JackieMoon

Minor League Hockey Shake-up...coming

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The AHL isn't kicking one of their more successful organizations out of the league, this is wishcasting

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47 minutes ago, Dilbert said:

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.

 

Bylaws forbid new teams from being independent, although the workaround anyway is the Wolves doing what they've always done, and well it sucks to be the team that lost the round of affiliate musical chairs.  Anyway, the Blues aren't doing whatever the heck it is people suggest they do because they don't have the money and/or desire to own an AHL franchise, as evidenced by them SELLING the AHL franchise they owned earlier in the decade.  So yeah, go Blues.

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40 minutes ago, the admiral said:

The AHL isn't kicking one of their more successful organizations out of the league, this is wishcasting

 

I'd love an AHL Franchise (especially with the Blues), but this. A Kansas City AHL team is going to have to come from an underperforming team at the box office and we all know that those aren't exactly uncommon at the minor league level. The Chicago Wolves for a time were the only televised hockey in Chicago thanks to Dollar Bill Wirtz. I don't quite see them leaving anytime soon if the Blackhawks near-dynasty didn't run them out of town.

Edited by Red Comet

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Road games were always on TV under Bill.

 

Like I said, I can see them going away if for some reason Rosemont decides to tear down the arena, but I thought about it more and even that's a longshot: the calendar is still booked solid and, if anything, better off without those bomb-scare DePaul games anyway. They'll probably keep renovating it until the roof falls off again.

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It may be an older venue but for the Chicago market the arena is conveniently located for teams flying in to O'Hare.

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Honestly the Flames should not be in charge of an AHL club. And i dont see Colorado Springs as a good fit for the AHL. I see Colorado Springs as a better fit for the ECHL. It would be a good ECHL affiliate for Colorado Avalanche/Colorado Eagles, plus it would give Idaho, Utah and Rapid City another team not as far from them than Allen, Tulsa, Missouri or Wichita.

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Flames parachuting their AHL team into a town with no interest in the NHL club, and taking up residence in an older arena, going head-to-head with a big local university program.

 

But enough about the Ak-Sar-Ben Knights.

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Good Lord, its damn near like clockwork for Calgary.

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Just the history of Flames affiliations over the years. Some teams were owned by the NHL club, others, werent.

 

-1972-75 (3 seasons) Omaha Knights CHL- picked up the affiliation from the Rangers, Omaha Knights folded after the 1974-75 season

-1975-79 (4 seasons) Tulsa Oilers CHL- picked up the affiliation from Phoenix and Vancouver of the WHA. The Flames would share the Oilers with the Canucks until 1978.

-1975-76 (1 season) Nova Scotia Voyageurs AHL- along with the CHL Oilers, the Flames also affiliated in the AHL with Nova Scotia Voyageurs as a secondary affiliate. The Voyageaurs were primarily with Montreal.

-1979-81 (1 1/2 seasons) Birmingham Bulls CHL- upon the collapse of the WHA, the Atlanta Flames would pick up their southern hockey counterpart as their affiliate. Atlanta would relocate to Calgary for 1980-81 but the Bulls would fold 58 into the season)

-1981-82 (1 season) Oklahoma City Stars CHL- The Flames would pickup the Stars after 3 years of  OKC hooking up with Minnesota. Oklahoma City would fold after the lone season with Calgary.

-1982-84 (2 seasons) Colorado Flames CHL- The Flames put a new expansion club in Denver, replacing the departed NHL Rockies for the CHLs final two seasons. Colorado folded with the league.

-1984-87 (3 seasons) Moncton Golden Flames AHL- The Flames came into Moncton replacing the Oilers who moved their AHL affiliate to Nova Scotia. The Flames shared the team with Boston for the final two seasons. The Flames and Bruins pulled out of Moncton, with Winnipeg replacing them.

-1984-93 (9 seasons) Salt Lake Golden Eagles IHL- The Flames were a secondary affiliate with Salt Lake during the 3 Moncton seasons but became a full affiliate in 1987. The Eagles would play one more season after Calgary pulled out, with the Islanders as affiliate.

-1993-03 (10 seasons) Saint John Flames AHL- The longest affiliation. The Flames bought the Utica franchise from New Jersey and moved them to Saint John. The Flames put their AHL franchise on hiatus for two seasons after pulling out of Saint John.

-2003-05 (2 seasons) Lowell Lock Monsters AHL- While their AHL franchise was dormant, the team shared Lowell with Carolina for two seasons.

-2005-07 (2 seasons) Omaha AkSarBen Knights AHL-  Although Omaha had junior hockey since 1986, it had not had pro hockey since the Flames were last in Omaha in 1975. Two years was enough and the Flames moved the team again

-2007-09 (2 seasons) Quad City Flames AHL- The Knights were moved to Moline kicking out the fan favorite UHL Mallards. The fans didnt care for the higher level Flames product and the team was shipped off again.

-2009-14 (5 seasons) Abbotsford Heat AHL- In a strange move the Flames moved the club to Abbotsford BC, who had no pro hockey experience. Right in Canucks territory and the westernmost and most isolated team in the league.(closest clubs were either Manitoba or San Antonio). The team was moved for a lame duck year for 2014.

-2014-15 (1 season) Adirondack Flames AHL- One season before the mass west coast AHL expansion the Flames put their team in Glens Falls replacing the Phantoms who had just moved to Allentown.

-2015-pre (5 seasons, so far) Stockton Heat AHL- Resurrecting the Heat name the Flames moved their east coast AHL club to the west along with a bunch of other NHL clubs. The Flames swapped their AHL and ECHL cities with Stockton moving to the AHL and Adirondack to the ECHL.

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Glens Falls, man, that place is An AHL Town if ever there were one. Bring it back up.

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I'm genuinely shocked the Flames haven't just decided to put an AHL team in either Regina or Saskatoon. You'd think that'd be the obvious move to have a team 7 hours away in Regina or 6 hours away in Saskatoon instead of putting it 21 hours away in friggin' Stockton.

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40 minutes ago, schlim said:

Lamar Hunt Jr just bought the NAHL Topeka Pilots and is moving them to Kansas City.

 

http://www.nahl.com/news/story.cfm?id=29100

 

There's no way the Mavericks don't move up to the AHL now.

Given this is the same group that filed a trademark and logo for a team named the Kansas City Scouts (and still holds the name trademark), I can only assume that will likely be reapplied for as the team name once the team moves.

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3 hours ago, Ridleylash said:

I'm genuinely shocked the Flames haven't just decided to put an AHL team in either Regina or Saskatoon. You'd think that'd be the obvious move to have a team 7 hours away in Regina or 6 hours away in Saskatoon instead of putting it 21 hours away in friggin' Stockton.

 

Junior hockey is, by and large, more supported than minor-pro in Canada so the first issue would be pushing out either the Pats or the Blades. I don't know how much initial goodwill an AHL team would have with their first move being to force one of these teams to relocate.

 

Second issue might be a size issue. Now I don't know what the average size of an AHL arena is nor do I know the typical population size of an AHL market (someone with more knowledge can apply my info), but Saskatoon's population is around 246,500 and Regina's is around 215,000. Saskatoon's arena capacity is 15,195 and Regina's is 6,484. Don't be fooled by Saskatoon's capacity though, that arena is not "NHL-ready". From what I have heard, the arrival and success of the NLL's Rush has highlighted how flawed/outdated the arena is with those big crowds. It is also beginning the "quickly approaching end-of-useful life" stage and all the politics that brings.

 

Third issue I could see arising would be having people from Saskatchewan/Roughrider fans become fans of a Calgary/Alberta team, a bit similar to the Abbotsford situation. A Sportsnet survey from a couple years ago listed the Jets as the favourite team in Saskatchewan with 36% of the vote, followed by Toronto with 14% and Montreal with 7%.

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As an aside, people have got to stop thinking Saskatoon is a viable relocation/expansion spot for the NHL, it's just too small. Saskatoon has around 500,000 less people than Winnipeg, who currently is the smallest population in the NHL.

 

People point to the success of the Roughriders (in Regina) and the Rush (in Saskatoon) to say that Saskatoon/Saskatchewan could support an NHL team, but the Roughriders are a religion in Saskatchewan and both those teams only play around 10 home games a season and the games are on weekends. Both teams are supported by fans across the province who drive in for the weekend and there are people from all across the province who have season tickets to either team, but you aren't going to get people from Central Butte driving through the snow to Saskatoon for a Wednesday game in December against Florida.

 

Outside of a massive population boost, I think Saskatchewan is at about the highest level it can go in terms of major sports franchises. I guess you could conceivably do AHL, but I don't think the support is there for that.

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1 hour ago, schlim said:

Lamar Hunt Jr just bought the NAHL Topeka Pilots and is moving them to Kansas City.

 

http://www.nahl.com/news/story.cfm?id=29100

 

There's no way the Mavericks don't move up to the AHL now.

 

 

 

While I'd love that (AHL is the best level of hockey Kansas City can get right now), doesn't the AHL have enough teams for each NHL team? Who would the Blues buy to move to Kansas City?

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53 minutes ago, monkeypower said:

Junior hockey is, by and large, more supported than minor-pro in Canada so the first issue would be pushing out either the Pats or the Blades. I don't know how much initial goodwill an AHL team would have with their first move being to force one of these teams to relocate.

The Pats have been in Regina for over a hundred years, and the Blades have been in Saskatoon for fifty-six. I have a difficult time believing that either team is going to get squeezed out by an AHL club, especially if they share an arena like how the Hitmen and Oil Kings already share arenas with an NHL tenant.

 

Quote

Saskatoon's arena capacity is 15,195 and Regina's is 6,484.

The B-Sens have an arena capacity of 4,400. The Comets have an arena capacity of 3,860. The IceHogs have an arena capacity of 5,895. If those capacity numbers can support an AHL team, Saskatoon and Regina's arenas can definitely do so.

 

Quote

Third issue I could see arising would be having people from Saskatchewan/Roughrider fans become fans of a Calgary/Alberta team, a bit similar to the Abbotsford situation. A Sportsnet survey from a couple years ago listed the Jets as the favourite team in Saskatchewan with 36% of the vote, followed by Toronto with 14% and Montreal with 7%.

Abbotsford didn't work for the Flames for an entirely different reason; because it was a place filled to the brim with Canucks fans who were never going to support a team directly affiliated with one of their most bitter rivals. There was a direct and heated NHL rivalry there, there isn't in Saskatchewan. Saskatchewan also has a fair amount of Flames fans, from my (admittedly hazy and second-hand) recollection, so a Flames affiliate in Saskatoon or Regina would do a lot better then it did in Abbotsford due to that pre-existing fanbase.

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1 hour ago, schlim said:

Lamar Hunt Jr just bought the NAHL Topeka Pilots and is moving them to Kansas City.

 

http://www.nahl.com/news/story.cfm?id=29100

 

There's no way the Mavericks don't move up to the AHL now.

 

 

 

What part of "they need to buy an AHL franchise first" isn't registering here?

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8 minutes ago, Ridleylash said:

The Pats have been in Regina for over a hundred years, and the Blades have been in Saskatoon for fifty-six. I have a difficult time believing that either team is going to get squeezed out by an AHL club, especially if they share an arena like how the Hitmen and Oil Kings already share arenas with an NHL tenant.

 

Who owns the arena/master leases on the arena?  If it is those organizations, why invite trouble?  Anyway, the NHL/Junior model works because they can use junior teams to sponge up arena dates in large urban areas, and there's less of a demand for weekend dates by one org or another.  AHL/Junior turns into a death match for Friday-Sunday spots very, very quickly.

 

8 minutes ago, Ridleylash said:

 

The B-Sens have an arena capacity of 4,400. The Comets have an arena capacity of 3,860. The IceHogs have an arena capacity of 5,895. If those capacity numbers can support an AHL team, Saskatoon and Regina's arenas can definitely do so.

 

Reduced travel burdens help.

 

8 minutes ago, Ridleylash said:

 

Abbotsford didn't work for the Flames for an entirely different reason; because it was a place filled to the brim with Canucks fans who were never going to support a team directly affiliated with one of their most bitter rivals. There was a direct and heated NHL rivalry there, there isn't in Saskatchewan. Saskatchewan also has a fair amount of Flames fans, from my (admittedly hazy and second-hand) recollection, so a Flames affiliate in Saskatoon or Regina would do a lot better then it did in Abbotsford due to that pre-existing fanbase.

 

Counterargument, the Flames just flat out suck at running minor league orgs and will kill even the most fertile markets by showing up there.

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