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Franke: Hockey needs to be more like baseball

With the CHL in rough shape and the Fort Wayne Komets looking to move to the ECHL, owner Michael Franke says more structure is needed in minor-league hockey – with the NHL’s involvement. His solution is simple: there needs to be a more organized structure to minor-league hockey, mimicking the tiered structure used in Minor League Baseball, working closely with ... Read More »

New for 2011: Ford Center

The new downtown Evansville arena officially has a name — Ford Center – and a lead pro-sports tenant after the Evansville IceMen (CHL) come to terms on a new lease after some amazingly contentious negotiations. The naming-rights deal, announced today by arena manager VenuWorks, is a 10-year deal worth $4.2 million. In additional to the naming rights and exterior signage, ... Read More »

Mudbugs on fence as CHL preps for 2011-2012

It’s been a tumultuous offseason for the Central Hockey League, and as officials prep for this weekend’s league meetings, the lineup for the 2011-2012 season remains in flux, as Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs ownership decides whether to return. The issue for the Bossier-Shreveport owners: money. The team’s been running at a loss — approximately $1.5 million over the last two years — ... Read More »

Colorado to ECHL; Victoria to WHL

The Colorado Eagles are jumping from the Central Hockey League to the ECHL for the 2011-2012 season, dealing another blow to the beleaguered circuit; meanwhile, the owners of the Victoria Salmon Kings bought the assets of the Chilliwack Bruins and will field a Victoria team in that league. The Eagles were perennially one of the top draws in the CHL; ... Read More »

RGV Bees miss payroll, close office

Another potential change in the Central Hockey League next season: the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees missed their final payroll of the season and closed their State Farm Arena office. Team GM Dan Belisle says the move is temporary and was done to save money. Still, with the CHL franchise showing every sign of shutting down and the future of ... Read More »

What will CHL look like next season?

With the Quad City Mallards and Odessa Jackalopes already gone from next year’s Central Hockey League lineup, the speculation now centers on who will be back, and who might not. The Quad City Mallards may have reported decent numbers at the gate — some 2,870 fans a game — but it wasn’t enough to keep the team afloat. “We’ve worked ... Read More »

Wichita arena turns million-dollar profit in first year

Any city looking for a template for building a new community-based arena could do worst than emulate what Sedgwick County accomplished with a new Wichita arena, as the county was presented yesterday with a $1.1 million check covering taxpayers’ share of net building income. Overall, Intrust Bank Arena had a net building income of slightly more than $2 million: $7.005 ... Read More »

Move to NAHL pays off for IceRays

Attendance at Corpus Christi IceRays games is down ever so slightly this season — only 130 fans a game — but with the drastically lowered operating costs engendered by the move from the pro CHL to the amateur NAHL, the team is on a much more solid financial footing. The team cut a slew of costs with the move, ranging ... Read More »

Three leagues pitch Evansville for new-arena lease

Three hockey leagues — the ECHL, the CHL and the USHL — have responded to a call from the city of Evansville for proposals to lease a new downtown arena slated to open in 2011. All three submitted detailed information about their leagues, teams and potential leases. All three are on solid financial footing. The CHL proposal came from the ... Read More »

CHL announces conference alignments, opening dates

The Central Hockey League (CHL) announced today the conference alignment for the 18 participating teams for the 2010-11 season as well as the dates of each team’s home openers this fall. The new conference alignment will split the teams into two conferences of nine teams with the conference reflecting the geography of the North and South. In the very near ... Read More »

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