Pereira Drafted, CHL Makes Changes, Lubbock remains in Southwest
LUBBOCK, TX: June 6, 2006 - The Central Hockey League (CHL) conducted its annual Spring Conference last weekend in Scottsdale, Arizona, which included an awards banquet, Governor's Meetings and the CHL Expansion Draft. In the Expansion Draft, the Prescott Valley based Arizona Sundogs and the Broomfield, Colorado based Rocky Mountain Rage each selected five players from an available list, and among those selected were Lubbock Cotton Kings forward Vic Pereira by the Rocky Mountain Rage. Following the draft, the Rocky Mountain Rage traded the rights of Vic Pereira to the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees for the rights of defenseman Clay Plume.
Pereira (per-air-uh) was selected in the third round of the Expansion Draft. The 6'3" 220-pound Abbotsford, BC native spent his rookie season this past season with the Cotton Kings and contributed 5 goals and 5 assists for 10 points in 57 games. He also combined for 110 penalty minutes. Prior to joining the Kings, he closed out his college tenure at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI).
League changes were decided upon at the Spring Conference, and the changes were highlighted by the division structure for the 2006/2007 season. The alignment will continue with four divisions split into two conferences. Lubbock will remain in the Southern Conference's Southwest Division and will be joined by Amarillo, Arizona, Odessa, and New Mexico. It is the only five-team division in the CHL. The only other significant changes to the division alignments was the addition of Rocky Mountain to the Northwest and the move of Tulsa from the Northwest to the Northeast Division.
"The Cotton Kings are very pleased with the new division alignment," said Cotton Kings General Manager Todd Chisnell. "We are looking forward to competing with Amarillo and Odessa, and the addition of Arizona and New Mexico into our division should be both exciting and very entertaining."
The CHL's playoff system has also been changed for the upcoming season. Last season eight teams clinched playoff spots, but this season 12 teams will qualify for the playoffs (six out of each conference). The two division leaders will be seeded first and second in their respective conference with the four remaining playoff teams based on the highest point total within their conference. Playoffs will consist of four best-of-seven game series. In the opening round, the 1-seed will play the 6-seed, 2-seed vs. 5-seed and 3-seed vs. 4-seed. The three winning teams (of their series) will be reseeded 1-3 for the second round and the highest seeded first round loser will not be eliminated and will move onto the second round as the fourth seed. The playoffs will continue as normal from that point on, with the Conference Semi-Finals and Conference Finals, followed by the Ray Miron President's Cup Finals. In the final round, the team with the highest point total (tie breakers in effect) will receive home ice advantage, regardless of any earlier seeding. This format was adopted primarily due to a strong consensus by the Board of Governors to allow for more teams to participate in the post-season, while also avoiding the necessity of short 'mini rounds' or the need for byes.
The other changes agreed upon at the meetings related to the team's rosters. The "veteran rule" has been modified classifying "veterans" as those players with 280 or more professional games played (260 last season). Each team is still required to have five developmental players (128 or less pro games) and is allowed a maximum of four veterans. Player compensation has also been increased from $8,500 to $10,000 per week for up to an 18-man roster.
The Kings are excited with the new changes to the league and look forward to dropping the puck in October to begin their eighth season of hockey. Season ticket and corporate sponsorship package sales are already in progress, and the organization has also developed new packages and new costumer service programs. More information about the new programs will be announced more in depth closer to the season.
"We have so many new and interesting aspects to our hockey games coming this season," said Chisnell. "From our new fan reward program known as Kings Kredits to our total revamping of game operations to our new and improved game day programs, this is sure to be a season to remember. Plus, we plan to add to our season ticket benefits and increase the number of game day giveaways. It's an exciting time to be a Cotton Kings season ticket holder and corporate supporter. I also want to compliment the efforts of our fans that made charitable contributions and the players that assisted in charitable, class room and goodwill contributions, which aided in the Cotton Kings honored as a finalist in the CHL's Community Relations Franchise of the Year honor."
The Central Hockey League has not released the schedule for the 06/07 season, but the 64-game schedule will be announced soon. Season ticket and corporate sponsorship information for the upcoming season is available by contacting the Cotton Kings office at (806) 747-7825. Additional 'Kings info can be found online via their official site at www.cottonkings.com.
• Discuss this story on the Central Hockey League message board...
Central Hockey League Stories from June 6, 2006
- RiverKings sign goalie - Mississippi RiverKings
- Scorpions placed in a new division - New Mexico Scorpions
- CHL Changes Playoff Format, Bucks Salary Cap Raised - Laredo Bucks
- Pereira Drafted, CHL Makes Changes, Lubbock remains in Southwest - Lubbock Cotton Kings
- CHL Spring Conference Brings Changes; SteelHounds Remain in Northeast Division - Youngstown SteelHounds
- Central Hockey League Operational Issues Determined for 2006-2007 - CHL
- Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs Named CHL Franchise of the Year - CHL
The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.