700), too small and home to the NORPAC's Eugene Generals
Tacoma, Washington: Tacoma Dome (~20,000), home of the old WHL Tacoma Rockets and WCHL Tacoma Sabrecats
Salem, Oregon: none right now that I can find.
Yakima, Washington: Yakima SunDome (~5,000), not sure if it has Ice capabilities

Smaller markets
Cheyenne, Wyoming: none that I can find
Fort McMurray, AB: Thickwood Heights Arena (1,600), too small and home of the AJHL's Fort McMurray Oil Barrons
Nanaimo, BC: Frank Crane Arena (3,000), too small and home of the BCHL's Nanaimo Clippers
Olympia, Washginton: none that I can find
Penticton, BC: South Okanagan Events centre (5,200): home of the BCHL's Pentiction Vees

It really wasn't hard at all to look that stuff up.

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02-15-2011, 12:01 AM
  #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billycanuck View Post
Or how about CHL - Coast Hockey League

Whenever I am in the US and try to explain the different pro hockey leagues, my conversation goes like this:
Me: "... and then there is the ECHL"
American: "What does the ECHL stand for?"
Me: "Nothing, just called the ECHL."
American: "So it's actually called the ECHL Hockey League? ECHLHL?"
Me: "No, just ECHL"
American: , "But what does it mean??"
Best retort I've thought of for this over the years is: do we call ESPN the "ESPN Network"? It used to be the Entertainment and Sports Programming Network but now it is just ESPN. Plain and simple.

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02-15-2011, 09:47 AM
  #45
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Originally Posted by The Panda Bolt View Post
Last I heard of hockey in Louisville was that the ECHL and the USHL were looking at hopefully hopping into the remodeled Louisville Gardens but I haven't heard anything about it in a couple of years. Louisville would have three possibilities as far as arenas with Freedom Hall, Broadbent, and the Gardens.


Billings, Montana: Rimrock Auto Arena (12,000), currently home of the NORPAC's Billings Bulls
Eugene, Oregon: Lane Event Center (2,700), too small and home to the NORPAC's Eugene Generals
Tacoma, Washington: Tacoma Dome (~20,000), home of the old WHL Tacoma Rockets and WCHL Tacoma Sabrecats
Salem, Oregon: none right now that I can find.
Yakima, Washington: Yakima SunDome (~5,000), not sure if it has Ice capabilities

Smaller markets
Cheyenne, Wyoming: none that I can find
Fort McMurray, AB: Thickwood Heights Arena (1,600), too small and home of the AJHL's Fort McMurray Oil Barrons
Nanaimo, BC: Frank Crane Arena (3,000), too small and home of the BCHL's Nanaimo Clippers
Olympia, Washginton: none that I can find
Penticton, BC: South Okanagan Events centre (5,200): home of the BCHL's Pentiction Vees

It really wasn't hard at all to look that stuff up.
Penticton, my old hometown, probably could have a WHL team, but I don't think the town could support a ECHL team. Despite having just built the most beautiful Jr.A rink in Canada, IMO.

I forgot about Tacoma. I wonder how the hockey scene is there now? I remember when the Rockets moved to Kelowna. But I have heard that the Tacoma Dome is not a good venue for hockey with poor site lines.


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02-15-2011, 11:13 AM
  #46
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Originally Posted by billycanuck View Post
Penticton, my old hometown, probably could have a WHL team, but I don't think the town could support a ECHL team. Despite having just built the most beautiful Jr.A rink in Canada, IMO.

I forgot about Tacoma. I wonder how the hockey scene is there now? I remember when the Rockets moved to Kelowna. But I have heard that the Tacoma Dome is not a good venue for hockey with poor site lines.
Serviceable at best. Much closer to San Diego Sports Arena than to Qwest Arena in Boise, Stockton Arena, Rabobank Arena in Bakersfield or Orleans Arena in Vegas.
I could see it being a temporary home while a new facility was being built to maybe get a team up and running a year earlier.

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02-15-2011, 11:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billycanuck View Post
Penticton, my old hometown, probably could have a WHL team, but I don't think the town could support a ECHL team. Despite having just built the most beautiful Jr.A rink in Canada, IMO.

I forgot about Tacoma. I wonder how the hockey scene is there now? I remember when the Rockets moved to Kelowna. But I have heard that the Tacoma Dome is not a good venue for hockey with poor site lines.
I saw the Goodwill Games (remember those?) at the Tacoma Dome, and the sight lines weren't all that bad. I think the ECHL could possibly work there, and in Billings.

I'd honestly be happier if the western clubs just went back to having their own separate league, and the ECHL, CHL, and the new Western league could then have their own separate championships and meet for a minor pro version of the Memorial Cup after the league championships were decided.

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02-15-2011, 11:36 AM
  #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billycanuck View Post
Penticton, my old hometown, probably could have a WHL team, but I don't think the town could support a ECHL team. Despite having just built the most beautiful Jr.A rink in Canada, IMO.

I forgot about Tacoma. I wonder how the hockey scene is there now? I remember when the Rockets moved to Kelowna. But I have heard that the Tacoma Dome is not a good venue for hockey with poor site lines.
That arena looks beautiful in pictures. I would love to visit it.

The Tacoma Dome is one of those monstrosities that can hold not only basketball, hockey, boxing, etc. but also football and soccer (the real thing not just indoors) so sight lines could be an issue. Here's a nice little compilation of pictures of in it different set ups.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Prussian_Blue View Post
I saw the Goodwill Games (remember those?) at the Tacoma Dome, and the sight lines weren't all that bad. I think the ECHL could possibly work there, and in Billings.

I'd honestly be happier if the western clubs just went back to having their own separate league, and the ECHL, CHL, and the new Western league could then have their own separate championships and meet for a minor pro version of the Memorial Cup after the league championships were decided.
I wish this could happen. But I doubt the three groups could ever agree on everything needed and it would require a governing body like the CanadainHL to pull it off.

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02-20-2011, 08:44 PM
  #49
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Isn't the SPHL made up of quite a few markets who couldn't hack it in the ECHL?

Is the ECHL really all that much better than the CHL? A good AA Hockey player is a Good AA Player IMO. Now maybe you get to see better players down the road thats a difference yeah, but if anything with all the callups and what not some eastern teams face i'm not sure I would consider it that much better.

I don't see the grippe in Conference expasion when the 2 Conferences hardly play head to head in the regular season anyway.

IF ANYTHING the AHL needs to dump some of it's eastern Markets and head West(maybe move some current ECHL Western markets to the AHL)

Whats the deal in Idaho, I heard awhile back they were considering demolishing the arena for a convention center?

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02-20-2011, 09:08 PM
  #50
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[QUOTE=jackalsfan1;31098584]Isn't the SPHL made up of quite a few markets who couldn't hack it in the ECHL?

Is the ECHL really all that much better than the CHL? A good AA Hockey player is a Good AA Player IMO. Now maybe you get to see better players down the road thats a difference yeah, but if anything with all the callups and what not some eastern teams face i'm not sure I would consider it that much better.

I don't see the grippe in Conference expasion when the 2 Conferences hardly play head to head in the regular season anyway.

IF ANYTHING the AHL needs to dump some of it's eastern Markets and head West(maybe move some current ECHL Western markets to the AHL)

Whats the deal in Idaho, I heard awhile back they were considering demolishing the arena for a convention center?[/QUOTE]

There was talk about the Convention Center expanding but that died. The arena is attached to a hotel (the smaller Luxury suites are actually hotel rooms) and the company that owns the hotel owns the hockey team (under a different name). The city is doing a feasibility study on building a new sports complex with a new stand alone arena and baseball stadium. That will probably hinge on the Cubs upgrading the baseball team from "A" to "AAA" though.

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