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Tailing the Komets

So there's talk...

...online about a potential ECHL-CHL merger being announced Wednesday. There's a report that team owners from both leagues were meeting in St. Louis. Some reports say it's going to happen, and others say talks are dead.

I think it could happen for several reasons:

1. It's been way too quiet among all the owners. If this wasn't serious, someone would have denied it by now. No one has. It's also interesting that several people in both leagues who almost always call back did not on Tuesday. Guess they would prefer not to lie or even get asked the question.

2. Something similar is likely going to happen anyway, even if it doesn't happen this year. The way things have been going in the CHL, the ECHL could just sit back and let the leftovers come to them after this season.

3. It makes more sense to do it now, especially if many of the West Coast teams in the ECHL are going to join the AHL after next season to become NHL farm clubs.

4. Though it's going to cost money for  clubs to redo their pocket schedules, I don't think it's going to be too late to make up another schedule. In fact, I'll bet they've already got one done.

5. It would make those lawsuits between the two leagues where the CHL is accusing the ECHL of tampering disappear.

If they do join/merge/whatever with the ECHL, those CHL clubs will struggle this season since they don't have many, if any, NHL affiliations. This is going to be all about struggling through this season to get to the future.

I also hope the ECHL finds a way to hire some excellent people from the CHL like Bob Hoffman, Jim Wiley, Cheryl Illes, Wayne Bonney and Ray Scapinello. I don't know much about CHL Commissioner Steve Ryan, but he has a first-rate staff.

Then again, all of the talks could fall apart.


Tue, 09/16/2014 - 9:31pm

this could be the start of what the frankes have wanted to do all along!  structure hockey like baseball.  every nhl team has a triple a and a double a team, now we could also align conferences up by geographical areas and have agrand time   with four conferences. the four conferences then have playoffs and the winners then meet for the overall double aa  title/


Wed, 09/17/2014 - 12:13pm

CHL affiliations:

Brampton Beast = Lightning/Crunch

Missouri Mavericks = Chicago Wolves

Allen Americans = Dallas Stars/Texas Stars

Quad City Mallards = Minnesota Wild/Iowa Wild

The now defunct Cutthroats were affiliated with the Avs/Monsters.

So, a majority (4 out of 7) of the teams left have affiliations with higher levels. The real issue is that not too many players got assigned to them (except Denver - they had a lot). The affiliations will have to be made stronger for these teams so they can get some players assigned there, and the other 3 teams wil need to get affiliations. Also should add I think some of these CHL teams saw this coming and built their rosters accordingly this offseason. I think only 2 teams will have to cut veterans to get below the ECHL limit of 4. I could be wrong on that, but not many roster changes will have to be made.


Wed, 09/17/2014 - 1:26pm

Perhaps the ECHL could raise their Veteran limits to 6. Just a silly idea! 


Blake Sebring
Wed, 09/17/2014 - 1:30pm

Never happen, unfortunately. ECHL is unlikely to change any roster rules, and certainly not to accommodate new teams.

Wed, 09/17/2014 - 2:11pm


Found this on twitter

Wed, 09/17/2014 - 5:33pm

I'm gonna guess that this merger will go thru. ECHL bringing the CHL onboard. My guess is that the schedules from both leagues remain the same barring any adustments from the CHL teams that do not join. There is no sense in redoing the schedule and force the ECHL teams to reprint season tickets and other schedues. Just my opinion. 

Thu, 09/18/2014 - 2:54pm

I see all seven teams being absorbed. Who this really helps is both Brampton and Colorado with travel costs if the schedule and division alignments are redone. Im sure thats one of the main negotiating points. You have a built- in division with the South- Central teams. Of course it may be wiser to wait till next year to see what west coast cities change to AHL and if some of those  west coast ECHL teams move east to displace those AHL teams moving west.  A lot of changes now and next year.....or just do them all next year.  Could this also bring Peoria back?

Wed, 09/24/2014 - 2:41pm

No way this happens this year.  And, if the ECHL can be patient, in a few years the CHL will fail and the "E" can pick over the carcass for the parts worth "eating" without having to give the CHL anything.