Saturday, May 29, 2010

More IHL Chatter

I'm sure I'm not the only person out there getting tired of all the news related to the IHL folding. Woody over at the Blades blog has this story on what the Quad-City Mallards options. And this story from the Ft. Wayne Gazette talks about what the Komets (I seriously hate that name) are facing. The story from the Ft. Wayne Gazette has a great breakdown on the differences between the IHL, ECHL, and CHL. I do find his opinion on why it would be bad for the Komets to enter the ECHL very irritating.

It's so silly I'm going to quote it.
"They would be unable to keep some popular, older players from the current team. The team won’t like seeing its stars called-up midseason. Travel costs will be higher than in the IHL, making things tougher for ownership."
Yes, it sucks to lose beloved veterans that have won you three championships in a row. I'm not going to deny that the ECHL's rules limiting a team to four veterans (the league consider a player with 260 professional games a veteran) does tend to run the most experienced guys off, I have no problem admitting that.

The part of this story that irritates me is the mention of call-ups somehow being a bad thing. How is a player who worked his butt off getting a chance to move one step closer to the NHL a bad thing. Look at this list of some of the names of the 443 ECHL players that have made it to the NHL. That's quite am accomplishment for a developmental league. I find it hard to believe that a professional hockey players greatest dream is to win a Turner Cup (or a Kelly Cup for that matter). I also, find it hard to believe that the fans in Ft. Wayne would feel any different about seeing a guy they watched in the early stages of his career make it to the big time than Blades fans feel. I devoted a post to McFlickier getting a hat-trick in the AHL, and one to Khudobin playing in his first NHL game because I was happy for their achievements and I new that other Blades fans were happy for them as well. I love being able to say I saw a player before he hit it big, that I saw his first professional point, or hat-trick or shut-out. I know it sucks to lose players when you need them, and ECHL rosters can be a revolving door at times. It's a trade-off, and I don't think it's a bad trade.

I also don't really buy that travel is going to be difficult for the Komets. I've been working on this Google map of all the teams locations in the ECHL (I've added Ft. Wayne to help see where they are in relation to other teams).

View ECHL Team Locations in a larger map

The distance to Toledo, Kalamazoo, Cincinnati and even Wheeling is much closer than any team the Everblades play. If our team can afford to bus 10 hours to play the South Carolina Stingrays (the closest ECHL team to the Everblades), I'm sure two hours to Toledo won't break the bank. The ECHL will also allow teams to set their own schedule for the most part. The Komets don't have to pay for travel to play here if they can't budget it. They can just wait until the Blades head up to take on the Walleye, K-Wings, and Cyclones.

I apologize for the long rant, but that writer really irked me. To make it up to you here's a picture from Thursday of the sunset on Ft. Myers beach.

(At least it's not another cat picture)


  1. I've always thought that Fort Wayne would be a perfect market for the ECHL, as well as the Michigan IHL teams... I've always heard there's some elitist behavior that's kept them from making the move, for whatever reason they'd rather dominate a tiny league than join a growing, successful one!

  2. I think you really nailed the real reason they don't want to join the ECHL Dannielle. It's sad they would rather dominate a bunch of weaker teams than allow their fans the chance to experience a higher level of hockey. They probably don't want to give up fan favorites for rookies and NHL prospects that nees some time developing either. The sad thing is I bet the league would love to have a team with a really dedicated fan base.


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