Weekly Sports League and Franchise Reportby Dan Krieger
August 27, 2012 - North American Hockey League (NAHL)
Pecos League: The independent six-team Pecos League, which recently completed its second season, would like to return with six to eight teams in 2013. Four of the six teams from 2012 are committed to next season, but the return of the Roswell (NM) Invaders is uncertain, as that team faced financial and lease issues during the 2012 season and basically finished as a road team. The league wants to add a team in Pueblo (CO) originally listed as the Pueblo West, but is now the Pueblo Westerners. Other possible new teams listed include the Bravos Del Rio (TX), Lubbock (TX) Hubbers, Artesia (NM) Drillers, Ruidoso (NM) Orsos, and Durango (CO) Brewskis.
North American League: The head of the Louisiana Swashbucklers indoor football team in the Professional Indoor Football League has expressed interest in establishing an independent baseball team, possibly as part of the NAL, in the Lake Charles (LA) area. The proposed team would most likely not start until 2014 at the earliest.
Florida State League: The ownership of the Brevard County Manatees, which is an affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers in the high Class-A FSL, reportedly wants to move the team to the Orlando area (Orange County) in a couple of years. The current complex in Viera is also the spring training home to the Washington Nationals, who are also looking to move out of the city. Over the past year or two, the league's Tampa Yankees were involved in an unsuccessful attempt to move to Orange County.
American Basketball Association: The ABA has announced a new team called the Louisiana Gators, based in Lake Charles, has been added as a 2013-14 expansion team. The ABA's new nine-team Pacific Northwest Division has established its own web site for teams called the Alaska 49ers (Anchorage), Alaska Quake (Anchorage), Calgary (Alberta) Crush, Kitsap (WA) Admirals, Lakewood (WA) Panthers, Olympia (WA) Rise, Salem (OR) Sabres, Seattle Mountaineers, and Washington Rampage (Snohomish County). A previously announced new team called the Yakima (WA) Vipers is no longer listed.
Arena Football League: The Kansas City Command has announced the team will not return to the AFL in 2013 after playing only two seasons in the league. A team called the Kansas City Brigade played in the last three seasons (2006-08) of the original AFL. A new version of the AFL was created for the 2010 season and the Kansas City Command joined for the 2011 season. A yet-to-be-named Kansas City indoor football team is expected to be part of the new Champions Professional Indoor Football League for its inaugural season in 2013.
Champions Professional Indoor Football League: The proposed new CPIFL has confirmed at least five teams for its inaugural 2013 season. These include the Sioux City (IA) Bandits, Mid-Missouri (Sedalia) Outlaws, and Oklahoma (Tulsa) Defenders from the American Professional Football League; the Wichita Wild from the Indoor Football League; and a yet-to-be-named Kansas City expansion team. A recent news conference announced the APFL's Council Bluffs (IA) Express team plans to move to Lincoln (NE) as part of the CPIFL and the APFL's Springfield (MO) WolfPack, which failed to complete its 2012 season, will not be part of the CPIFL. The league would like to start with eight teams and no more than ten teams. Other new CPIFL members will be announced before an established September 30 deadline.
American Professional Football League: The Dallas-based North Texas Crunch indoor football team has announced it will play a 12-game season as part of the indoor semi-pro APFL in 2013. The Crunch played four seasons (2008-11) as part of the Independent Indoor Football Alliance, which disbanded after the 2011 season, and decided to sit out the 2012 season. The team was known as the Kaufman County Crunch for its first season in 2008. The APFL lost several of its teams after the 2012 season to the new Championship Professional Football League.
Indoor Football League: The parent company of the Everett (WA) Raptors has filed for bankruptcy and the team is not expected to return to the IFL for the 2013 season. The Raptors IFL franchise got its start as the Wasilla-based Arctic Predators, but moved to become the Kent (WA) Predators prior to their first season in 2010. Midway through the 2011 season, the team remained in Kent but was renamed the Seattle Timberwolves. The Timberwolves' ownership then established the Everett Raptors for 2012 while shutting down the Seattle franchise.
Ultimate Indoor Football League: The UIFL is reportedly moving its Johnstown-based Western Pennsylvania Sting travel team to the Miami area where an expansion team will be called the South Florida Sting. Three teams-the Erie Explosion, Johnstown Generals, and Mississippi Hound Dogs-from 2012 are no longer listed as UIFL teams.
Lingerie Football League-Canada: The four-team LFL-Canada has started its inaugural 2012 season. Teams include the BC Angels of Abbotsford (British Columbia), two Saskatchewan teams called the Regina Rage and Saskatoon Sirens, and the Toronto Triumph, which was part of the United States-based LFL for its 2011-12 season. Each team will play four games from late August to late October 2012.
Quebec Major Junior Hockey League: The Charlottetown-based Prince Edward Island Rocket of the QMJHL plans to change its team name. The team originated as the Montreal Rocket, an expansion team for the 1999-2000 season, but moved to Prince Edward Island for the 2003-04 season.
North American Hockey League: The owner of the Topeka RoadRunners team in the Tier II junior-level NAHL is trying to place an NAHL team in Hidalgo (TX) for the 2013-14 season. The team would play in the arena that had been home for the past several years to the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees franchise in the minor professional Central Hockey League. The Killer Bees folded after the 2011-12 CHL season. The Hidalgo-based team will join other former CHL markets like Corpus Christi, Odessa, and Amarillo that left the CHL for junior-level teams in the NAHL over the past few years. The city of Laredo, which saw the Laredo Bucks CHL franchise fold after the 2011-12 season, is also reported to be interested in bringing an NAHL team to the city.
Professional Arena Soccer League: The PASL has announced a team called the Rockford (IL) Rampage will be part of its upcoming 2012-13 season. A team by the same name played in the 2007-08 season of the American Indoor Soccer League, the 2008-09 National Indoor Soccer League, and the 2009-10 Major Indoor Soccer League, which was renamed from the NISL. The Rampage was put up for sale after the 2009-10 season. Rockford has had other previous indoor teams called the Rockford Thunder in the 1990-91 National Professional Soccer League, the Illinois Thunder in the 1991-92 NPSL, the Rockford-based Team AISL Chicago in the 2005-06 AISL, and the Rockford Thunder in the 2006-07 AISL.
Dan Krieger is the creator of the "The Leagueology Almanac 2011-12", which tracks the changes in league alignments, franchise movements and team nicknames in today's sports world. The publication is currently available at www.amazon.com.
North American Hockey League Stories from August 27, 2012
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- Weekly Sports League and Franchise Report - OSC Original by Dan Krieger
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