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Denver Cutthroats new CHL minor league team


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Denver Grizzlies could return as minor-league franchise

By Adrian Dater

The Denver Postdenverpost.com

Denver is close to landing another minor-league professional hockey team, and if all goes according to plan, it will have the same name as a beloved former team: the Grizzlies.

The Denver Grizzlies were a 1994-95 International Hockey League team that won a championship in its only year in town and is credited with rekindling interest in the sport that led to the NHL's Quebec Nordiques coming to Denver in 1995 and becoming the Avalanche.

While details are being ironed out ? including a copyright battle over the Grizzlies name and what minor pro league it might join ? a new team is in the final planning stages and could be officially unveiled next week, multiple hockey sources said.

The "new" Grizzlies would play their home games at the Denver Coliseum, the 10,200-seat building open since 1952 and host to previous minor-league pro hockey teams, including the Colorado Rangers, Colorado Flames and Denver Spurs.

Former Grizzlies player Derek Armstrong is expected to be involved with the team's management, likely as the general manager. Armstrong, 38, spent parts of 14 NHL seasons with five teams.

Brent Cullaton, the coach of the Boulder Junior Bison of the Western States Hockey League, is a leading candidate to coach the new team. Cullaton served two seasons as captain of the Rocky Mountain Rage ? a CHL team that played three seasons (2006-09) at the FirstBank Center in Broomfield.

Before the new Grizzlies team is finalized, territorial contract agreements must be ironed out with the Colorado Eagles of the East Coast Hockey League, but sources termed the issues as minor.

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Names aside, I hope this has nothing to do with the Utah Grizzlies. The only situation where I'd like to see the Utah team move is if the AHL comes out west, but I haven't heard anything. That's all I say about AHL expansion/relocation in this thread.

I wonder what league this team will play in.

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Is there really that much demand for hockey in Denver, that the Avalanche are not concerned about a low-cost alternative leeching away their precious, precious dollars?

I thought that low-cost alternative was the UD Pioneers hockey program. Apparently the AHL (assuming that's where this team will play) still hasn't learned from Omaha.

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The "Denver Grizzlies" can't be in the AHL. The AHL already has 30 teams, so they can't add anymore. Unless the NHL expands to 32 teams.

I don't think all the AHL teams are affliated with NHL teams, also there might be teams with two ahl teams to one nhl. That might be it?

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Teams move in the AHL dang near every year. Abbotsford's long overdue.

Yes, but presumably the Avalanche would object to somebody else's affiliate setting up shop in Denver, and Cleveland would rather not deal with the Flames and their track record.

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After reading this article in the Denver Post, I have a feeling this is a potential ECHL franchise:

Denver Grizzlies could return as minor-league franchise

There's very little wiggle room right now in the AHL given the number of AHL teams that are owned by their NHL affiliates and because of long term affiliation deals. The ECHL has room to grow. And before you say ECHL teams are too far west, remember that the Colorado Eagles play in Loveland, CO. I think the biggest indicator is the last line of the article:

Before the new Grizzlies team is finalized, territorial contract agreements must be ironed out with the Colorado Eagles of the East Coast Hockey League, but sources termed the issues as minor.

They wouldn't need to iron out territorial rights with an ECHL team if they were playing in any other league.

PS- FYI the AHL Lake Erie Monsters play in Cleveland.

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  • 1 month later...

New Denver pro hockey team introduced; could be called Cutthroats

Read more: New Denver pro hockey team introduced; could be called Cutthroats - The Denver Post

By Adrian Dater

The Denver Post

Saying, "We're going to get this place rockin," the city's newest professional sports owner stood inside the Denver Coliseum on Tuesday and introduced himself and his management team for an expansion Central Hockey League team that will play starting in October.

John Hayes, the CEO of Broomfield's Ball Corporation, will own the CHL's newest entry. It has yet to officially be named, but is likely to be called the Cutthroats ? in honor of the official state fish, the greenback cutthroat trout. Hayes introduced Derek Armstrong as the team's first coach, along with general manager Brad Lund and assistant general manager /director of hockey operations Brent Cullaton...Denver Post

adater ‏ @adater?@REMAXofBoulder: @denverpost @adater I thought they were going to go by the 'Grizzlies' #colorado #hockey? / copyright hassles

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New Denver pro hockey team introduced; could be called Cutthroats

Any cold-water fish name seems to fit hockey the best. It would be interesting to see the Utah Grizzlies give their name back to Denver and take up "Cutthroats," though the ECHL would have the Utah Cutthroats and Idaho Steelheads only about 500 miles apart. I wonder if it's the Utah Grizzlies causing the copyright issues for the Denver CHL team.

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