JackieMoon

Minor League Hockey Shake-up...coming

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35 minutes ago, Dilbert said:

Maybe someone can come in like the Leafs did with the Coca Cola Coliseum in Toronto and give Freeman some new life. Unless they can make a deal with SSE to use AT&T, the Coliseum might be the best choice. San Antonio drew decent crowds for the Rampage, and the Iguanas were well loved.

That's why it doesn't make sense to fans here. Attendance has been down this year according to most folks, but not to the point that they weren't worth keeping in San Antonio. 

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1 hour ago, MJWalker45 said:

That's why it doesn't make sense to fans here. Attendance has been down this year according to most folks, but not to the point that they weren't worth keeping in San Antonio. 

 

There aren't that many AHL teams left that would be easily purchased and moved.  Nothing more than that.

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19 minutes ago, rams80 said:

 

There aren't that many AHL teams left that would be easily purchased and moved.  Nothing more than that.

 

I'd have to think, with the 1:1 ratio and so many AHL teams now NHL owned, the selling price for a team might be at a premium, relatively speaking. Don Levin says he hasn't heard an offer to his liking yet, but the Spurs obviously did, and Don many not be in a position to turn down offers much longer.

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The Wolves being sold and trundled off to play in the Tampa Bay Lightning's practice facility or something would be the dumbest end to the most successful AAA team.

 

My fear with the Wolves has been the Rosemont Horizon nearing the end of its useful life. With DePaul at McCormick Place, the circus dead, and WWE running the United Center, who's to say how long a 40-year-old oversized secondary arena with an absurdly shallow rake full of uncomfortable seats can last before being torn down for more hotels, parking garages, outlet malls, or urban simulacra? In other words, Philadelphia Phantoms Phpart Phtwo. I suppose they could move to Hoffman Estates, but I'm convinced that that arena is cursed.

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Currently Bridgeport, Hartford, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Belleville, Binghamton, Laval, Rochester, Toronto, Utica, Iowa, Manitoba, Texas, Bakersfield, Ontario, San Diego, San Jose, Stockton, Tucson and the future Palm Springs franchise are owned by their NHL parent clubs with Vegas purchasing San Antonio. This leaves, Charlotte, Hershey, Lehigh Valley Providence, Springfield, Cleveland, Syracuse, Chicago, Grand Rapids, Milwaukee, Rockford, and Colorado with outside ownership. So yes 20 out of 32 clubs are NHL owned leaving slim picking for another AHL team.

 

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1 hour ago, Dilbert said:

This leaves, Charlotte, Hershey, Lehigh Valley Providence, Springfield, Cleveland, Syracuse, Chicago, Grand Rapids, Milwaukee, Rockford, and Colorado with outside ownership.

 

And even some of those affiliations aren't truly in jeopardy of being severed. The Colorado Eagles are located just 50 miles from their NHL parent club in Denver. Ditto for the Providence Bruins and their NHL affiliate in Boston. The Lehigh Valley Phantoms are a 68-mile drive from the Flyers in Philly. The Rockford IceHogs operate less than a 90-mile drive from the Blackhawks in Chicago. Hell, even Hershey, Cleveland, Grand Rapids, and Charlotte are all situated less than 160 miles from their NHL parent... with Hershey being the only one of the four that doesn't operate within the same state.

Frankly, if any of these NHL parent clubs caught wind that the owners of their respective AHL affiliates were considering selling, I'd be shocked if most wouldn't sweep in to buy said farm teams... in many cases, leaving them operating right where they are now. Cleveland, Grand Rapids, Hershey, Lehigh Valley, and Providence have consistently been amongst the top five or six draws in the AHL over the past seven to ten seasons. Charlotte's been a top ten draw at the gate during the same period. If an NHL parent club could negotiate a reasonable lease, why mess with a good thing?  

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I just don't see the Wolves staying in the AHL with this situation. 

 

As far as the Rampage, the ECHL is their only option, unless the Coyotes move to Houston...

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Apparently, the Vegas Golden Knights are planning to have their AHL affiliate's residency at Orleans Arena be a temporary one. The Las Vegas Sun is reporting that the Golden Knights' top farm team will ultimately play in a 6,000-seat Henderson, Nevada arena. The facility, to be constructed on the site of the Henderson Pavilion, will be located just under 7 miles from the Golden Knights' Lifeguard Arena complex on Water Street in Henderson.

Golden Knights announce new arena for AHL team in Henderson 

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If it's anything like the Big League club, I am expecting the Texas Stars to rack of frequent flyer miles in the AHL.  

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4 hours ago, Brian in Boston said:

Apparently, the Vegas Golden Knights are planning to have their AHL affiliate's residency at Orleans Arena be a temporary one. The Las Vegas Sun is reporting that the Golden Knights' top farm team will ultimately play in a 6,000-seat Henderson, Nevada arena. The facility, to be constructed on the site of the Henderson Pavilion, will be located just under 7 miles from the Golden Knights' Lifeguard Arena complex on Water Street in Henderson.

Golden Knights announce new arena for AHL team in Henderson 

I wonder if this, along with a potential Knights contribution, will aid in UNLV hockey going from ACHA club to NCAA Division 1

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16 hours ago, sohiosportsfreak said:

I just don't see the Wolves staying in the AHL with this situation.

 

What situation?  Travel only gets worse in the ECHL and there is no way for an NHL parent to force the Wolves to sell their franchise or give their farm players ice time.

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Chicago just needs to find another NHL club to affiliate with. Not many options to chose from, and even though St Louis may not want to go back to the Wolves, they may not have a choice. An AHL club has to have an NHL parent club per league bylaws. Chicago wont go to the ECHL.

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12 hours ago, Dilbert said:

Chicago just needs to find another NHL club to affiliate with. Not many options to chose from, and even though St Louis may not want to go back to the Wolves, they may not have a choice. An AHL club has to have an NHL parent club per league bylaws. Chicago wont go to the ECHL.

I could see the Blues deciding they'd rather make some kind of agreement with another NHL team to have their prospects go to their AHL affiliate in the interim, while they begin trying to get an AHL club set up in either Peoria or Kansas City to finally put an end to the issue altogether.

 

I severely doubt they'll even think about putting up with the Wolves again after the absolute disaster that their last stint together was; the Blues' biggest problem with affiliating with them was that the Wolves really don't put any stock in developing prospects. They'll want an affiliation with a club where they can easily develop prospects without having to fight tooth and nail with their own affiliate.

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Could we see the west coast teams break away to form a new league? 

Stockton, San Jose, Bakersfield, Ontario, Palm Springs, San Diego, Henderson & Tucson. 

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2 hours ago, Ridleylash said:

I could see the Blues deciding they'd rather make some kind of agreement with another NHL team to have their prospects go to their AHL affiliate in the interim, while they begin trying to get an AHL club set up in either Peoria or Kansas City to finally put an end to the issue altogether.

 

I severely doubt they'll even think about putting up with the Wolves again after the absolute disaster that their last stint together was; the Blues' biggest problem with affiliating with them was that the Wolves really don't put any stock in developing prospects. They'll want an affiliation with a club where they can easily develop prospects without having to fight tooth and nail with their own affiliate.

This has been the issue with every team that partners with the Wolves. They're pretty much the only independent affiliate willing to strongarm the NHL team.

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34 minutes ago, Wings said:

Could we see the west coast teams break away to form a new league? 

Stockton, San Jose, Bakersfield, Ontario, Palm Springs, San Diego, Henderson & Tucson. 

 

They functionally are their own league, complete with fewer games than the rest of the AHL.  No need to foot the administrative bills.

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For what it’s worth, the Palm Spring arena groundbreaking set for tomorrow (18 Feb.) has been delayed due to “extenuating circumstances.”

 

It probably means little, if anything, but IMO worth mentioning here.

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I'm still putting money on the KC Mavericks stepping up to the AHL and becoming the Blues' affiliate, even with new colors and uniforms. 

 

The Blues will simply give the Wolves the finger and send them to their demise.

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The Wolves will sooner make the league let them field an independent team of everyone just short of the NHL than be "sent to their demise." They might have some pull, you know?

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1 hour ago, the admiral said:

The Wolves will sooner make the league let them field an independent team of everyone just short of the NHL than be "sent to their demise." They might have some pull, you know?

Doubt that would happen. AHL bylaws say they have to have an NHL parent affiliation, no independents. Its what killed Cincinnatis team back in 2005. The Ducks terminated the affiliation agreement and we couldnt find another one. After sitting out a year trying to restart under the Cincinnati RailRaiders brand, that failed when not enough season ticket interest and affiliate could be secured and the team was sold to Rockford. The ECHL would prefer for teams to affiliate but independents are still allowed. The Wolves could surrive in the ECHL with plenty of teams nearby (Indy, Fort Wayne, Kalamazoo, Toledo, Cincinnati). Chicago did fail in the ECHL with the one year wonder of the Chicago Express a few years ago, but they played in Hoffman Estates. Although Manchester failed, former AHL markets havent done bad in the ECHL. Utah, Worcester, Newfoundland, and Adirondack arent doing bad but Norfolk and Maine are near the bottom of attendance.

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