GEM FROM JUNE 2011
and they thought I was crazy to suggest such a thing...
Earlier this year we got crucified for suggesting that as many as eight teams would be leaving the Central Hockey League this spring and summer. Aside from Odessa, the Colorado Eagles are moving to the ECHL, RGV is all but dead, Quad Cities is done, the IRS zapped Bloomington's team, and the Mudbugs may be forced to, well, crawl under a rock
Other teams are facing some serious questions. Arizona, Laredo, and Mississippi are all facing a travel budget that would make any owner want to cry. Especially when there are so many other options. Hello Corpus Christi.
Uh, frankly, I am having a difficult time trying to figure out just how long the CHL business model can continue. The league is stocked with players that are hanging on to the dream before facing the inevitable. These guys are not NHL prospects and they make less money than the average McDonald's employee. The ECHL players are part of the developmental system, and that should be the bottom of the minor pro ladder. Everything else is a waste.
I like Duane Lewis and the staff in the CHL office, NOTHING would make this writer happier than seeing Duane, and Bob Hoffman, move to Frisco to take over NAHL operations from Mark Frankenfeld and the information society. The issue is the fact that the CHL would not be interested in anything less then being on top of the system.
What would happen if the Southern Pro Hockey League and the CHL got together to re-organize as an Amateur Athletic Union super junior league? All hell would break loose. They could still give the players a $200 per week stipend; take care of housing, equipment, and food. The players would all maintain their eligibility. Focusing just on players 18-20 years old would make such a league extremely popular with the establishment. In a sense, such a bold move would transition the group from being at the bottom of the pro barrel to the top of the junior one.
Heck Duane, what do you have to lose?
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