Minor League Update

So, the Cup has been handed out, but there are still some championships being played out. The Cincinnati Cyclones are up 3 games to 2 against the Las Vegas Wranglers in the ECHL, and the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins are down 3 games to none to the Chicago Wolves in the AHL. After that, some stuff is going on.

The Youngstown Steelhounds found out they are not going to be part of the Central Hockey League, via a press release. As anything with hockey, it seems that money is the problem. The Steelhounds had already started selling season tickets for next year, so that puts them in a bad situation. The fans aren’t happy.

The Iowa Stars are no longer the Iowa Stars, after they have dropped their affiliation with Dallas, and have picked up the Anaheim Ducks as the new parent team. A new name, logo, and team colors should be coming soon.

The Austin Ice Bats (Central Hockey League) isn’t playing nest season, due to a lack of rink. Why should you care? Do you enjoy books? The book Zamboni Rodeo was about the Ice Bats, and while not a storied franchise, they have earned their spot. They may be better off, though. I skated with the team after a game, and it was the absolute worst ice I have ever been on.

The IHL (the make believe version of the International Hockey League) has announced their schedule for next season, which means they are still sticking with six teams. Unless the Steelhounds are able to get in there, this should be an embarrassment. While they may not tickle the radar of fans of the NHL, teams like the Fort Wayne Komets, Kalamazoo Wings, and the Flint Generals are as important, not only to the cities where they reside, but also in the grand scheme of hockey. These are teams that have a history, have persevered, and have fans just a as passionate as any team in the NHL.

Nothing new about Colorado Eagles player Les Borsheim, but the doctors are saying his surgery went well. After that, time will tell.

Expect more updates from the wacky world of minor league hockey, the best value on ice, through the offseason.


  1. What a soap opera in the CHL!!! Youngstown wasn’t a good fit for the league and would have good success in the ECHL, I think. Especially since they have an odd number of teams currently. Once Toledo gets in, and Columbus and Myrtle Beach finish arenas, they’d be back to a HUGE minor league with an odd number of teams.

  2. Mike – The Steelhounds should have never been in the CHL. If it hadn’t been for the CHL parent company building and managing the arena, they would have looked elsewhere. Sure, without the CHL there would be no hockey in Youngstown, but now they have to look elsewhere. If I were the IHL, I would be courting the Steelhounds, and maybe a few other low level startups nearby.

  3. True, but as a businessman, I might be hesitant to dip my wick in the IHL. Doesn’t seem the stablest of places. Then again, minor league hockey below the A isn’t all that stable.

    At least the Blazers will be around for a good long while. Even with the Sonics coming to town and stealing some thunder, the fan base shouldn’t be hurt. Plus, they’re be some more games at the Myriad as opposed to the Ford Center. That’s a good barn for hockey.

  4. Question: Who do you think is the worst team of all the minor league hockey teams?

  5. Jill – Tough call. Rosters change from season to season in the minors, at least, they change quite a bit in the lower minors, where contracts can be short, and pay is less that you would think.

    I would have to pick out a league, rather than a team, otherwise, I would be picking a team per league. If you are interested in that, I’d be happy to throw up a post about it.

    As far as a league, you have to go with the MAHL (Mid Atlantic Hockey League). They quit early, the top team was miles ahead of the pack, and they are starting a team in Fraiser, MI, former home of the Motor City Mechanics (who failed thanks to a crap arena).

  6. Ya Tapeleg, but the MAHL is fairly new, so you can’t really say much about them after one season. Out of like the older leagues, like the CHL, AHL, ECHL,and the SPHL, which team do you honestly think is really bad and has no chance in hell?

  7. You can also give me a team per league.

  8. Basically, I’m looking for a team that really has no chance of going anywhere and has really low attendance. Would love your thoughts on this, tapeleg.

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