sohiosportsfreak

Minor League Hockey Shake-up...coming

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That is a real shame about the Mallards. They're one of those minor league identities that is bigger than any one franchise and is really synonymous with their community. While there was a lot wrong with how the AHL team was run, the decision to go with Flames over Mallards was very emblematic of just how out of touch that group was. Sadly,the AHL seems to be moving more in a G-League direction with teams being owned by NHL clubs and closer(ish) to their parent organizations. This is what ultimately did in the Ice Caps, who are just the most recent team to succumb to the trend (see Worcester, Manchester, Norfolk, and Portland). 

 

Meanwhile the ECHL, especially in the west, has seen a major loss of markets due to the AHL restructuring as well. The Colorado Eagles will be displaced by Colorado's AHL franchise (although I believe the move is being presented as a "promotion" with the Eagles organization continuing to play a major role with the new AHL team), and there have been serious rumblings about Kansas City (currently home to the Missouri Mavericks) becoming the new home of a St. Louis affiliated AHL team. With an NHL team in Seattle all but guaranteed, I can easily see Utah or Idaho being targeted for an AHL affiliate as well. Ironically, with the AHL and ECHL effectively trading markets, the ECHL could go back to calling itself the East Coast Hockey League.

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17 minutes ago, Thaumatrope said:

there have been serious rumblings about Kansas City (currently home to the Missouri Mavericks) becoming the new home of a St. Louis affiliated AHL team.

 

Those rumblings were from last season. The Mavericks owners did change the name of the team to the Kansas City Mavericks but is committed to their home in nearby Independence. The Chicago Wolves primary affiliate this year was Vegas while St Louis (previously with Chicago) still supplied players to the Wolves. St Louis signed a five year deal with the San Antonio Rampage (owned by the Spurs) beginning in 2018-19 with no intention for relocating to Kansas City.

 

The ECHL I can see in a few years going back to its old footprint of east coast and midwest teams. The league has been recently moving into former AHL markets in the east (Adirondack, Maine, Manchester, Norfolk, St. John's and Worcester).

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I like seeing the Nailers back where they should be, alignment wise. They always had a good rivalry with the Cyclones.

 

Alignment is all set up for Dayton to come back. Would love to see the Bombers return.

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6 hours ago, GraysAntibiotics said:

Quad City might go to the SPHL 

They looked at it but said it wasnt financially feasable. There have been rumors of a return of the UHL, If that does get off the ground they would be a good fit there.

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I'd imagine the SPHL has their eyes on Moline, since Peoria is apparently staying there.

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As the SPHL creeps northward, they need to avoid the Etchel's orphan initialism and get it over with: the Stupid Professional Hockey League

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I've always gone with Skatin' Punchin' Hollerin' League, but I think "Slapdash" would be a nice fit, too.

 

I give them credit for somehow enduring, though. This whole thing started as a feeder league for the aborted WHA reboot!

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"Aborted WHA reboot" sounds like something from one of those group exercises on Twitter where it's like "write a foregone conclusion in three words"

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The SPHL is like that one uncle you have at a family reunion that you never remember exists until someone points him out

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On 3/15/2018 at 2:33 PM, Sodboy13 said:

I'd imagine the SPHL has their eyes on Moline, since Peoria is apparently staying there.

 

One assumes Peoria doesn't have enough money to do anything else.  Or is content with a status quo of dominating the regular season before immediately crashing out in the postseason.  The Fort Wayne Komets model, only dumber.

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Peoria's majority owner is close to a billionaire and they're one of a handful of teams that turn a profit. They're not hurting for cash. With Evansville sticking around and seemingly stable, 

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12 hours ago, waj287 said:

The SPHL is like that one uncle you have at a family reunion that you never remember exists until someone points him out

 

The FHL is the uncle doing time that we do not talk about in this house.

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Ah, my big pet peave... Why does the ECHL charge an insane amount of money for ECHLTV? AHLTV is half the price. 

 

I wish the Cyclones would pay the fee and move up to the AHL (when a spot becomes available). I think there could be a nice rivalry with the Monsters.

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23 minutes ago, sohiosportsfreak said:

Ah, my big pet peave... Why does the ECHL charge an insane amount of money for ECHLTV? AHLTV is half the price. 

 

I wish the Cyclones would pay the fee and move up to the AHL (when a spot becomes available). I think there could be a nice rivalry with the Monsters.

It's the provider they use. Neulion is always super expensive, for CHL/ECHL/ AHL(whenever they had it). Now that the AHL moved to what seems to be MLB.tv/NHL.tv service (MLBAM), it's significantly cheaper.

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I think they'll switch soon. I'd say next offseason. With this stuff, there's always a trickle down. The AHL finds the next new hotness in providers (it was AmericaOne, then Neulion), the ECHL follows suit usually a year later, and then the SPHL the year after that. I know quite a few SP fans in multiple markets that complain about the price but still plop it down each year. As long as people still open their wallets, Neulion sees no need to drop the price.

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It looks like the Chicago Wolves are winding down their once-comprehensive television coverage, as outside of Milwaukee and Rockford, no road games will be televised. (Inside of Milwaukee and Rockford, everyone's too drunk to read.) Admittedly, my chief concern is keeping tabs on the Frost Swine, so that's still there, but I appreciated having Wolves games around when nothing else was on, and I feel bad for people who cared enough about the Wolves to keep up with the road games. But at least parking is free this year after years of usurious Rosemont parking rates, so I might actually go to a game or two this year.

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Just watched a whole weekend of free games on AHLTV. I was really impressed with the video quality and commentating. Definitely worth the $80 for the whole season! I'm signing up now!

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