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Tailing the Komets

Komets and the ECHL


Tue, 01/31/2012 - 12:26pm

To anwser all the speculation regarding what path the Komets franchise decides to travel on,  really comes down to one basic point.  What is the best path to take that insures the most reasonable chance of business vitality, viability, and future profits? 


Which league is most stable?  Which league affords the most control of your own team?  Which league offers a business plan that allows you to maximize your profits and minimize your risks?  What are the true costs you may expect to endure regarding each league including fees, insurance, travel, and salaries?  Which league gives you the most freedom to control your own roster?


The tantalizing temptation to run to the ECHL because of "rivalries" should be tempered a bit,  I think.  Sure, it would be fun to see kalamazoo, Toledo, Cincinnati, and even Chicago again.  Those may not be reasons to jump however.  The newness of those games, undoubtedly, would bring a spike of interest and excitement for sure.  However, before making judgment I would analyze the Kalamazoo Wings attendance statistcs.  Now that their newness has worn off, has their attendance risen because they are playing their old arc-rivals of  IHL days?  Something to consider, I think.


I trust the Franke's to make the right decision.  A decision based on basic business principles.  Whichever way those "principles" lead is the path that should be taken.  Take out all emotion and use true logic.

Tue, 01/31/2012 - 2:26pm

"Logic is the cement of our civilization, with which we ascend from chaos, using reason as our guide". ~ Star Trek

Of course, it's always easiest to keep emotion out of your decisions if you make them before emotion becomes a factor in the first place. But that being said, science has shown that so-called "gut reactions" are usually the right ones in retrospect. I'd have to agree with Blake. A move to the ECHL seems all but inevitable at this point. Something about that "If all the current CHL teams return, we'll stay" statement. Does anyone actually believe that ALL the current CHL teams are going to return, regardless of what the K's do?

Tue, 01/31/2012 - 2:58pm

The Frankes are in a somewhat interesting and precarious position.  If they keep the Komets in the CHL and retain the other IHL2 teams, then they temporarily maintain a marginally sustainable midwest presence in the CHL.  If the Komets and Evansville bolt, the remaining midwest teams (i.e. Dayton, Bloomington, and Quad City, if they can manage to stay in buisness) would face much higher travel costs.  This would probably hasten these teams' demise, and make continued survival of the entire CHL more tenuous than it already is.

My question, Blake, is do you think that, considering the current economic state and the continuing failure of minor league franchises, that the CHL can continue to stay in existence if the Komets and Evansville leave the league? 



Blake Sebring
Tue, 01/31/2012 - 3:12pm

I certainly hope so because there are some really good people in the CHL. It probably depends on a couple of things. Does Evansville definitely come with the Komets? Does the CHL find two or three expansion teams for next year? If they can put one in say St. Charles, Mo. or Little Rock or somewhere like that, then it could still work. There might be some bridge cities out there that can make it work.

Blake Sebring
Tue, 01/31/2012 - 3:13pm

It could also make the CHL more attractive to some potential owners by allowing the league to work with a smaller salary cap. Some teams are doing that now.

Tue, 01/31/2012 - 9:48pm

Attendance will definitely go up with the move to the ECHL.  Since I moved here the leagues have been the UHL, then the IHL2 and lastly the CHL.  I have talked to many people that have hockey playing experience such as high school/juniors  that  have since stopped playing.  Most, if not all of them, have mentioned over the last 10 years that if they actually go to the ECHL they would spend their money and finally go to a game.  The casual fans will always show up to the games no matter what league they are playing in but this will definitely add the fans that love hockey but didn't want to pay for what they thought was sub-par talent.  (meaning they perceived the ECHL was far more superior than the AA leagues the K's have skated in).  I attend about 12-15 games/year regardless of the league. 

Wed, 02/01/2012 - 1:25am

Blake just so you know and I am sure it was just a slip up but It's the Kelly cup in the ECHL not the Riley maybe that is the AHL?

Wed, 02/01/2012 - 9:51am

The Riley cup was retired in 1996, and replaced with the Kelly Cup.

Wed, 02/01/2012 - 12:46pm

if evansville and the ks go to the echl and the chl doesnt add any franachises i would think that dayton bloomy and maybe quad cities could fold. this might cause the demise of the chl so i think the doers and shakers should approach the echl and merge the two leagues and we could finally have one aa hockey league. then after one season the poor teams can fold and will be weeded out leaving one league with a better or more solid future than whats out there  now.

Wed, 02/01/2012 - 1:30pm

Some fun facts to pass on regarding attendance in the ECHL.

Toledo-5826 per game.  Think the new building has anything to do with it? Leading the league!

Cincinnati-4442 per game.  Surprisingly good in my opinion.

Kalamazoo-2710 per game.  I'm not sure the move to the ECHL has helped.

Chicago-2413 per game.  It isn't great, but far superior to the UHL Hounds.


Speaking of the Hounds.  Kelly Miller was traded by Pat Bingham and the Komets to the Hounds.  Remember in the beginning of that season when Miller couldn't get much ice time and left the K's to go to the SPHL?  He was begged to come back, did come back, then was traded about a week or two later to the Hounds and Greg Puhalski.  Well, Kelly Miller was just added to the roster of the Elmira Jackals.  Who, you may ask, is the Jackals Coach?  Pat Bingham.  Hockey is a funny world.



Blake Sebring
Wed, 02/01/2012 - 4:43pm

Alan, if you believe those figures, I might have a spare franchise to sell you. Those figures are, for the most part, laughable.

Wed, 02/01/2012 - 11:44pm

All AA hockey is the same.




End of discussion

Thu, 02/02/2012 - 10:55am

correct that all aa hockey is the same. thats why its important for the 2 leagues to merge now! they can come up with geographical divisions and a cool playoff system.  this would be the first step and a major one in forcing hockey to set up a minor league system like major league baseball!!!!

Primeval Forest Primate (Formerly JM)
Thu, 02/02/2012 - 2:32pm

All 4 Door Cars are the same.




End of Story. (That's why Burgee drives a Ford Focus sedan)

Thu, 02/02/2012 - 10:06pm

If attendance figures are all laughable, than to whom do you believe?  And if all sre not true, then isn't there some relationship to the lie.  The point is that kalamazoo did not bebefit from the move to the ECHL because their attendance figures are less than the old IHL.  Why would they report less attendance?  They would be the only ECHL franchise that has the relative figures that the Komets could compare themselves to.


Burgee60, I agree that all "AA" leagues are equal in terms of talent, but I'm not sure I would go to that extreme when comparing expenses, viatabilty, and stability.  That is the crux of the matter. 

Fri, 02/03/2012 - 4:45pm

"All AA hockey is the same. Period. End of discussion."  Isn't the whole point of a blog to foster discussion? 

Sat, 02/04/2012 - 12:28pm

Every ECHL team has an affiliation with a NHL team.

Ratio of ECHL to CHL call-ups to the  AHL is 10:1.




Sat, 02/04/2012 - 11:14pm

There are 3 teams who don't have anything affilation with NHL or AHL teams...Alaska, Bakersfield and Las Vegas.

Sun, 02/05/2012 - 11:28am

Y2k.  I had written a more than one paragraph arguing the ECHL side and it didn't make it in the comments section.  When I was making a case for the ECHL, my stats were from last seasons numbers and I should've stated the year this time.  I didn't want to put too much time into the two sentences because the first time I spent ½ hour getting the information and then typing my case.

This is from ECHL.com : • Every ECHL team has an affiliation with an NHL team in 2010-11 and the league has affiliations with 27 of the 30 NHL teams, marking the 14th consecutive season that the league had affiliations with at least 20 teams in the NHL.

For 2011-12 ECHL.com states : ECHL has affiliation with 26 of the 30 NHL teams.

It's pretty cool you found out which teams don't have an affiliation.