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Luke_Groundrunner

ECHL accepts 7 new teams, transfered over from the Central Hockey League

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Today the ECHL announced the acceptance of 7 membership applications from former Central Hockey League franchises the Allen Americans, Quad City Mallards, Tulsa Oilers, Missouri Mavericks, Brampton Beast, Wichita Thunder, and the Rapid City Rush.

The seven new expansion teams will begin play in the ECHL this season, giving the League 28 teams in 20 states and one Canadian province for its 27th season of operation, which begins on Friday, Oct. 17 and runs through Saturday, April 11.

Statement from the League commissioner Brian McKenna regarding the new additions.

“The ECHL is very pleased to welcome these new Members to the League. These additions strengthen our base in the center of the country and give the ECHL, for the first time, a true national presence. It expands our ability to act as a development league and more closely aligns our number of teams with both the American Hockey League and the National Hockey League. There will be logistical challenges in the short term, however, in the long term, it is certainly in the best interest of the ECHL, the new Members and minor-league hockey in general.” from the article featured on echl.com

The logos of the 7 new teams.

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Updated ECHL team logo page.

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It was no secret that the Central Hockey League was in dire straights financially over the last few seasons as numerous teams jumped ship left and right. With the league preparing to cease operations they worked very hard to workout this last minute merger agreement with the ECHL to save the CHL franchises from extinction.

Also, FWIW, earlier this past summer when rumors broke about this ECHL+CHL merger negotiations, another rumor broke stating that 2-3 ECHL teams may join the AHL for the 2015-16 season. The team names that were mentioned in the rumor were the Bakersfield Condors and the Ontario Reign.

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YES! One unified "AA League!" Welcome aboard CHLers. I have a feeling this is a one year thing. We will see the West Coast Teams leaving as rumors state (...and have/are true with this). Awesome!

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I know I've peppered the mothership's comments section...but last season, the Oilers quietly changed logos (to a recolored version of an earlier one they had):

Tulsa-Oilers-Ice-Man-Logo.jpg

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Wow...that Allen Americans logo is probably one of the most ingenious A/star/'Murican logos I've ever seen.

That Missouri Mavericks logo though...woof. Somebody need to get on that.

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That Tulsa Oilers logo reminds me of Tyrone Biggums.

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And that Las Vegas Wranglers logo looks like Jason and Freddy Kruger had a kid together.

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YES! One unified "AA League!" Welcome aboard CHLers. I have a feeling this is a one year thing. We will see the West Coast Teams leaving as rumors state (...and have/are true with this). Awesome!

My thoughts exactly. Glad the CHL teams were able to merge rather than fold.

And once again (after the UHL folded) I'm glad GFB's Quad City identity lives on!

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why did the ECHL-CHL merger hapened so late in the off season?

Sounds like it was either a last second merger or the CHL teams were all going down for the count. Better late than never I guess.

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It will be good to see the Mallards play some old rivals like the Kalamazoo Wings and Ft. Wayne Comets. Too bad we couldn't get the Flint Generals too.

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This wasn't a merger, the CHL was disbanded and the 7 members applied for expansion membership to the ECHL. All CHL players became free agents, a move necessary because of the ECHL's limit on veteran players. No word yet on what'll happen to the CHL's hardware.

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I know it's been dying for years, but I'm still a little bummed the CHL is done. Lots of great memories.

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