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AHL Franchise Relocation News & Rumors

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Will Baltimore get the AHL back? I miss those Skipjacks.

I disbelieve you were alive when the Skipjacks played in Baltimore.

I was barely alive when the Jacks were in Baltimore.

To answer the question: as long as the Baltimore Arena is the primary arena for the city, then no, the AHL ain't comin' back.

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So what happens with all of the Canucks prospects now? Dispersal as AHL free agents (w/ Vancouver retaining their rights of course)?

Side note to the CHL, I agree, the CHL is dying..FAST. I expect a few more teams to jump to the E to balance it out.

Kind of. The Canucks will now assign players to wherever they can find room.

Still, if Peoria's hope is to "slum it" for a couple of years and then get back to the AHL (or ECHL, as someone stated above), why not help stabilize the Midwest contingent of the CHL? Bloomington and Quad City are there, plus St. Charles, Mo. expansion helps bridge the gap to the Mavericks.

You're going to be an outlier in the SPHL anyway. Why go there and drag Bloomington with you?

At any rate, if this derails the CHL or the league-owned Mallards, I've always thought the USHL makes a lot of sense for QC. But as you can see, I think geographically in these matters.

Bloomy was league owned, Quad City still is, St. Charles will most likely be DOA (they haven't hired office staff, GM hasn't answered phone in 2013 ... literally, building literally said "Who?" when asked why the team never answers the phone), Tulsa is looking to go to juniors, Fort Worth is done in the CHL and likely all together, Allen and Rapid City is gone.

This isn't Peoria saying "Hey, let's go to the SPHL!" This is Bloomington saying "let's GTFO this carcass of a league and give Peoria hockey again."

Hopefully Allen, RC, the Mavs & Wichita can find another league...they're too solid just to be done like that.

Well, that's why I figured QC, Peoria, Bloomington, St. Charles* would make some sense as the eastern, less stable option. And I'm talking maybe two years of stability as compared to the year-to-year. I have no long-term expectations, especially with the Mallards league-owned. But Peoria's end-game can't be the SPHL? No offense, but a two-year-max stay in a Midwest division of Double-A isn't better than the same in a southern Single-A? (And are those designations legit? I sometimes wonder how the CHL is AA.)

*hadn't heard the St. Charles developments, or lack thereof, but that blows a hole in that 8-team plan anyway.

Well someone tweeted at Chill GM Nicole Kupaks and asked about the team. She said they would play. As that stands I have yet to have any of my emails or voice mails to her office phone returned.

As to, MBurmy's RC/Allen comments: no need to worry about them. The ECHL was a done deal back in late March or Early April when the league BOG approved the two joining. Do indeed worry about the MoMavs and Wichita. They both have great fans who deserve better than the headache that is this season's silly season. It's this bad and the Cup was just hoisted on Saturday.

There was a rumor that Wichita's owners want to buy the league from Global Entertainment and now that rumor has expanded to include Tulsa's owner in the negotiations. They want to purchase the CHL and supposedly drop it to the A level to cut costs. That would be an A level league stretching from Prescott Valley, AZ to Brampton, ON. Not ideal. The SPHL would instantly be a better model even with Bloomington and Peoria basically on an island.

Fake edit: Another development in Fort Worth, a couple players tweeted about bounced final checks and they haven't gotten their playoff bonuses yet. One of the owners, the face of the ownership group this past season, is supposedly no longer with the team as of a week or so ago and the remaining owner(s) (could be one or two max I think) are still thinking over what they're going to do for next season.

Reak edit: Supposedly NYTEX is in negotiations with two Jr. teams. Some people keep saying NAHL but I don't see that happening unless it's the Texas Tornado moving back or the Tornado waive the 70-mile bubble for territorial rights. FWIW, the Tornado are already advertising ticket plans for their current arena. Nevermind their fan base is all out north of Dallas now and not in the Mid-Cities. They haven't played in NYTEX since 2005 ish when it was still the Blue Line Ice Complex. Hell the Tornado moving to Dr. Pepper Arena was what started the pattern of teams in large (by NAHL standards arenas). They went from 2,400 with SRO to about 6,000.

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An update on St. Charles, Nicole Kupaks is no longer working for the team but according to her the team will drop the puck this fall. https://twitter.com/NHLTIM/status/334459774664069121

And according to the story from the Peoria Journal-Star about the Riverman and Bloomington joining the SPHL, they have a source claiming that the SPHL is considering more midwest teams for the future and "on the short list in the midwest will be Quad Cities and St. Charles, Mo., according to sources last week."

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Wow... at the risk of continuing my uninformed streak... would that mean the CHL ceases as a league and just becomes team owners? As in the Quad City Mallards? Because they haven't had much luck finding other buyers...

I suppose traveling up the road another hour and a half is no big deal if the SPHL is going to Peoria, but when said market has been so unstable and curretly league-owned, is it really worth it?

Thanks for the info, Geoff (and others).

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It would be a league, just instead of corporate-owned it would be team-owned.

As for QC, they're supposedly a market on the SPHL's radar as mentioned above. And I think Bruce Saurs let the cat out of the bag when he said the league would eventually like to be a 20-team, two division league.The official word out of the league or a league team, even as recently as Tuesday, was their self-imposed cap of 12.

Obviously that 20-team league will take time. Most SPHL fans assumed when the league went to divisions it would be East-West but now it seems they want to move into the midwest.

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And I think Bruce Saurs let the cat out of the bag when he said the league would eventually like to be a 20-team, two division league.

And I'd eventually like to be 175 lbs. with 4% body fat and no back hair.

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It's possible. When the ECHL started is was a rag-tag five team league. Then it added a few other smaller markets and never wanted to go beyond 16 teams. Then larger markets started to want in on the game and eventually we got to the point of a nationwide league with large markets like Orlando, Las Vegas, etc. This choked out small markets like Johnstown.

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Peoria Rivermen new logo (right):

72446_small.jpg

EDIT: It was a placeholder, here is the 'new' logo:

Really cheap & I honestly don't see why they have to change at all.

971401_542321155820651_578242356_n.jpg

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It's not really "new". It's the ECHL-era logo restored.

EDIT-Eminian the Lard Bucket is making noises about there being a new logo to be unveiled tomorrow, so there's a chance that's just a placeholder.

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Logo amended above, here are the new jerseys for Peoria:

BKloG1ICIAA7m1x.jpg

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It's like a subdued version of the Islanders' fish stick sweaters. I like it.

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Hate the logo font, but the uniforms are an improvement over their AHL set in every way.

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Logo amended above, here are the new jerseys for Peoria:

BKloG1ICIAA7m1x.jpg

Everything looks good except for the color scheme. Should have kept the Blues' colors.

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Like that they're doin' a lil' facelift...but I miss Captain Cleft on the logo.

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Logo amended above, here are the new jerseys for Peoria:

BKloG1ICIAA7m1x.jpg

Everything looks good except for the color scheme. Should have kept the Blues' colors.

Heck no. Red's been a team color at every point except the AHL years; the fact they changed the colors for the AHL team were one of my biggest complaints about their look.

Hate the logo font, but the uniforms are an improvement over their AHL set in every way.

Yeah, the font/wordmark has a real "Eat at Joe's" feel to it, which I don't particularly care for, but otherwise I may have to look into getting the blue one.

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Because Peoria was just too far away from Vancouver, you see.

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Cool, we could have the Iowild and Uticanucks in one offseason. It's portmanterrible!

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Utica Nucks would actually be a fantastic name

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