Weekly Sports League and Franchise Reportby Dan Krieger
May 21, 2012 - Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL)
American Association: The independent AA has started its 12th season in 2012 with a couple of changes to its South Division. The Fort Worth Cats franchise was dropped by the league after the 2011 season, so the division was down to four teams. The Cats later joined the North American League for its 2012 season. The former Shreveport-Bossier Captains franchise was sold and relocated to become the new Laredo Lemurs. The four-team North Division and five-team Central Division remained the same as last season. The AA will play an interlocking schedule with the five teams from the Can-Am League during the 2012 season. Five Can-Am teams will make a ten-game road trip to AA cities and five AA teams will play ten games each at five Can-Am cities.
Can-Am League: The independent Can-Am League has started its 2012 season and was down to only five teams with the loss of the New York Federals travel team, the Brockton (MA) Rox, and the Pittsfield (MA) Colonials from last season. To build up its 2012 schedule, the five remaining teams-the Newark Bears, New Jersey Jackals, Quebec Capitales, Rockland Boulders (Ramapo, NY), and Worcester (MA) Tornadoes-will each play 20 games against teams from the American Association.
Frontier League: The independent Frontier League has started its 2012 season and increased from 12 to 14 teams with the addition of the new London (Ontario) Rippers and the Schaumburg (IL) Boomers. All 12 teams returned from last season and the league realigned some of the teams within its East and West divisions. The owner of the London Rippers does not plan to change the team's nickname, which was drawn from a connection to Jack the Ripper and has faced some opposition.
Northwest League: The city of Milwaukie (OR) in the Portland area will move forward to build a new ballpark, but wants the short-season Class-A Northwest League to commit to bringing a team to the city by July 31, 2012. If there is no agreement to bring a Northwest League or other minor league team to the city by that date, the ballpark project could die. The nearby city of Hillsboro (OR) was also negotiating with the Northwest League to bring a team to a proposed new ballpark, but it recently delayed a decision on the issue. Both Milwaukie and Hillsboro are in the territory of the Northwest League's Salem-Keizer Volcanoes franchise.
Freedom Pro Baseball League: The new independent FPBL has started its inaugural 2012 season with four Arizona-based teams. These include the Arizona Centennials (Scottsdale), Montezuma Federals (Prescott), Copper State Prospectors (Peoria), and Sonoran Explorers (Phoenix). Teams will play a 90-game schedule through mid-September.
North American League: The NAL's six-team Texas-based Southern Division is now listed as the United Division.
Atlantic Coast Professional Basketball League: The ACPBL recently completed its 2011-12 season and plans to make some changes for next season. The league could change its name to become more of a developmental league and could try to start a six-week summer league. The ACPBL started off the season with 13 teams, but lost the Buffalo Warriors, The Enterprise, the Chesapeake Tru Hope Trailblazers, and a Trailblazers' replacement team called the Center Court All-Stars during the season.
Universal Basketball Association: The UBA plans to add an expansion team called the Georgia PRIME to its Southern Conference for the 2012-13 season.
Women's National Basketball Association: The WNBA has started its 16th season and for the third straight season has the same 12 teams aligned into Eastern and Western Conferences.
Florida Basketball Association: The new FBA has started its inaugural 2012 season with four teams called the Florida Flight (Orlando), Heartland Prowl (Avon Park), Palm Beach Titans, and Tampa Bay Rebels. Each team will play 12 games from early May to late July.
American Indoor Football: The AIF's Ontario (CA) Warriors franchise has shut down operations and plans to join another league next season. There has been speculation the team will try to move to the Indoor Football League. The Warriors were one of five teams in the AIF's Western Conference to start the 2012 season. The Stockton-based California Eagles folded a few weeks ago, the Arizona Outlaws lost its lease in Prescott, and the Nevada Lynx stepped in as a travel team to fill in for the Sin City Blackjacks (Las Vegas) team that dropped out just prior to the start of the season. The remaining Western Conference team called the North Alameda Knights had been set up as a travel team for 2012.
United Indoor Football League: The UIFL suspended the ownership of the Johnstown Generals and the Western PA Sting travel team for the remainder of the 2012 season, but later indicated the teams could be reinstated if certain conditions are met. The ownership cancelled its past two games and had allegedly stopped communicating with the league. The league was planning to use a semi-pro outdoor team called the Palm Beach Phantoms to replace the Sting for two road games scheduled against UIFL teams in Florida. The Phantoms were looking to join the UIFL for next season. A new UIFL team called the Missouri Monsters, based in the St. Louis suburb of St. Charles, plans to be part of the 2013 season.
American Professional Football League: The Colorado Lighting of the semi-pro indoor APFL, has forfeited its past two games and appears to be out for the rest of the season. The league's Springfield (MO) Wolfpack team was also reported to be having troubles.
Lingerie Football League-US: The indoor LFL has announced that its United States-based league will add a team in the St. Louis suburb of St. Charles when it re-starts in the spring of 2013. The St. Louis area team will be part of the league's Eastern Conference with the Baltimore Charm, Cleveland Crush, Philadelphia Passion, Tampa Breeze, and a yet-to-be-named Omaha team. A 2011-12 team called the Orlando Fantasy was missing from the list of teams for the 2013 Eastern Conference.
Western Women's Canadian Football League: The WWCFL has started its second season of full-tackle women's football under Canadian football rules. The Prairie Conference has the Manitoba (Winnipeg) Fearless, Winnipeg Wolf Pack, Saskatoon Valkyries, and Regina Riot, while the Western Conference includes the Calgary Rage, Edmonton Storm, and Lethbridge Steel.
Quebec Major Junior Hockey League: The major-junior level QMJHL has announced its schedule for the 2012-13 season that will see the league return to 18 teams with the addition of the expansion Sherbrooke (Quebec) Phoenix. After the 2010-11 season, the QMJHL purchased and dissolved the Lewiston (ME) Maineiacs franchise before announcing the new Sherbrooke team would be added for 2012-13. The Phoenix is expected to be added to the league's TELUS West Division. Sherbrooke had two previous QMJHL teams called the Castors (Beavers) from 1969 to 1982 and 1998 to 2003.
North American Hockey League: The Tier II junior-level NAHL has announced the St. Louis Bandits have been granted inactive status and will sit out the 2012-13 season. The team started out as the Texarkana (AR) Bandits in the 2003-04 season before moving to the St. Louis area for the 2006-07 season.
ECHL: The Fort Wayne Komets and the Evansville IceMen have left the Central Hockey League to join the ECHL for its 2012-13 season. The ECHL had 20 teams in its 2011-12 season, but the Chicago Express folded after the season. With the addition of Fort Wayne and Evansville, along with expansion teams called the San Francisco Bulls and Orlando Solar Bears, the league plans to have 23 teams in 2012-13.
Central Hockey League: The two-year agreement between the CHL and the five markets from the International Hockey League has ended. For the 2010-11 and 2011-12 seasons, the IHL's Dayton Gems, Bloomington (IL) Prairie Thunder, Evansville IceMen, Fort Wayne Komets, and Quad City Mallards agreed to play under the umbrella of the CHL. The Bloomington Prairie Thunder IHL franchise was replaced by the new Bloomington Blaze CHL franchise prior to the 2011-12 season. After the 2011-12 season, the Fort Wayne Komets and Evansville IceMen left the CHL to join the ECHL; the Dayton Gems folded and a new Federal Hockey League team is expected to move into the market; and the Quad City Mallards decided to become a member of the CHL. The CHL will lose the Laredo Bucks franchise as it has suspended operations for next season. The league recently announced its new Denver-based expansion team for next season will be called the Denver Cutthroats. Two CHL teams plan to establish junior hockey teams for next season. The Wichita Thunder will have a team in the Tier III Western States Hockey League, while the Bloomington Blaze will have an AAU team in the Great Lakes Junior Hockey League.
Women's Professional Soccer: The WPS, which cancelled its 2012 season, has decided to fold all operations permanently. After starting play in 2009, the WPS lasted three seasons. The league had six teams in its last season of 2011.
League 1 Ontario: The new semi-pro men's soccer league known as League 1 Ontario, which will be run by the Ontario Soccer Association, plans to start play in the spring of 2013. The league currently has 11 groups that have applied and the league wants a minimum of 8 teams for its first season. The league wanted to start play in 2012, but not all groups were ready. The final approval of teams for the first season is expected by August 2012.
Premier Arena Soccer League: Some of the PASL-Premier teams have started play in the 2012 summer indoor season. As of now, the men's league has 15 teams aligned into five-team Pacific, Southwest, and South Central divisions. The women's indoor league, which only plays in the summer, currently has five California-based teams listed.
Canadian Lacrosse League (CLAX): The six-team CLAX recently completed its inaugural 2012 indoor season and is making plans for next season. The league had two teams each playing at three Ontario locations (Brampton, Ohsweken, and Oshawa) for its first season and would like to move one team from both Brampton and Oshawa to new markets, plus add two to four teams for 2013. Some markets under consideration are Montreal and the Ontario cities of Peterborough, Cobourg, St. Catharines, Barrie, Oakville, and Brantford.
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.
Quebec Major Junior Hockey League Stories from May 21, 2012
- Sea Dogs bounce back with 5-2 win - QMJHL
- Sea Dogs Even Record - Saint John Sea Dogs
- Offence sizzles as Cataractes defeat Knights - QMJHL
- 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.