You can read a column about this consolodation here.
Ben, 14 veterans now without a job. Hopefully some of the existing ECHL teams still have some room. Your point is spot on. I would hope that the league would increase the number to at least 5 next year or increase the number of games they would be eligible in that slot. Say from 250 to 325. At the very least, the talent will trickle down to the single A level.
2 years ago you had about 150 spots in both leagues. Now it will be down to 112 . That return player identity is so crucial to fan connections.
Ben? LOL. That could actually be a pretty nice compliment.
One of the better columns on minor league hockey I have ever read.
The "experienced" player is being sacrificed so that the term "develpomental" league is accurate.
There are a couple of easy remedies for this. 1). a compromise of the veteran rule from 6 (CHL) to 5. Thus increasing the ECHL by one and lowering the CHL by one. 2) increasing the number of pro games played from 260 to, maybe, 300.
If the attitude remains that "AA" hockey is for the benefit of "AAA" and NHL only, it is a symptom of a disease that eventually will help destroy the minor leagues.
Maybe things will change. Now there is only one "AA" league so it eliminates using one against the other.
Yesterday the world of hockey experienced a seldom used "common sense" approach. I hope more is coming.
Is it true, as listed at http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/puck-daddy/echl-absorbs-seven-teams-as-central-hockey-league-folds-203348699.html , that all CHL PHPA players are now unrestricted free agents in the ECHL? If so, anyone worth cherry-picking?
No, it is not. Also, if it were, they'd have already been signed by now.
Sorry Blake. I had just read an article by Ben... You both are very good. You dont have to tip your hat to no one. Good to see Alan commenting although I doubt he had read my post 2 hours earlier as he said about the same thing. Great minds do think alike.... or simple minds think alike...take your pick
Talent wise, based upon the fact that there were about 50 AAA teams back in the mid 90's( AHL-IHL) this has spread the skill level back to the ECHL considerably over the years. I would guess there are 40% less minor league teams out there then 15-20 years ago which also equals less jobs here( more overseas). That would be an interesting article looking at pay scale and number of minor league teams from 15-20 years ago compared to now.
Used to be around 110, and now around 75