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Minor League Hockey Shake-up...coming


JackieMoon
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13 minutes ago, Red Comet said:

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?

The Blues don't have an affiliate anymore, actually; the Rampage, their previous affiliate, was sold and is being moved to Henderson as the Knights' AHL affiliate next season. They almost definitely won't want to work with the Wolves again, given how awfully the last stint those two had as affiliates went, so I think they'll likely angle to get an entirely new franchise so they can avoid ever dealing with the Wolves. I could potentially see the Blues putting an AHL team in Kansas City or Peoria.

 

With Seattle adding a team in Palm Springs, I could potentially see the Blues angling to get a new affiliate of their own as well; we know Doug Armstrong and the Blues are already looking to get a new affiliate, and I imagine they'd want one that they have control over after the utter :censored:show that was their time with the Wolves. Incidentally, that would also bump the AHL up to 32 teams; which means every NHL team would then have an AHL affiliate of their own.

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25 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.

 

The NHL and CHL fill different niches in terms of fans and corporate sponsors. The AHL and CHL would fill the same niche, roughly, and could cannibalize each other. I don't think there's a market for both an AHL team and a CHL team because they would be at the same non-NHL level. (I'm willing to give Winnipeg a few more years and see what happens once the Ice, er.. ICE, get their arena).

 

The Hitmen and Oil Kings are also both owned by the NHL tenant they share an arena with and fill dates as noted by @rams80. Also noted by him is that the Blades and Pats are the primary tenants of their current arenas, so a second team would not be the same situation as the Flames/Hitmen and Oilers/Oil Kings for the above reasons.

 

25 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.

 

Duly noted. But like I also said, it's not necessarily just the size of the arena, it's the potential fan support for minor league hockey in Canada.

 

25 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.

 

It's not really an entirely different reason. A rival province, not just in sports but also in politics and general provincial pride, hosting the development team for an Alberta team could again be a hard sell.

 

I also just posted that the Flames weren't one of the top three teams for Saskatchewan in that Sportsnet survey, which doesn't need to be taken as peer-reviewed fact but it should at least be noted.

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37 minutes ago, rams80 said:

 

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

The rumor is the Mavericks get moved up to the AHL. I'm not sure how exactly that works, but Hunt Jr is all about it and St Louis needing an affiliate kinda makes the logistical pieces work.

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24 minutes ago, Ridleylash said:

The Blues don't have an affiliate anymore, actually; the Rampage, their previous affiliate, was sold and is being moved to Henderson as the Knights' AHL affiliate next season. They almost definitely won't want to work with the Wolves again, given how awfully the last stint those two had as affiliates went, so I think they'll likely angle to get an entirely new franchise so they can avoid ever dealing with the Wolves. I could potentially see the Blues putting an AHL team in Kansas City or Peoria.

 

THE BLUES DON'T WANT TO/LACK THE FUNDS TO OWN AN AHL FRANCHISE.

They owned a team at one point and then sold it for this very reason.  The same ownership group in place then still owns the teams, so I doubt the financials have changed that much.  Yes, the Wolves are an incredibly sub-optimal affiliate, but the Blues don't really have much of a choice in the matter given this situation on the ground.

 

Also, I strongly suspect the Peoria Civic Center would be willing to work with the Blues again, since the Blues stripped the Civic Center's hockey facilities of everything that wasn't nailed down and a few things that were when they pulled out-many of which had actually been paid for by the Civic Center.

 

24 minutes ago, Ridleylash said:

 

With Seattle adding a team in Palm Springs, I could potentially see the Blues angling to get a new affiliate of their own as well; we know Doug Armstrong and the Blues are already looking to get a new affiliate, and I imagine they'd want one that they have control over after the utter :censored:show that was their time with the Wolves. Incidentally, that would also bump the AHL up to 32 teams; which means every NHL team would then have an AHL affiliate of their own.

 

Palm Springs brought the AHL to 32 teams.

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2 minutes ago, schlim said:

The rumor is the Mavericks get moved up to the AHL. I'm not sure how exactly that works, but Hunt Jr is all about it and St Louis needing an affiliate kinda makes the logistical pieces work.

 

They need to buy and move an existing team.

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2 hours ago, monkeypower said:

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.

 

You are absolutely right.  If there was support for the AHL to be there we would be hearing about teams considering it.  Saskatchewan is Dub country.  That is what the province knows and loves.  You can see the highest level there is for players in their junior hockey years, rather than minor league pros.  The Pats and the Blades fans can enjoy the longstanding, tense rivalries they have with each other and the other long tenured teams in the WHL (damn you Moose Jaw Warriors!) .  Not sure many fans would be clamouring to go see the Rockford IceHogs when they come into town for a game.

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The International Hockey League, during more or less its last decade of existence, had many clubs that lacked affiliations with NHL teams.  Is the AHL of today just as willing to let the Wolves or any of its other teams play without a tie-up with an NHL club? 

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27 minutes ago, Walk-Off said:

The International Hockey League, during more or less its last decade of existence, had many clubs that lacked affiliations with NHL teams.  Is the AHL of today just as willing to let the Wolves or any of its other teams play without a tie-up with an NHL club? 

 

The reason the IHL went without affiliates was that the NHL thought they were getting too uppity. 

 

I'd give my left nut to see the Blades come back, ngl

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11 minutes ago, Red Comet said:

I'd give my left nut to see the Blades come back, ngl

 

I honestly would have loved to see the Blades, as well as the Solar Bears in the AHL. At least the Solar Bears are back now in the ECHL. I always loved their brand.

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1 minute ago, Dilbert said:

 

I honestly would have loved to see the Blades, as well as the Solar Bears in the AHL. At least the Solar Bears are back now in the ECHL. I always loved their brand.

 

:censored: you, DeVos. I'm just glad that pulling two minor league hockey teams is the worst thing the DeVos family has come up with.

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2 hours ago, Walk-Off said:

The International Hockey League, during more or less its last decade of existence, had many clubs that lacked affiliations with NHL teams.  Is the AHL of today just as willing to let the Wolves or any of its other teams play without a tie-up with an NHL club? 

 

Restrictions on the use of veteran players mean that any pure Indy team would have difficulty icing a competitive squad.  The last independent AHL team was an unmitigated disaster too, which helped drive the decision to not do this anymore. https://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/team_results.php?tid=305&sid=1995

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I'm no familiar with a lot of the logisitics of the AHL, understand they're at 32 teams, and matching a team with an affiliate is essential now. But there's been a lot of talk about the AHL here in Kansas City, and I thought it would happen until I read this :

 

https://arenadigest.com/2020/02/28/should-blues-pursue-kansas-city-ahl-affiliate/

 

The Sprint Center seats well over 16k for hockey, was built for an NBA/NHL team, and is in the middle of downtown, the Mavericks currently play in Independence, about 10 miles west of KC and seats just under 6,000. I can't see an AHL team moving into the Sprint Center as its one of the most used and profitable arenas in the country, and annually gives about 1 million a year back to the city (KCMO paid for it after all).

 

I'd say moving an AHL team into Independence would not hurt, but taking over 40+ dates at the Sprint Center would most likely be a disaster.

 

 

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2 hours ago, schlim said:

I'm no familiar with a lot of the logisitics of the AHL, understand they're at 32 teams, and matching a team with an affiliate is essential now. But there's been a lot of talk about the AHL here in Kansas City, and I thought it would happen until I read this :

 

https://arenadigest.com/2020/02/28/should-blues-pursue-kansas-city-ahl-affiliate/

 

The Sprint Center seats well over 16k for hockey, was built for an NBA/NHL team, and is in the middle of downtown, the Mavericks currently play in Independence, about 10 miles west of KC and seats just under 6,000. I can't see an AHL team moving into the Sprint Center as its one of the most used and profitable arenas in the country, and annually gives about 1 million a year back to the city (KCMO paid for it after all).

 

I'd say moving an AHL team into Independence would not hurt, but taking over 40+ dates at the Sprint Center would most likely be a disaster.

 

 

Well with the news today that Hunt is moving the NAHL Topeka Pilots to the Kansas City area, I imagine he'll put them in Independence. I know he was committed to keeping the Mavericks there and in the ECHL but maybe the time has come for him to work with the Blues for an AHL club at the Sprint Center. Sprint Center doesnt have a primary tennant and they could easily curtain off the upper levels and it would work just fine for an AHL club, as would the arena in Independence. The issue here is that they would have to purchase a current AHL club and right now a lot of them arent available. A majority of AHL clubs are owned by their NHL parents.

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Sprint Center has prided itself on being successful and booked enough not to actually need a primary tenant, though. Don't see why it would want one that would half-fill the place at maximum and demand lots of weekend dates out of the 38 total it requires.

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7 hours ago, Sodboy13 said:

Sprint Center has prided itself on being successful and booked enough not to actually need a primary tenant, though. Don't see why it would want one that would half-fill the place at maximum and demand lots of weekend dates out of the 38 total it requires.

 

I could see select dates (home opener, Finals games) being in the Sprint Center due to what I'd think would be high demand. I don't think it would or should be a full-time arrangement unless this hypothetical Kansas City AHL team has ticket demands that will far outstrip Silverstein Eye Center's capacity (5,800).

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I'm late to this, but

On 2/28/2020 at 2:18 PM, 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.

 

On 2/28/2020 at 2:30 PM, rams80 said:

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


I see no reason why you can't both be right.

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