Hey Blake. Why did the Frankes move to the ECHL if they new it was this kind of a league, a non fan friendly boring style of hockey league. The CHL seems to be a league better suited for the fans. I think they should have realized that and stayed in the CHL. Just curious.
They really didn't have much choice because of the geography. I think they knew Bloomington was going to be a hard sell to stay in the CHL, and Quad City has been struggling for several years on the business side. That meant it was possible their closest rivals, besides Evansville, could end up being Rapid City which is I think 13-14 hours away. With the travel costs, they were really struck with little option. They also wanted to get back with Toledo, Kalamazoo and Cincinnati, but it's just totally different than it used to be in terms of familiar players and rivalries. I also think they were exhausted from trying to keep the IHL alive for three years and then the last two in the CHL. When the Michigan teams pulled out, it killed that dream.
Hockey fan, Simple Geography 1o1 there are 5 teams within 200 miles and soon to be six next year. The closest CHL team is in Quad City IL and the next closet in Missouri. Travel alone would eat them alive.
Blake, do you see the komets being successful in the ECHL in terms of keeping their fan base? I know it's hard for me to pay overpriced tickets to watch boring hockey. I don't see the economy improving anytime soon. I just hope that the move to the ECHL will not be the end of Komet hockey on Fort Wayne.
It won't be the end, but the Komets will have to adjust. I think it will be significantly different because you won't have the familiar faces around any more and that really hurts FW hockey. I think Schrock will be the last Komet to play five years for a long, long time. Maybe Marino can stick around that long.
It would not surprise me if the Frankes sold the team within the next five years. They like to build teams over a two- or three-year period, developing younger players into a solid core, and I'm not sure you can do that in the ECHL where it's mostly about turning over prospects for the AHL.
If FW fans can't recognize and get to know the players, that takes a lot away from Komets hockey. It makes it a much harder product to sell.
Just look how much different Toledo's team was tonight from just five days ago.
Pro hockey will always be here, but I'm not always sure what form it will be.
Maybe im just over my head on this, werent we at this discussion for years, years ago? Are we not past it? I can argue we wanted AHL more, but we also wanted ECHL. We have it, relax. I just hope the frankes are learning the business trade and will climb to the AHL after our contract with ECHL is up. Hope.