He and the other IHL owners will be going to the CHL meetings Thursday in Phoenix. These will remain two separate organizations essentially forming a business partnership. There will be inter-league play, an all-star game and playoff formats to be determined. A lot of this is to be determined over the next month.
``The thing you have to understand is that the CHL is a publicly traded company so that goes into what you can and cannot say right now until we get the logistical stuff taken care of. With the Securities and Exchange Commission you can not promote any details until they are final and complete.'
Both leagues will operate under one rulebook, more in line with NHL rules, but the IHL will maintain separate record books, league offices and officiating staffs. Basically, everything will be announced after the CHL meetings this week and the IHL meetings June 21-23.
This was all driven by economics.
``As a board, we felt that reaching out and coming up with some sort of affiliation was very important due to the economic structure of Michigan and the upper Midwest,'' Franke said. ``There's not going to be any further questions or concerns whether the IHL with its midwestern core is going to be able to support itself over the long haul."
As for the ECHL, Franke declined to comment.
``We tried to make the six-hour, the seven-hour geographic footprint work over the last three years, but the bottom line with the way the economy has gone, there are not enough cities right now to create the size of league we felt was necessary and prudent for us to move forward by ourselves.