sohiosportsfreak

Minor League Hockey Shake-up...coming

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Adirondanck, Manchester, and Oklahoma City are your other 3.

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I thought Manchester to Ontario and Oklahoma City to Bakersfield were done deals. Adirondack to Stockton, too. Poor Glens Falls. Calgary claims another.

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Maybe eventually. Canucks to Abbotsford seems especially inevitable. When the Heat played there, the Wolves were the Canucks' affiliate, and had to play Abby eight times a year, despite not being in their division, because those were the only four games a season the Heat could fill more than half the arena. Arizona may not want to shift theirs west because 1) they don't own Portland outright and don't want to buy a franchise, and 2) we're about 2 years out from the next Here We Go Again thread. All signs point to a 5-team western division/conference/league/fiefdom being announce at the outset.

Admiral: Hey, the QC Mallards still exist! In the ECHL, no less.

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Since 1993, they've had 6 teams.

Not only that, but they've killed pro hockey altogether in Saint John, Lowell, Omaha, and the Quad Cities. Possibly Abbotsford if the Canucks don't move in. The world has probably left Glens Falls behind.

After looking why wouldn't Vancouver and Arizona want Utica and Portland closer?

Because it's more beneficial to have farm teams in proximity to one another: less travel time, more practice time, and a big difference in costs. I don't understand this idea that all teams are entitled to have their prospects in their back yards. I'm not shedding tears for the loss of Oklahoma City or Norfolk, but it certainly seems as if many of the best minor-league systems profit from the close quarters of the Pennsylvania-New York State-New England circuit.

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5o74h1rzljejhztgiz2l.gif2151.gif4578.gifhhwvjdezvehifvbeqycm.gifoff0ad5pp7pigp7zxsph19r4e.gif520838752015.gif

Since 1993, they've had 6 teams.

Not only that, but they've killed pro hockey altogether in Saint John, Lowell, Omaha, and the Quad Cities. Possibly Abbotsford if the Canucks don't move in. The world has probably left Glens Falls behind.

The Flames didn't kill pro hockey in Lowell; the fact that its in Lowell killed pro hockey in Lowell.

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And also, the Devils killed hockey in Lowell. Proving harder to do it in Albany, but it's not for lack of trying!

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Don't forget the Devils also destroyed Trenton in the ECHL.

Honestly, I'd be in favor of banning the Flames and Devils from having affiliates. Clearly neither team knows how to keep one successful.

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The ironic thing is that their whole deal is that marketing is irrelevant and these teams exist only to produce NHL players, but they're perennially two of the worst development systems in the league! They're not focusing on one side of minor-league hockey over another. They just suck.

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Admiral, your Brian Burke boner is showing.

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Condors' Twitter account mentions hockey in Bakersfield "for years to come"

With what we know, the Bakersfield-Norfolk-San Diego-OKC shuffle looks like this right now:

Step 1: Move Norfolk (AHL) to San Diego

Step 2: Move Bakersfield (ECHL) to Norfolk

Step 3: Fold OKC

Step 4: ????

Step 5: Team in Bakersfield!!

When should we be expecting this AHL news conference again?

And of course, there's the question of the remaining western ECHL teams. Do Alaska, Idaho, Utah, Colorado and Rapid City get realigned into the same division next year (assuming that none of those become AHL markets at least for another year)?

I can see Colorado, Utah, and maybe Idaho becoming AHL teams in the years to come (assuming that AHL West works out).

The Colorado Eagles could stay as the Avalanche's ECHL team (with a AHL team elsewhere in the state) or could be moved ala Bakersfield to make room for an AHL team (where it comes from, I don't know, with Lake Erie going nowhere).

I know one of the main reasons the Utah Grizzlies dropped* to the ECHL is because there were more local rivals (mainly in Las Vegas and California along with Idaho) at the time. With pretty much all of those Califorinia teams likely gone next year, how long to the Grizzlies stick it out in a worst-case scenario (no Las Vegas or Reno) with just Idaho, Colorado, and Rapid City (and Alaska, but not exactly local)? I don't see Utah in the ECHL for long unless Las Vegas comes back and a Reno team is actually established. Maybe if the NHL expands they become the affiliate of Las Vegas or Seattle in a couple years, or possibly Arizona (though the last go-around with the Coyotes didn't exactly end too well).

Idaho has an outside shot at the AHL, but with a Canucks affiliate likely going to Abbotsford and with the Flames likely going to Stockton and Oilers to Bakersfield it's unlikely they become a local AHL affiliate. But if Seattle gets an NHL team or the Flames move their Stockton squad on a whim...

*You know, not unlike what's going to happen to Norfolk after this season.

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5o74h1rzljejhztgiz2l.gif2151.gif4578.gifhhwvjdezvehifvbeqycm.gifoff0ad5pp7pigp7zxsph19r4e.gif520838752015.gif

Since 1993, they've had 6 teams.

Not only that, but they've killed pro hockey altogether in Saint John, Lowell, Omaha, and the Quad Cities. Possibly Abbotsford if the Canucks don't move in. The world has probably left Glens Falls behind.

The Flames didn't kill pro hockey in Lowell; the fact that its in Lowell killed pro hockey in Lowell.

I would've guessed UMass-Lowell's recent success also played a part in killing pro hockey there

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Condors' Twitter account mentions hockey in Bakersfield "for years to come"

With what we know, the Bakersfield-Norfolk-San Diego-OKC shuffle looks like this right now:

Step 1: Move Norfolk (AHL) to San Diego

Step 2: Move Bakersfield (ECHL) to Norfolk

Step 3: Fold OKC

Step 4: ????

Step 5: Team in Bakersfield!!

When should we be expecting this AHL news conference again?

OKC's not "folding" per se...they're moving to Bakersfield.

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So what about Winnipeg? There are moving there AHL team, do we know where yet?

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There's been a stated intent to move the Icecaps to Thunder Bay, but I think Thunder Bay has to actually build an arena for it to happen. I don't know if shovels are even in the ground for it yet.

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I think there was a backup place for the NHL Jets to move their farm team back to Winnipeg for 1 year or to either Saskatoon or Regina... I'm not sure if these 3 options are still being considered what with Thunder Bay not getting going on the shovelling for the new arena?? Do feel free to correct me if I am mistaken on this ok?

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Last I heard, they're guaranteed one more season in St John's, then they'll probably co-habitate in the MTS Centre for as long as it takes for Thunder Bay, Saskatoon, or an underserved US Midwestern market to emerge as a potential home.

There's really nothing keeping them from dropping the Moose or Jets 2.1 into one of the New England towns that are being abandoned, but I think they want to keep prospects reasonably close to home, and honestly, Stoon or T'under Bay are the best choices here.

The trick is, where they're gonna dump their ECHL guys. They had an operating agreement with the Kings to put guys in Ontario, but with the Reign bumping up then that's obviously dead. Maybe this is the year they get Rapid City into the mix.

Which would make for some potentially fun naming conventions. We could have Rush- ??? - Jets, with Moose being the odd man out. All things considered, maybe the AHL affiliate will be the Thunder Bay Bush Pilots which would be both geographically accurate and kinda awesome.

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Isn't Thunder Bay kind of hard to get to? Saskatoon would probably be the better bet. Medium-sized city, more accessible, helps the Jets put down roots in Saskatchewan.

Rapid City makes sense. On a semi-related note with regard to the Jets' giant territory, it would be nice if they could work some deal out like the Sabres finally got, where Jets games can air in the Dakotas. Not even all of TSN3, just pick up the feed for games and put it on some community-access channel or whatever.

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