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Victoria Leaving For WHL? What Would This Mean For The Future of The West/ECHL?

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03-10-2011, 09:27 PM
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Victoria Leaving For WHL? What Would This Mean For The Future of The West/ECHL?

I saw in a link in the AHL section that it's a 70 percent chance. This would bring the West down to 7 teams. Could they go on with just 7? I mean I suppose they could but then you would have uneven divisions. My thought for this year though was they should just scrap the divisions anyway. This would bring the league back to 19 teams next season, instead of 20. Some people I talk to think this could be the nail in the coffin for the West Coast in this league. I'm not so sure about that but I suppose it's a possibility. If no more AA teams folded this summer and they did drop the West with some quick math we would be down to 29 teams....would it finally be the time to try that all important one AA league? Furthermore what do you think these teams out West will do? Do you see any of them going the Victoria route to the WHL?

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03-10-2011, 09:29 PM
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Heres the link:

http://www.abbotsfordtimes.com/Vanco...#ixzz1GDv9PULf

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03-10-2011, 09:39 PM
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I think it's possible Victoria would relocate to somewhere else in the west... Washington or Oregon would be good choices. Both states have junior hockey, but not any professional hockey.

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03-11-2011, 02:43 AM
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If Winnipeg gets a NHL team, the AHL affiliate may move to Victoria (or Abbotsford; I'm just too tired right now to look up the WFP stories).

Really up in the air for a couple of weeks (or less) until the status of the Phoenix Coyotes future is better defined.

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03-11-2011, 08:41 AM
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This would be great for the Canucks and actually a smart move to help increase attendance in Abbotsford. When I heard a Flames farm team was moving into Abbotsford, I was quite confused. British Columbia is Canucks territory and the fans hate the Flames. Of course, providing that the Coyotes move to Winnipeg, then the Moose get bumped to Abbotsford. Then the Heat would have to find somewhere to play, maybe in Montana/Oregon/Washington area? Still geographically close to the Flames.

Quote:
In eight regular season meetings between the Heat and Moose at the Abbotsford Entertainment and Sports Centre, the average fan attendance has been slightly more than 6,394. That's compared to the Heat's overall average attendance records of 3,797.

Read more: http://www.abbotsfordtimes.com/Vanco...#ixzz1GIm3Rpji
So with the Bruins moving to Vic, what about the Salmon Kings moving to Chilliwack? Then the Canucks could control the entire pro hockey scene in Vancouver/Greater Vancouver area. Imagine that, the parent club having its AHL and ECHL teams right in its backyard.

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03-12-2011, 03:22 PM
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I see this "report" as Canadian chauvinism, insinuating that the "moribund" Coyotes can't survive in Phoenix because Phoenix is not a "hockey town."

If a franchise can't survive in Phoenix, with a metropolitan population of around 3 million, then it's not going to survive long-term in a city with a metropolitan population of less than 1 million, regardless of said city being in Canada or not.

Also, the MTS Center is too small at just over 15K capacity for NHL standards. The NHL would not consider moving a franchise to an American city with a 15,000-seat building. It's simple economics; the average ticket price of each of the 15,000 seats would have to be considerably higher than the average ticket price of each of 19,000 seats in a larger building in order for the Winnipeg Jets to be financially viable.

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03-12-2011, 03:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billycanuck View Post
This would be great for the Canucks and actually a smart move to help increase attendance in Abbotsford. When I heard a Flames farm team was moving into Abbotsford, I was quite confused. British Columbia is Canucks territory and the fans hate the Flames. Of course, providing that the Coyotes move to Winnipeg, then the Moose get bumped to Abbotsford. Then the Heat would have to find somewhere to play, maybe in Montana/Oregon/Washington area? Still geographically close to the Flames.



So with the Bruins moving to Vic, what about the Salmon Kings moving to Chilliwack? Then the Canucks could control the entire pro hockey scene in Vancouver/Greater Vancouver area. Imagine that, the parent club having its AHL and ECHL teams right in its backyard.
I can remember there being talk a few years back (don't think there was any truth to it) about Toronto's ECHL team being relocated to the GTA, but nothing happened with that. Would be pretty cool to see happen though.

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03-12-2011, 03:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prussian_Blue View Post
I see this "report" as Canadian chauvinism, insinuating that the "moribund" Coyotes can't survive in Phoenix because Phoenix is not a "hockey town."

If a franchise can't survive in Phoenix, with a metropolitan population of around 3 million, then it's not going to survive long-term in a city with a metropolitan population of less than 1 million, regardless of said city being in Canada or not.

Also, the MTS Center is too small at just over 15K capacity for NHL standards. The NHL would not consider moving a franchise to an American city with a 15,000-seat building. It's simple economics; the average ticket price of each of the 15,000 seats would have to be considerably higher than the average ticket price of each of 19,000 seats in a larger building in order for the Winnipeg Jets to be financially viable.
Well, look at Edmonton, Calgary, Buffalo and Ottawa as examples of cities with ~1 million people who have survived perfectly well in the NHL. Cities like Atlanta, Cleveland, Kansas City, Oakland, Denver, etc have all lost teams in the past though. Honestly, if a city is a hockey town it will find a way to survive in the NHL. Phoenix is one of the worst hockey markets that the NHL has tried to enter and there is a reason that they are failing. Small dedicated fanbase and millions of people who don't care.

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03-12-2011, 03:56 PM
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Just to clear some things up in this thread, it's highly unlikely we'd see the Canucks AHL affiliate in Abbotsford. For this to happen, they would need to purchase the Heat from the Flames. They could also purchase the Moose and move them to Abbotsford, but that would only be possible if the Heat moved, and I can't see that happening considering the great lease they have.

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03-12-2011, 04:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prussian_Blue View Post
I see this "report" as Canadian chauvinism, insinuating that the "moribund" Coyotes can't survive in Phoenix because Phoenix is not a "hockey town."

If a franchise can't survive in Phoenix, with a metropolitan population of around 3 million, then it's not going to survive long-term in a city with a metropolitan population of less than 1 million, regardless of said city being in Canada or not.

Also, the MTS Center is too small at just over 15K capacity for NHL standards. The NHL would not consider moving a franchise to an American city with a 15,000-seat building. It's simple economics; the average ticket price of each of the 15,000 seats would have to be considerably higher than the average ticket price of each of 19,000 seats in a larger building in order for the Winnipeg Jets to be financially viable.
For all your statements above please see the thread in 'Business of Hockey' section where all of this is being debated.

If a team has been losing millions of dollars a season (like Phoenix is) and attendance is abysmal, I am pretty sure that it is not a hockey market. I have been to Phoenix, it is not a hockey community. The town supports the NFL's Cardinals, the NBA Sun's, and the NCAA Sun Devils. The Coyotes are a distant last in that market.

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03-12-2011, 04:52 PM
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Mod note: Folks, this is starting to get WAY off topic for the ECHL/Minor League forum.

If you want to talk about Phoenix, Winnipeg -- as markets -- head over to the Business of Hockey forum.

Let's keep this focused on the potential moves affecting minor league teams in the ECHL (CHL), etc.

(Heck, even AHL discussion is off topic. And there's a separate forum for that.)

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03-14-2011, 12:00 PM
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There is lots of talk about this in Victoria. Word is minor officials have apparently been 'hired' for the new WHL team. Many in the local hockey community are seeing this as a done deal - for better (in my view) or worse (in the view of a lot of ECHL fans).

Chilliwack is trying pretty hard to hold on to their club, with the minority owner trying to buy out the majority owner before he can sell to RG Properties, the company which owns the ECHL Salmon Kings.

Of course nothing will be official until it is. I would think if the official word would happen before both the Chilliwack WHL team is eliminated from the playoffs - later this month - and the Salmon Kings get bounced as well. There's a pretty short window between pissing off your old fan base and trying to get a new fan base excited about your product, I think.

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03-31-2011, 12:08 PM
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If the CHL breaks up, the Colorado Eagles may join the west ECHL. I would like to say the Arizona Sundogs, but I am not sure the Sundogs are able to draw enough fans to support a ECHL adventure. If anything I see the Sundogs dropping down the the NAHL level with Fresno and Rio Rancho...

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04-01-2011, 10:22 AM
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A few things...

Rumour has it, the main reason the majority owners want to sell to RG Properties is so Darryl Porter can keep his job as team president. The minority owner group would likely fire him. The WHL cannot approve a sale to another market when a local group is more than willing (Justin Morneau and Willie Mitchell are apparently stepping up) to match any price to keep it from moving.

As for the Salmon Kings moving to Washington, I can guarantee you, after talking to many Silvertips fan, that minor-pro hockey will not work in the Sea-Tac area. They're quite content with Major Junior.

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04-01-2011, 02:25 PM
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The bottom line is that most of the information and if teams shuffle around, won't come to light until a deal is done with the Coyotes (whether they move or stay). That won't happen until after the season is over.

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04-01-2011, 04:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 7ytluom View Post
The bottom line is that most of the information and if teams shuffle around, won't come to light until a deal is done with the Coyotes (whether they move or stay). That won't happen until after the season is over.
This is the latest story in the Times Colonist, saying the sale is complete.

http://www.timescolonist.com/sports/...397/story.html

About the only thing standing in the way of the official announcement is the elimination from the playoffs of the two teams involved.

The WHL is taking a long-term view of this, assuming that the AHL is going to want to get a toehold in western Canada/United States. It's a big threat if the AHL were to eye up, say Saskatoon and Regina for franchises. So I think it's not accurate to assume everything hinges on the Coyotes moving to Winnipeg. The Abbotsford Heat can't survive as a lone franchise on the west coast; the AHL, if they want to expand their footprint, will either have to put more teams in the west or fold up the Abbotsford experiment altogether. The Chilliwack franchise is the opportunity for the WHL to hold the line, at least in BC.

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04-05-2011, 05:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MeHateHe View Post
The WHL is taking a long-term view of this, assuming that the AHL is going to want to get a toehold in western Canada/United States. It's a big threat if the AHL were to eye up, say Saskatoon and Regina for franchises. So I think it's not accurate to assume everything hinges on the Coyotes moving to Winnipeg. The Abbotsford Heat can't survive as a lone franchise on the west coast; the AHL, if they want to expand their footprint, will either have to put more teams in the west or fold up the Abbotsford experiment altogether. The Chilliwack franchise is the opportunity for the WHL to hold the line, at least in BC.
This could be the WHL's strategy, but I was guessing the sale and move to Victoria was the working of the owners of the two teams involved.

I don't think that the AHL ever wanted to go to Abbotsford. When Abbotsford was approved by the BOG, Andrews acknowledged that they did not fit into the profile of the league. However, they also had no reason to upset the Flames and the new local owners. So as long as the team was to ensure that the other teams in the league would not bear any financial burden, it was a deal. And the owners had no reason to worry that they could make these obligations so long as the public was financing the losses.

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04-05-2011, 11:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Captain Esoteric View Post
This could be the WHL's strategy, but I was guessing the sale and move to Victoria was the working of the owners of the two teams involved.

I don't think that the AHL ever wanted to go to Abbotsford. When Abbotsford was approved by the BOG, Andrews acknowledged that they did not fit into the profile of the league. However, they also had no reason to upset the Flames and the new local owners. So as long as the team was to ensure that the other teams in the league would not bear any financial burden, it was a deal. And the owners had no reason to worry that they could make these obligations so long as the public was financing the losses.
With Calgary's track record, I wouldn't worry about the long term impact on this.

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04-06-2011, 10:09 AM
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ECHL vs. WHL

I for one was a big fan of the Victoria Cougars many moons ago. Good entertaining hockey and watching players like Neely, Sakic, the Courtnall's, Fuhr, Tiger Williams....the list goes on and on. Watching these kids develop and watching them get drafted- it was good hockey- until the team was sold in the early 90's and run into the ground. I remember their best players being traded for basically nothing. Buying a program that was about the size of an 11x17 sheet folded in half. No wonder so many fans left. They wouldn't have if real effort had been put into being competitive. The arena was an issue but not bad. That is no longer an issue. The WHL is the best Junior league (equal to the OHL and QMJHL) in North America so you are seeing future NHL'ers and spirited players as they aim for their dreams. The BCJHL also has some great players but not as many. The WHL in my eyes is a step up.
The ECHL is Tier 3 hockey. Very few players go from the ECHL to the NHL. Yes there are a few exceptions but you aren't watching the best professionals. You aren't watching the up and comers perhaps on the bubble of their dream or getting experience for the most part. You are watching Tier 3 hockey and that is fine if you like that. Recreational hockey can also be entertainin. For me I'd rather watch the WHL any day. The Cougars should never have left.
I don't know what the situation in Chilliwack is like- attendance, etc. but I do know how they feel. Hopefully they can get another team- but not have to wait a couple of decades. I think the WHL will do very well in Victoria. Better I think than the ECHL by quite a bit.

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04-06-2011, 11:37 AM
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Rockey if you care about where players are coming from or going to as opposed to the caliber of hockey in front of you that's fine, but the fact is an ECHL team would mop the floor with a WHL team any day, and if you don't think so you don't know hockey.

Comparing people enjoying ECHL hockey to people enjoying recreational hockey is a completely idiotic statement to make and its sad that people are so closed-minded as you to only care about the NHL and what directly feeds into it to notice that pro hockey right in front of you is played at a better level than the up-and-comers in the WHL.

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04-06-2011, 12:07 PM
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Whl/echl

Keep it civil Mr. Power. The name is Rocky please. Actually I do know hockey. It's all about choices. It's obvious that Chilliwack is passionate about their WHL team. Many fans in Victoria prefer WHL over ECHL. Many prefer ECHL over WHL for the reason you quote- which is they are pro's and more developed. Fair enough. They are still Tier 3 and the WHL is Tier 1 at the junior level. Not as developed but I would suggest you will see bigger crowds in Victoria watching WHL than the ECHL. The ownership thinks so too based on their purchasing a WHL team for several million dollars and letting the ECHL team go. There is also a more natural rivalry with WHL teams than ECHL teams. It is fine and cool if you prefer the ECHL over the WHL. It's about personal choice and if preferring the WHL over the ECHL is considered closed minded well I guess I and a lot of other people are closed-minded.

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Originally Posted by MaxPower19 View Post
Rockey if you care about where players are coming from or going to as opposed to the caliber of hockey in front of you that's fine, but the fact is an ECHL team would mop the floor with a WHL team any day, and if you don't think so you don't know hockey.

Comparing people enjoying ECHL hockey to people enjoying recreational hockey is a completely idiotic statement to make and its sad that people are so closed-minded as you to only care about the NHL and what directly feeds into it to notice that pro hockey right in front of you is played at a better level than the up-and-comers in the WHL.

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04-06-2011, 01:32 PM
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No....prefering the WHL over the ECHL is fine as I understand why some people would rather see "the future" rather than players who are better right now, but comparing watching ECHL hockey to watching recreational hockey is what is closed-minded.

I'm not sure the crowds will be bigger. Victoria has proven to support winning teams, regardless of the level. In the ECHL, the benchmarks are averaging 5500 when the team is winning (2008) and 3500 when the team finishes 7th (this year). I don't think the numbers for the WHL will be any different. Of course, operating costs in the WHL are lower. I think that's what it's really all about.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocky- View Post
Keep it civil Mr. Power. The name is Rocky please. Actually I do know hockey. It's all about choices. It's obvious that Chilliwack is passionate about their WHL team. Many fans in Victoria prefer WHL over ECHL. Many prefer ECHL over WHL for the reason you quote- which is they are pro's and more developed. Fair enough. They are still Tier 3 and the WHL is Tier 1 at the junior level. Not as developed but I would suggest you will see bigger crowds in Victoria watching WHL than the ECHL. The ownership thinks so too based on their purchasing a WHL team for several million dollars and letting the ECHL team go. There is also a more natural rivalry with WHL teams than ECHL teams. It is fine and cool if you prefer the ECHL over the WHL. It's about personal choice and if preferring the WHL over the ECHL is considered closed minded well I guess I and a lot of other people are closed-minded.

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04-06-2011, 02:06 PM
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Echl/whl

The comparison of ECHL to Recreational hockey was for entertainment values- not skill levels. Tim Horton pee wees and kids hockey can be very entertaining. ECHL certainly is by far a more skilled product than Recreation hockey. It is personal choice. I'm not sure of those stats on attendance figures. I have my doubts but I've only been to 1 Salmon Kings game. I know what's coming and I've seen junior games with inflated stats as well. Include in that free tickets, discounted tickets, no show sold tickets, etc. Theres more to it than averages.
I have been out of the loop as far as pricing goes- it seems to me junior hockey is less expensive ticket wise than the ECHL/AHL. I did see $5 tickets for the 1rst playoff game though other than box. For that price I'd probably go That also brings up the question why so low? Actually I have more of a problem with $100 plus NHL tickets and $8 popcorn- which means no popcorn, etc. for yours truly when I attend a WHL game.
The AHL intreagues me because at least you have players more developed, etc. but my guess is tickets cost more too? When it comes to my choice for entertainment personally I would consider buying seasons tickets to the WHL- probably split with someone actually. That's just a personal choice and others have different ideas which is cool.
Overall I think the bottom line I'm trying to say is I "think" the WHL will do better in Victoria and have a bigger following than the ECHL.

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04-06-2011, 02:10 PM
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I've only been to 1 Salmon Kings game.
Says it all

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04-06-2011, 02:42 PM
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I would take ECHL or WHL over AHL anytime. Too many teams in the AHL are just out there with crappy rosters trying to develop a couple players for the NHL winning takes a back seat at times. ECHL is a developmental league but the teams care about winning because they are only getting a few prospects.

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