Discussion in 'ECHL, NWHL, and other Minor Pro Leagues' started by Kometsman, Nov 29, 2017.
I have a feeling that Port Huron, Danville and Winston-Salem will be part of the new UHL. Perhaps Elmira, since they were rumored to be getting a FHL team after the Jackals folded. Other than that, not sure.
FHL has Carolina Thunderbirds, CMU
FHL also has Port Huron and Danville as well Hutch. They can leave the FHL for FHL 2.0 .
doubtful, more and more it's junior Tier 2 or 3 teams being added, not pro
Fort Wayne (just for the OP).
This new UHL is just going to be a re-branded FHL with maybe some other additional team or two.
While the frankes may like the idea of fully running their own roster again with their new lease I would say the staying with the echl for the next three yrs atleast & even though the echl has some issues I also think stability means more than anything Tailing the Komets: What the team’s new lease means | News, Sports, Jobs - News-Sentinel
heres ideas but just that,
Assuming by "Bloomington" you mean the one in Illinois, it would take an extraordinarily patient ownership group to overcome past history with the city & the facility & the rapidly dwindling hockey fan base. As for St. Charles, MO, the St. Louis Metro area hockey fan base at large has made it clear for years that anything less than NHL hockey isn't hockey worth watching.
I'm sure the typical small/mid-size markets will be kicked around as potentials, with cities in the league that have previously had low/mid level minor league teams. I think the 90's and early 2000's minor league hockey boom pretty much hit the majority of available markets, at least for a time, in the ECHL, CoHL/UHL/IHL, CHL, etc. . The only ones not previously served by professional teams are likely out of the UHL 2.0 footprint, and still have had a hockey tenant of some sort at the junior level. Too bad the West is too spread out for a bus league, because if I had dollars to spend on minor league hockey, that'd be my footprint. The upper midwest/mid-Atlantic has had a bit too much of an economic decline to go there, IMO. All of those small market Michigan teams have chronically low attendance. Johnstown and Elmira were chronically low as well. I wouldn't invest a penny of minor league sports dollars into places like Huntington or Charleston WV, which I occasionally see kicked around as an idea. Only place in WV I'd consider is Martinsburg if they have an arena because there is so much DC overflow and dollars there. If teams don't shift, I really don't know where this league is going unless it's where it failed before.
In the UHL east markets which come to mind are markets with suitable arenas and their own sustainable populations. Places that first come to mind are Elmira, Jamestown, and Danbury. Watertown NY I am quick to have reservations because their arena while recently upgraded is still for all intense purposes a community recreation rink at best, I think city planners really dropped the ball but then again smaller upstate cities don't have the funds to get the upgrades. Years ago arena plans for a new civic center / arena fell through in the Pittsfield Mass area which was unfortunate because plans called for a 2500 to 3000 seat building which would have been perfect for that market. The FHL's Berkshire Battalion were decently supported in the area so there was positive interest. Hopefully those involved are taking a long look at past successes and failures, and carefully planting their franchises.
I don't think Flint and Muskegon would leave junior hockey at this point. The costs are much less to run those franchises and the economics of those regions is not what it was in the former UHL days. Bloomington is barely clinging on to its USHL franchise (and I think there is a good possibility it doesn't last). St. Charles, while I would love to have that happen (give me a chance to work for the team), just look at the history there, even taking the Chill with a grain of salt since they were doomed to fail from the moment the CHL announced the franchise, minor league hockey buy and large has not worked out there, heck NAHL and USHL hockey has failed in suburban St. Louis.