The Central Hockey League (CHL) today announced the participating teams that will compete in the league's 19th season beginning on Friday, October 15, 2010. Although some material matters still remain to be worked out with the International Hockey League (IHL), the CHL will welcome four teams from the IHL who will join 13 returning CHL teams for the 2010-11 season. The participating teams will compete in two conferences during the season. The four existing IHL markets will be the three-time defending Turner Cup Champion Fort Wayne Komets, the Bloomington PrairieThunder, the Dayton Gems and the Quad City Mallards.
“The CHL and IHL are working on all the logistics of this groundbreaking association between our two great leagues,” said Michael Franke, IHL Chairman of the Board. “Everything is moving along well and we are very excited about the end result that could be formally announced soon. It has been a complete pleasure working with the entire Central Hockey League.”
The 2009-10 season saw close to two million CHL fans walk through the turnstiles during the regular season and playoffs culminating with the Rapid City Rush winning the CHL's Ray Miron Presidents' Cup in just their second season as a franchise.
The returning CHL teams for the 2010-11 season are the Allen Americans, Arizona Sundogs, Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs, Colorado Eagles, Laredo Bucks, Mississippi RiverKings, Missouri Mavericks, Odessa Jackalopes, Rapid City Rush, Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees, Texas Brahmas, Tulsa Oilers and Wichita Thunder.“The compilation of teams for the CHL's 19th season couldn't be better and we couldn't have more momentum heading into the season,” said Duane Lewis, CHL Commissioner. “The new additions from the IHL will be welcomed with open arms and could make this upcoming season one of the most entertaining and competitive in our history. We can't wait to drop the puck in October.”
Announcements regarding playoff format, conference alignment, additional cities for the 2010-11 season and other team related issues will be made in the very near future and the 2010-11 CHL regular season schedule is slated to be released in July.