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Old
03-21-2011, 08:08 AM
  #1
Professor Pickles
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CHL vs ECHL / Hockey Weekend

Started out Friday night in Vegas to see the Wranglers and the Aces. First off, I must admit that the Orleans is much, much nicer than I had expected. Its a great (and huge) casino / entertainment center. I just wish their ribs were not so overcooked.

The game was great, arena is much nicer than I imagined.

Saturday night we were in Prescott Valley to see our first CHL game as the Sun Dogs took on Colorado. Here again, the arena surprised us. Very nice place, only downside was that the concourse seemed pretty dark. Prescott Valley is a nice little area, and we went to nearby Jerome and screwed around for awhile.

Sunday we were in Anaheim to see the Ducks and Flames, great game. Honda Center was ALSO nicer than I expected, and the arena has a lot of very diverse cuisine. We got to see Selanne score and that made it worth it even if the rest of the game sucked, which it definitely did not. Kiper-soft gave up 3 goals in about 4 minutes.

For people who say that the level of play is the same between the ECHL and CHL, you are crazy. Granted, Arizona is bad, but I was not all that impressed with Colorado either. Yes, it was only one game, but after seeing the CHL live and many, many ECHL games live, as of right now I would say the ECHL is a much better product.

I will see many more CHL games in the future, so I am not closed to the idea of the CHL having a nice product but as of right now I am heavily leaning to the ECHL in that "fight".

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03-21-2011, 10:54 AM
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And FTR, the Orleans arena is WAY too small to be the home of a NHL team.

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03-21-2011, 11:17 AM
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I'm sorry Professor Pickles, I disagree with you. I admit i've never taken in a CHL Game but i've seen the old UHL/IHL. For the most part the C in my book can't be THAT different. I guess it's where I live. I have no doubt thinking we see the most ECHL callups. For me, the product is dilluted. It's no fun watching these AAHL/FHL guys just to fill out a roster on a nightly basis. As fans we get it stuck to us, you def don't get your money's worth in season tickets. Your best roster should be around at this time when theirs a Playoff Race. not in October/November.

I guess to me a Good AA Player is a Good AA Player. I have no doubt thinking guys like a Reaney or Todd Robinson could put up similiar numbers in this league.

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03-21-2011, 06:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jackalsfan1 View Post
I'm sorry Professor Pickles, I disagree with you. I admit i've never taken in a CHL Game but i've seen the old UHL/IHL. For the most part the C in my book can't be THAT different. I guess it's where I live. I have no doubt thinking we see the most ECHL callups. For me, the product is dilluted. It's no fun watching these AAHL/FHL guys just to fill out a roster on a nightly basis. As fans we get it stuck to us, you def don't get your money's worth in season tickets. Your best roster should be around at this time when theirs a Playoff Race. not in October/November.

I guess to me a Good AA Player is a Good AA Player. I have no doubt thinking guys like a Reaney or Todd Robinson could put up similiar numbers in this league.
A good AA player is a good AA player, but the difference in the two leagues is where the skills of the AVERAGE player falls.

There is a much wider talent gap in the CoI2U-WPHL (doing business as the CHL - that part is for you, Hans) between the top line and 10th forward and 1st pair D and seventh D than there is in the ECHL. This has been shown multiple times on this and other boards by statistical comparison, and was proven on the ice back in 2007-08 when the ECHL went 10-0-0 in preseason games against CHL teams with a lot of guys who were CUT THE NEXT WEEK AND WENT ON TO PLAY IN THE CHL.

I'm sorry that you guys in Elmira were stuck with Sweet Daddy Leo and get picked over by the AHL teams, but that doesn't change the fact that an average player in the CHL is at best a 30th percentile player in the ECHL.

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03-21-2011, 06:46 PM
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Originally Posted by CrazyEddie20 View Post
A good AA player is a good AA player, but the difference in the two leagues is where the skills of the AVERAGE player falls.

There is a much wider talent gap in the CoI2U-WPHL (doing business as the CHL - that part is for you, Hans) between the top line and 10th forward and 1st pair D and seventh D than there is in the ECHL. This has been shown multiple times on this and other boards by statistical comparison, and was proven on the ice back in 2007-08 when the ECHL went 10-0-0 in preseason games against CHL teams with a lot of guys who were CUT THE NEXT WEEK AND WENT ON TO PLAY IN THE CHL.

I'm sorry that you guys in Elmira were stuck with Sweet Daddy Leo and get picked over by the AHL teams, but that doesn't change the fact that an average player in the CHL is at best a 30th percentile player in the ECHL.
I suppose, I forget the teams that played, weren't some of them actually IHL teams(you know, the league comprised of mostly teams that had zero business suiting up? I could be wrong, we didn't get to play in any of these games, I don't typically follow the Preseason)

SWEET DADDY LEO, his goal was to be an AHL Coach, I think that dream is dead. Wonder who else will give him a job? I never liked him, I always thought he had it easy iout West and Down South. Older teams and less call ups. The funny thing is look at all the franchises who folded either A)while he was around or B)a year after he left town, a little creepy. I have no doubt thinking we have it the worst. I think long term for staying power it gives the E almost every reason to ever do what they can to keep us around. It's a good and a bad problem to have. We can get as good as talent as anybody for location reasons towards he AHL but we as fans unfortunatly take a hit I don't quite think other teams understand. I think to an extent Reading understands but not quite as we have 4 teams in the AHL in state and the New England area near by so I think teams hit us up more for the closeness in proximity. It sucks but what can you do I guess.

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03-21-2011, 07:13 PM
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No, back then it was all CHL teams - Memphis went down to Florida, Mississippi played two teams in Texas, Johnstown and Dayton both played Youngstown, and a few others. The CHL basically erased all evidence that the games were ever played within a week, but if you hunt you might be able to find some stuff, game releases and the like.

As for Sweet Daddy Leo, he'd bring in a couple of good older players and then lie to about 50 kids about what their role would be to get them into camp, trying to corner the market on talent as best he could. Then rather than cutting the players, he'd deal them out of the division before breaking camp. This is what directly led to the ECHL limiting the number of players that could be signed to SPC's before training camp and later the number of players that could be in training camp at all, whether they were on SPC's or tryout agreements.

However, eventually his psychotic act in the locker room would catch up with him, and he'd lose the team. The fact that he couldn't put a cup winner together in Florida, where you have literally every advantage imaginable in recruiting, says plenty.

As far as callups in the northeast, you guys get hurt more often than not because the AHL teams have to pay the players' travel costs coming in, unless there is a specific clause in the affiliation agreement requiring the ECHL team to pay for it, but that's rare. Thus, when an AHL team just needs a warm body to fill out the lineup, obviously they are much happier to pay for two tanks of gas and a lunch at Subway than a cross-country flight.

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03-21-2011, 07:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrazyEddie20 View Post
No, back then it was all CHL teams - Memphis went down to Florida, Mississippi played two teams in Texas, Johnstown and Dayton both played Youngstown, and a few others. The CHL basically erased all evidence that the games were ever played within a week, but if you hunt you might be able to find some stuff, game releases and the like.

As for Sweet Daddy Leo, he'd bring in a couple of good older players and then lie to about 50 kids about what their role would be to get them into camp, trying to corner the market on talent as best he could. Then rather than cutting the players, he'd deal them out of the division before breaking camp. This is what directly led to the ECHL limiting the number of players that could be signed to SPC's before training camp and later the number of players that could be in training camp at all, whether they were on SPC's or tryout agreements.

However, eventually his psychotic act in the locker room would catch up with him, and he'd lose the team. The fact that he couldn't put a cup winner together in Florida, where you have literally every advantage imaginable in recruiting, says plenty.

As far as callups in the northeast, you guys get hurt more often than not because the AHL teams have to pay the players' travel costs coming in, unless there is a specific clause in the affiliation agreement requiring the ECHL team to pay for it, but that's rare. Thus, when an AHL team just needs a warm body to fill out the lineup, obviously they are much happier to pay for two tanks of gas and a lunch at Subway than a cross-country flight.
All makes sense. I still can't believe we let Marty(who would have stayed 1 more year) go for SWEET DADDY LEO.

I have to ask because i'm not as familiar, but what are all the advantages in Florida? I know for Vets it's the weather? But are the owners really rich or something? I just can't picture young kids who wanna move up going down there. I thought I read awhile back the Blades might be for sale and depending who they are sold to, might not even exist anymore? To be totally honest, having seen the Germain Arena via the B@ twice before I gotta say the rink doesn't impress me at all as a facility.

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03-21-2011, 08:28 PM
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CrazyEddie20
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The advantages of Florida are huge, and they start with Florida itself. What 22 year old guy isn't going to want to go to the Gulf Coast of Florida and play the sport he loves and then go try and wheel bikini-clad babes on the beach? Given a choice between Elmira/Trenton/Reading/The North and Florida, for most guys its not much of a choice unless they are SO desperate to get called up that they pick the north. In reality though, a guy who is really deserving of a call-up (meaning beyond being the 10th forward for a game or two and serving the bench minors and five minutes of dump-it-in, chip-it-out garbage time) is going to get called up regardless of where he plays in the ECHL.

Beyond that, the players and staff are treated like gold. The organization doesn't cheap out on them, picks up plenty of meals on the road, never makes them sleep on the bus to save on hotels (and although its' against the CBA, ECHL teams do this ALL THE TIME), they live in nice apartments, and the fans there are terriffic.

As far as Germain Arena, it's a great place to watch a game. It's essentially the same building Trenton has with two attached practice rinks. It makes PLENTY of other building look so-so after 13 years...

As far as selling the team, there was an article about that in the Fort Myers paper a while back, but that was the last we heard of that. Mostly, it's tied to the fact that a lot of the economic growth in SWFL was the so-called "false growth" of the housing boom. When the jobs are in building houses, but then the people that move there and occupy those houses don't have jobs, that creates a poor economic situation. But the market is still there for the Blades, plenty of snowbirds and retirees.

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03-22-2011, 04:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrazyEddie20 View Post
A good AA player is a good AA player, but the difference in the two leagues is where the skills of the AVERAGE player falls.
an average player in the CHL is at best a 30th percentile player in the ECHL.
I'd agree. Again, based on a relatively small sample size, but here in Reading we've had a few ex-CHL guys signed who lit up the CHL for a couple years, and they couldn't cut it in the ECHL. We've also had guys who were third liners here, taking the occasional healthy scratch when the roster was full, and after a year or two they left for the CHL and end up as first liners, or all stars.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jackalsfan1 View Post
I have no doubt thinking we have it the worst. I think long term for staying power it gives the E almost every reason to ever do what they can to keep us around. It's a good and a bad problem to have. We can get as good as talent as anybody for location reasons towards he AHL but we as fans unfortunatly take a hit I don't quite think other teams understand. I think to an extent Reading understands but not quite as we have 4 teams in the AHL in state and the New England area near by so I think teams hit us up more for the closeness in proximity. It sucks but what can you do I guess.
You should go back and look at the transactions some time, and maybe a map. First of all, Reading was in the ECHL for about six years before Elmira came along, so the Royals have been the AHL's beyotch for much longer - we know all about getting hit with callups, you are just getting hit hard this year. The Royals led the league in call ups by a large margin more than once. Royals players have been called to Hershey, Bridgeport, Lake Erie, Syracuse, Rochester, Norfolk, Portland, Providence, Binghamton, Manitoba, Abbotsford, Toronto, Grand Rapids, Peoria, Rockford, and Hartford just this year. There was one point when Bridgeport played another team earlier in the year that both teams fourth lines were all Royals. There are nine Royals called up to the AHL right now. (and three more out with injuries)

Elmira has had a lot of turnover this year, but they also had a very disappointing start, and changed coaches. Some of that turnover is due to both coaches bringing players in to try to improve the team. There is a big difference in the number of callups between the North division and the south or the west, but the difference between Reading and Elmira has more to do with how the affiliates are doing in a particular season. Reading has been somewhat fortunate this year with Providence and Toronto, since they haven't had a too many injuries, they have kept the Royals fairly well stocked with contracted players -at least until the NHL Bruins started making trades last month.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CrazyEddie20 View Post
As far as callups in the northeast, you guys get hurt more often than not because the AHL teams have to pay the players' travel costs coming in, unless there is a specific clause in the affiliation agreement requiring the ECHL team to pay for it, but that's rare. Thus, when an AHL team just needs a warm body to fill out the lineup, obviously they are much happier to pay for two tanks of gas and a lunch at Subway than a cross-country flight.
That's sort of true, but most of the callups still involve air travel. Probably 10% or so of the callups will drive themselves to an AHL arena. Only about half the players have cars here, and the AHL teams usually call the day before or the day of the game, which doesn't leave time for a player to drive. (I know because I arrange the transportation for the Royals' players to and from the airport)

Quote:
Originally Posted by CrazyEddie20 View Post
, never makes them sleep on the bus to save on hotels (and although its' against the CBA, ECHL teams do this ALL THE TIME),
.
The CBA specifies when teams are required to stay over, and when they can travel, based on the mileage and the schedule. It does allow for sleeping on the bus in certain situations - it doesn't say players are never required to sleep on the bus. Florida, because of it's remote location relative to other teams, is likely required to stay in hotels more often, than say Cincy, since they have several short road trips. When Reading plays in Toledo or Cincy, and then home the next night, or vice versa, the only way to do it is to have the players sleep on the bus. It is an 8-10 hour drive, there isn't time to stay in a hotel.

If a team is really violating the CBA it is up to the captain to talk to the coach, or the union rep to file a grievance with the union. Some teams do cheap out, and skip the hotel whenever they can within the rules (coughWheelingcough), and other teams (Reading, Florida, and others I'm sure) will spend for the hotel so the players are better rested, even when it isn't required.

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