Now they're some details to work out between things like Conference Alignment, Playoff Format and the schedule that will be worked out and should be released sometime in July. All 13 returning CHL Teams from this past season will return with Corpus Christi & Amarillo leaving the CHL for the Junior A Tier 2 NAHL over the last few weeks.
The 13 teams will be the 5 Texas Teams in North Richland Hills, Allen, Odessa, Laredo & Rio Grande City. Also Arizona, Bossier-Shreveport, Colorado, Mississippi, Missouri, Rapid City, Tulsa & Wichita are all returning to the new look Central Hockey League.
Joining them will be the 4 remaining IHL Teams will be the Quad City Mallards, Dayton Gems, Ft. Wayne Komets and Bloomington Prairie Thunder will be joining the league as well.
Last year, 7 teams were in the IHL as the Muskegon Lumberjacks have announced that they will be joining the United States Hockey League which is the nations best Junior League. Finally the other 2 teams have decided to fold as the Flint Generals and the Port Huron Icehawks will no longer exists.
Look for more details like the Conference Alignment, the league schedule and any changes to the playoff format to come out most likely in early July sometime. In the meantime, here's a look at the teams and where they are from and what I think the Conference's will look like if they keep the North & South set up.
Make it 18 Teams: The city of Evansville, Indiana was officially welcomed to the Central Hockey League back on the 22nd that the Evansville Icemen will begin play in the 2010-2011 season when the regular season begins on October 15. The Icemen will be owned by Ron Geary who officially finalized the purchase and transfer of the Muskegon Lumberjacks who officially left for the United States Hockey League (USHL) as the team will go from Minor League to Junior's.
"The chance to bring a storied team like Muskegon with its 50 year history pro hockey history to Evansville was an opportunity that we couldn't pass up," said Mr. Geary.
"We are very excited to welcome the Icemen into the IHL/CHL Collaboration," said Lewis. "Evansville is a great pro sports town with passionate fans and I know they will be a great fit in the league. We are thrilled to have Mr. Geary as a new owner and governor in our league as we know he will provide great insight and strenthen our already strong base of leadership."
With the addition of Evansville, this will make up 2 Conferences of 9. So with that being said, here's what I would consider.
I think the North would have all 5 of the incoming IHL Teams along with Colorado, Missouri, Rapid City & Wichita.
My Southern Conference would have the 5 Texas Teams along with the Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs, Tulsa Oilers, Arizona Sundogs and the Mississippi Riverkings.
This is what I would consider for the new setup with the IHL Teams coming into the league.
My Predictions for Conference Set up if it stays straight North & Southern Conference.
Bloomington Paririe Thunder
Ft. Wayne Komets
Rapid City Rush
Quad City Mallards
Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees
Tulsa OilersTeams and cities
Allen Americans (Allen, Texas)
Arizona Sundogs (Prescott Valley, Arizona)
Bloomington Paririe Thunder (Bloomington, Illinois)
Bossier-Shreveport Mubdugs (Bossier City, Louisiana)
Colorado Eagles (Loveland, Colorado)
Dayton Gems (Dayton, Ohio)
Evansville Icemen (Evansville, Indiana)
Ft. Wayne Koments (Ft. Wayne, Indiana)
Laredo Bucks (Laredo, Texas)
Mississippi Riverkings (Southaven, Mississippi)
Missouri Mavericks (Independence, Missouri)
Odessa Jackalopes (Odessa, Texas)
Rapid City Rush (Rapid City, South Dakota)
Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees (Rio Grande City, Texas)
Texas Brahmas (North Richland Hills, Texas)
Tulsa Oilers (Tulsa, Oklahoma)
Wichita Thunder (Wichita, Kansas)
Quad City Mallards (Moliena, Illinois)