Weekly Sports League and Franchise Reportby Dan Krieger
July 19, 2011 - ECHL (ECHL)
Arizona Summer League: The instructional independent ASL has started its 2011 month-long season that runs from July 13 to July 30. The league has increased from three to four teams that include the Long Beach Armada, Mesa Miners, San Diego Surf Dawgs, and Team Canada. All games are played at Desert Sun Stadium in Yuma (AZ). The ASL started play in 2009 and had been operated by the Golden Baseball League until that league became part of the North American League for the 2011 season.
New York State League: The developmental NYSL started play back in 2007 and recently completed its 2011 three-week season that ran from June 20 to July 15. The league had four teams called the Federals, Capitols, Empires, and Hudsons with each team playing a 42-game schedule. All games were played at Westchester Community College. The NYSL became the developmental league for the independent Can-Am League in 2011 and operates a travel team in the Can-Am League called the New York Federals. The NYSL also operates the Carlsbad Bats travel team in the independent Pecos League.
Atlantic Baseball League: The independent ABL has been awarded the rights to operate a team at a proposed new ballpark to be built in Nassau County on Long Island (NY). Nearby Suffolk County has a current ABL team called the Long Island Ducks that is expected to become a natural rival. Major League Baseball's New York Mets had proposed bringing an affiliated team, possibly in the Double-A Eastern League, to the new development. Taxpayers still need to approve funding for the project.
North American League: The NAL's Lake County (IL) Fielders have been facing financial problems and several players have left due to non-payment. A proposed ballpark in Zion was promised about three years ago, but final funding was just approve in March and work has not yet been completed. The team had to start its inaugural season in the new NAL on a 32-game road trip.
Pecos League: The Roswell (NM) and Ruidoso (NM) Osos of the Pecos League plan to play two games in Pueblo (CO) at the end of July. The league hopes to add a Pueblo Wranglers expansion team for its second season in 2012. The league is also considering teams for Del Rio (TX) and Clovis (NM), among others.
Midwest Collegiate League: The Midwest Collegiate League, which operated as the Great Plains Baseball League in 2010, has announced it will add new teams in Lisle (IL) and Kankakee (IL) for 2012.
National Basketball League of Canada: The new NBL-Canada has announced seven teams that will participate in the league's inaugural player draft in August. The three former Premier Basketball League teams-the Saint John (New Brunswick) Mill Rats, Quebec Kebs, and Halifax (Nova Scotia) Rainmen-will join new teams in London (Ontario), Moncton (New Brunswick), Oshawa (Ontario), and Charlottetown (Prince Edward Island) for the league's inaugural 2011-12 season.
Independent Basketball Association: The Battle Creek (MI) Knights of the International Basketball League, along with other IBL teams called the Gary (IN) Splash, Kankakee County (IL) and the Lake County (IL) All-Stars, have reportedly left the IBL and will be part of the new regional IBA, which plans to play its inaugural winter season from October 2011 to January 2012. A Rockford (IL) team will also be part of the IBA and other IBL teams like the Lansing Capitals, Holland Blast, Dayton Air Strikers, and Ohio Hidden Gems could also join the new league.
Premier Basketball League: After announcing an expansion team for Scranton (PA) last week, the PBL has announced another expansion team called the Chicago Muscle will be part of the league's upcoming 2012 season.
Continental Basketball Association: A new owner has launched a basketball league known as the New Era of the Continental Basketball Association that plans to start play with 10 to 12 teams in October 2011. The last version of the CBA played its final game in February 2009. Back in April 2011, there was mention of a possible CBA restart with the Syracuse Snow Leopards as the founding team.
American Basketball Association: The ABA's proposed Canadian division known as ABA-Canada will be participating in the 2011-12 season with a team called the ABA-Canada Revolution. The Revolution will be playing games throughout southern Ontario against U.S.-based ABA teams to introduce the league to potential Canadian markets. The team has announced a brief summer schedule with two games in Oshawa (Ontario) and one in Mississauga (Ontario).
Ultimate Indoor Football League: The Cincinnati Commandos indoor football team, which has been part of the Continental Indoor Football League for the past two seasons, has switched to the UIFL for the 2012 season. The Commandos will join another former CIFL team, the Marion Blue Racers, in the UIFL's new North Division.
Indoor Championship Football League: The semi-pro ICFL has been playing some games this year as it prepares for its full inaugural season that will start in November 2011. The league currently has five teams listed for 2011. These include the Bucks County Broncos, Delaware Fury, Delmarva Bayriders, Maryland Force, and Virginia Cardinals. Several other teams like the Baltimore Bombers, Virginia Spartans, Metro Nemesis, DMV Hitmen, and Delshore Riptide have been listed by the ICFL at one time or another over the past several months.
Central Hockey League: The new CHL franchise in Bloomington (IL) will be called the Bloomington Blaze when the team starts play in the 2011-12 season. The Blaze replaces the Bloomington Prairie Thunder franchise, which was part of the 2010-11 CHL, but it was unable to renew its lease with the city. The Bloomington Prairie Thunder was one of five International Hockey League franchises that played as part of the CHL in 2010-11.
ECHL: With the recent departure of the Trenton Devils from the ECHL, the Philadelphia Flyers of the National Hockey League stated they may consider an affiliation with a potential future ECHL team in Trenton. The Flyers were affiliated with the ECHL's Trenton Titans until being sold to the NHL's New Jersey Devils for the 2007-08 season. The Flyers current ECHL affiliate is the Wheeling (WV) Nailers.
Quebec Major Junior Hockey League: The Montreal Junior team in the major-junior QMJHL was sold after the 2010-11 season and announced plans to move to suburban Broisband (Quebec). The team will be called the Blainville-Boisbrand Armada when its starts play in the 2011-12 QMJHL season. The Montreal Junior joined the league for the 2008-09 season after the St. John's (Newfoundland) Fog Devils moved to Montreal.
Federal Hockey League: The Green Mountain Rock Crushers (Jay, VT) were originally announced as a 2011-12 FHL expansion team. The team states that it will not be playing in 2011-12 and is working towards a team in the 2012-13 season. The league recently announced it will play with eight teams for its second season in 2011-12 and Green Mountain was not listed as one of those teams.
United Soccer Leagues - Major Indoor Soccer League: The new MISL franchise based in Syracuse (NY) will be called the Syracuse Silver Knights when it starts play in the 2011-12 season. The Syracuse franchise was originally announced to be part of the proposed USL I-League, but the USL and MISL merged in May 2011 with the MISL coming under the USL umbrella. The 2011-12 MISL is expected to include two other proposed USL I-League teams called the Norfolk SharkX and Rochester Lancers. The MISL will also have the Baltimore Blast, Milwaukee Wave, and Missouri Comets (Independence) from last season, along with the Wichita Wings expansion team.
North American Lacrosse League: The proposed new indoor NALL has announced its new Wilkes-Barre/Scranton franchise will be called the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Shamrocks when the league starts play in January. The league announced a new Charlotte (NC) franchise about a week ago and hopes to have six teams in its inaugural season. Some of the other cities under consideration are Jacksonville (FL), Bridgeport (CT), and Hershey (PA).
Midwest Lacrosse Association: The new semi-pro indoor MLA has announced the six teams that will be part of the inaugural 2011 season that will run from mid-August to early October. Teams will be located in Chicago (02 Outlaws), Cincinnati (Celtic Lacrosse), Detroit (Champion Lacrosse), Grand Rapids (Grand Rapids Lacrosse), Louisville (River City Rhinos), and Naperville, Illinois (True Players Lacrosse). Some other previously announced teams like the St. Louis Pride and Team Milwaukee have been moved to the 2012 expansion team list.
Dan Krieger is the creator of the "leagueology almanac" known as "Leagues, Teams & Nicknames", which tracks the changes in league alignments, franchise movements and team nicknames in today's sports world. The latest 2010-11 edition is available at http://www.lulu.com/product/paperback/leagues-teams-nicknames-the-leagueology-almanac-2010-11/15228513. Dan can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ECHL Stories from July 19, 2011
- Reign Signings Continue - Ontario Reign
- Wranglers Sign Thomas Kiriakou - Las Vegas Wranglers
- Ryan Cruthers Returns to Reading - Reading Royals
- Sauter's Training-Camp Roster Grows by Two - Idaho Steelheads
- Fans Invited to Golf with the Jackals - Elmira Jackals
- Weekly Sports League and Franchise Report - OSC Original by Dan Krieger
The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer(s), and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.