I’ll start this off by saying the first I heard of this was from Justin Cohn of the Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette. He kind of laid the ground work of it all for me and then the ball rolled from there. But if you decided to step away from Twitter and hockey for the summer, you’ve missed the fun of the Colorado Eagles, the ECHL, and the Kelly Cup.
High-speed low-down is that the Eagles won back-to-back Kelly Cups in the ECHL before leaving like they were CM Punk in 2011 at Money in the Bank– but in this instance, they didn’t return the Cup weeks later, they still have it in their possession. They said they had dates to set-up a return to the ECHL, but nothing came from it. However, the Eagles say it’s safe and in pristine condition. The ECHL said they never came forward with it and had to make another one because of the Eagles’ hostage situation of the championship.
Let this be a lesson to the ECHL and others that there’s a reason that Phil Pritchard is the Keeper of the Cup and has eyes on it at all times…ALL TIMES. Are the Eagles being asses about it?? Sure, but at the same time– what league just gives their prized possession to a team, especially one that is moving up next year– and doesn’t have a chaperone with it during the time with the team??
If nothing else, it has created a nice little buzz for the league during their Final, while also allowing the ability to have this made into some little documentary about what happened by ESPN.
Meanwhile, even though they are a couple years away, the Seattle Your-Name-Heres are looking at affiliation locations for their AHL squad. It seems to have come down to a couple of interesting choices among the finalist.
First, you have Boise, Idaho which currently houses the ECHL’s Boise Steelheads. The Steelheads have been a successful WCHL and ECHL team, playing to a nearly sold-out house on average each year. The question is when it comes to the ownership group thinks that the AHL cost structure will work better for them and if the AHL in general will be a good move for them and their fan base. You could argue that a move up is always a good choice for the legacy of the team– but there’s times it just doesn’t work out; hello Utah Grizzlies.
The second option is a wild one and it’s Palm Springs, California. It’s wild because there’s not many places to play right now unless the city build a new venue. There’s been talk of an indoor venue via the Coachella Sports and Entertainment Stadium Authority that could open by 2021, but there hasn’t been much movement there. Plus, it could be a harder sell for an arena that has little to no background in hockey. While it would be cool and I’m sure my co-host of “In the Draft” Wilson would be able to get to more hockey games– I don’t know if it’ll be the best fit when trying to make a successful team.
Given the options, Boise would probably be my choice because you’ve got a built in fan base there, though you’d be cutting off a rather successful affiliation with the Dallas Stars. Not only that, but the ECHL would have to really wonder what to do with the Utah Grizzlies being way the hell and gone from every other competition.