Tuesday, October 7, 2014

CHL Folds; Seven Teams, Including Allen, Join ECHL

A fresh faced Jordie Benn in his first season with Texas.
Benn played for the Allen Americans in 2009-10. (Credit: Syracuse Crunch)
Well, it finally happened. The CHL has folded and its seven member teams have been accepted into the ECHL for the 2014-15 season. This solidifies the AA level in North American hockey and is great news for a lot of surely-worried hockey front office staff member across the CHL.

Brad Ralph, GM and head coach of the Steelheads, said last week when rumors of the absorbtion were swirling: "I believe it would be a good thing if we can absorb the Central League teams as long as those are solid markets. You want stable franchises you can rely on for jobs, the fans, and the players. You want to build a strong league with great franchises."

The Allen Americans, who were affilaited with Dallas and Texas from 2009-11, were one of the seven teams. They were also the most recent champion of the now-defunct CHL.

Two important things to note for the Texas Stars here are...

  1. The Allen Americans were not the Stars CHL affilaite and have not been since 2011.
  2. The Idaho Steelheads are the Stars' ECHL affiliate.

Surely more to come over the next few days.

Here's the release:
The ECHL announced on Tuesday that the League’s Board of Governors has approved the Membership applications of the Allen Americans, Brampton Beast, Missouri Mavericks, Quad City Mallards, Rapid City Rush, Tulsa Oilers and Wichita Thunder for admission to the ECHL.

The seven expansion teams will begin play in the ECHL this season, giving the League 28 teams in 20 states and one Canadian province for its 27th season of operation, which begins on Friday, Oct. 17 and runs through Saturday, April 11.

The applicants were approved at a special meeting of the ECHL Board of Governors in Chicago on Tuesday.

“The ECHL is very pleased to welcome these new Members to the League,” said ECHL Commissioner Brian McKenna. “These additions strengthen our base in the center of the country and give the ECHL, for the first time, a true national presence. It expands our ability to act as a development league and more closely aligns our number of teams with both the American Hockey League and the National Hockey League.

“There will be logistical challenges in the short term, however, in the long term, it is certainly in the best interest of the ECHL, the new Members and minor-league hockey in general,” McKenna added.

Updates to the 2014-15 ECHL playing schedule, divisional alignment and the format for the 2015 Kelly Cup Playoffs will be released at a later date.

3 comments:

  1. Do you think they'll make Allen our AA farm team and let Idaho go to Vancouver ou Calgary?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't know that they'll want to let Idaho go, so maybe Allen will associate with someone else this side of the Mississippi, like OKC or Iowa.

      Delete

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