Is the CHL Screwed?

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Sam Hill
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Post by Sam Hill » Wed Sep 17, 2014 5:25 am

Not a new development, as this was rumored more than a month ago:

http://prohockeytalk.nbcsports.com/2014 ... -to-merge/
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Post by Pounder » Wed Sep 17, 2014 8:17 pm

What's changed is the seeming insistence that the merger would happen NOW and be in effect next month. Yes, I'm skeptical that this is logistically possible, but more than one hint from more than one media source is telling... if befuddling.
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Dan K
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Post by Dan K » Sun Sep 21, 2014 1:16 pm

Interesting to note that both leagues were involved in previous mergers--the ECHL with the West Coast Hockey League in 2003 and the CHL with the Western Professional Hockey League in 2001.

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Post by robster2001 » Wed Oct 08, 2014 2:59 am

Well, since the CHL officially lost all of its teams today, I'd say we have our answer to the topic question. :)

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Post by nksports » Thu Oct 09, 2014 7:08 am

This will be really interesting. Training camps for the CHL start Monday and the first exhibition games are in a week. The other question is competitive imbalance —*while both were branded Class AA, the ECHL talent was by far superior. Most of the CHL teams don't have direct NHL affiliations (several had ECHL and AHL affiliations).
Last edited by nksports on Thu Oct 09, 2014 7:21 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by nksports » Thu Oct 09, 2014 7:17 am

[quote=""Dan K""]Interesting to note that both leagues were involved in previous mergers--the ECHL with the West Coast Hockey League in 2003 and the CHL with the Western Professional Hockey League in 2001.[/quote]

The CHL also had mergers with the Southern Hockey League and the Colonial/United/International Hockey League. The WPHL was actually a reverse merger. The WPHL ownership (an arena building company) basically took control of the CHL and rebranded itself as the CHL. It sold the league back to the owners two years ago.

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Post by nksports » Tue Jan 24, 2017 7:55 am

[quote=""nksports""]Off the top of my head (a scary place to be some days)
Pros to merger:
A stable league for CHL teams
Players in both leagues have the same union
More teams to play means less fan boredom (you're not playing the same team 12 times a season)
Cons to merger: (cons at least for this season)
CHL teams go to camp later
CHL teams have smaller budgets
While both leagues claim to be AA level, ECHL would be closer to AA Advanced. CHL teams have fewer affiliations (and some affiliate with ECHL teams). CHL teams would be lucky to win 10 games this season other than games against each other.
Questions remain in my mind about Wichita-Tulsa common ownership (would ECHL make Steven family sell one of the teams)
CHL teams play fewer games
CHL teams (with the exception of Brampton and Quad Cities) are away from mainline of ECHL
ECHL would force CHL teams to raise ticket prices to stay competitive
Would require a new schedule just weeks before start of season and not all teams are not the main schedule priority in their buildings (example: U of Tulsa has priority in same building Tulsa plays in), making for a scheduling nightmare.
General observations:
CHL cut out most of the deadwood the past couple of seasons, so what's left (other than Brampton) seems stable. Would not be surprised if Oklahoma City tried to jump back in at some point (would definitely help Tulsa).
Fort Worth Brahmas are officially still alive and looking for someone to build a building for them in the area that seats more than 2,500 (don't know if all of this helps them or is neutral, but they are in CHL's natural footprint). City of Fort Worth buildings threw out most of their pro sports tenants for rather strange reasons (such as mega churches wanting to rent them).
Still can't figure Brampton out. They fit no one's footprint. They are among the bottom of minor league hockey in attendance. (Yes it was old CHL management that brought them in, but I don't see what they do for the league other than blow up travel budgets).
While Denver and Arizona are both "on hiatus," I don't see them coming back. Merger would probably kill Denver as NHL would veto their return to the Denver city limits (maybe try Broomfield again?)
The team the ECHL would make the most sense for is Quad Cities, bringing them closer to old rivals like Fort Wayne and Evansville.
Ideal locations for CHL would be Springfield, Mo., and Joplin, Mo., but neither has a suitable facility. Towns around with suitable facilities (Dodge City, Enid, Grand Island, Kearney) are way too small for pro hockey.[/quote]
So what's happened since:
•*The CHL teams haven't done too bad in the ECHL
•*The attendance of the CHL teams has actually risen (even for Brampton)
•*The ECHL allowed the multiple ownership of the Steven family (which owns three former CHL teams, Wichita, Tulsa and Allen)
•*For the most part, the CHL teams have been competitive on the ice. A couple of teams have struggled, but teams like Allen, Missouri and even Brampton have done pretty well.
• Ticket prices for CHL teams did go up, but only by an average of a couple bucks a ticket.
•*A lot of the CHL veterans did well in the first season of the merger, but as most of the teams picked up AHL and NHL affiliations, the rosters have become dramatically younger.
•*Of the suspended franchises, Fort Worth and Prescott Valley are both dead. Both are in NHL protected territories.
•*Still no movement in OKC, which went from the CHL penthouse to the AHL outhouse.

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Post by suge night » Fri Jan 27, 2017 5:08 pm

Junior hockey is the future of this level of hockey, you mentioned the Brahmas the original owner received that huge settlement he could fund the entire ECHL for 10 years and not miss the money, but has decided he's done with hockey at the lower levels anyway.

In a conversation he and I once had he was attempting to relocate the team to the New Jersey area where he had ask a city there to build an arena, they declined and so the rest is history.

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