Could KC be headed for the ECHL and an NHL affiliation?

Now that hockey season is wrapping up, the “minor league silly season” begins. Who will be back in the CHL? Will all 30 AHL remain in their current markets? What of the ECHL? It happens every year.

The Central Hockey League struggled this past season. Sure, there was the success story of the Missouri Mavericks (ranked #2 in the CHL and #17 in all of minor pro hockey) and success of the Colorado, Wichita, Fort Wayne franchises. But, the franchises in Texas and the South struggled mightily.

Quad Cities and Odessa won’t be back (both averaged less than 3,000 fans per game).

You know, maybe the Mavericks should step up to the ECHL like the Colorado Eagles seem to be doing. Not that the CHL product is terrible. It’s better than I thought. Global Entertainment is terrible. Global Entertainment operates the CHL.

It just seems like hockey is moving closer and closer to being like baseball — where each franchise has a AAA affiliate and a AA affiliate.

AHL (30 teams) = each team affiliated with an NHL team
ECHL (19 teams) = all teams affiliated with at least one NHL team — some more than one.

Why won’t the ECHL gobble up teams that are relatively successful in their minor pro markets? Colorado, Kansas City, Rapid City, possibly others?

Well, Global Entertainment may be a junk stock worth 5 cents a share and lost money the last couple of years. But, they had the forethought to force teams to stay in their league for 10 years. Ugh.

Colorado has been in long enough and is now distancing themselves from Global by getting out of the leauge. Odessa is close enough to 10 years they can just leave and are.

So, the big hurdle is paying off Global and paying to get into the ECHL. Not going to happen with our Lubbock-based owners.

The ECHL is expanding and getting closer to the 1-to-1 relationship with the AHL.

There is already going to be an ECHL team outside Chicago in Hoffman Estates.
and another proposed for the DC area out by Dulles Airport.

The ECHL is losing a team. The Victoria, BC team is being kicked out of their arena for a Western Hockey League team (Candian Major Junior)

Too bad. Imagine, KC could be in a division with Cincinnati, Chicago, Colorado, Kalamazoo and Utah. Sound familiar Blades fans? Weren’t those rivalries, along with Indianapolis great? Especially when Madill came to town with the Cyclones or Grizzlies. How I loved to hate Gord Dineen and Todd Simon.

The Blues current ECHL affiliate is Anchorage Alaska. KC seems better, doesn’t it?

By the way, the ECHL’s average attendance outpaces the CHL by about 400 per game and is about 1,000 less than the AHL.

About blogger

Just a guy in KC who loves hockey. KC is a hockey town. We just don't know it, yet.
This entry was posted in AHL, ECHL, Kansas City Blades. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Could KC be headed for the ECHL and an NHL affiliation?

  1. Ryan Atkins says:

    Hm. Interesting. Considering that Colorado is bolting for the ECHL, could the loss of a stable and successful franchise set off a chain reaction that collapses the CHL?

  2. Brian says:

    The CHL is likely on it’s last legs. Global Entertainment has driven that league into the ground. The argument can be made that the CHL can’t survive in the current economy though.

    The Mavericks will land on their feet, I’m sure. They’re one of the most successful minor league hockey franchises in all of North America. It has become a destination for AA hockey players and elite young talent. The ECHL will likely come calling sometime in the next two years. That sucks for the Mavs though, as they will have to forfeit their $10 million dollar contract with the CHL, unless the CHL folds.

    Merging with the IHL was a mistake. The CHL can’t survive much longer without affiliation with the NHL. I think we’ll see the ECHL merge with the CHL and expand to 30 teams.

    The Mavericks, Allen Americans, Colorado Eagles, Rapid City Rush, Wichita Thunder and Tulsa Oilers would all make the jump to the ECHL with ease, as all five of those teams play in new buildings and have solid fan bases.

  3. Ian says:

    I know this article was from 2 years ago, but where was this talk of a team outside of DC? There was one years ago, the Chesapeake Icebreakers out of Upper Marlboro, MD, but they folded/moved a long time ago.

  4. motelrob says:

    It looks like the CHL may be gone after the 2014-2015 season. If so, K.C would be a good fit for the ECHL. They have the building in Independance. It would also help the cause of hockey in Kansas City for the Blues pre-season came to sell out. The NHL may never come back to the area, but the AHL is a great league. I feel there will be some failures in the new AHL line-up if it does materialize. Look at Oklahoma City. Just because you place an AHL team out west, it doesn’t mean it automatically draws. A NHL exhibition sell-out would look good on the resume.

  5. blogger says:

    Attendance for NHL exhibition games mean nothing. If it meant something, Saskatoon, who sells out every exhibition game, would get an NHL team.

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