The ECHL Has Shut Down, Nobody Panic! Yet….
Last night at about 8 p.m. the news came down that the East Coast Hockey League, otherwise known as ECHL had ceased operations for the 2019-2020 season.
Needless to say this is the first North American Sports League. Well, 2nd to the XFL, to say that they have outright canceled season and playoffs.
The league informed players that they will be paid through March 16th and will continue to have insurance through June 30th, this from Yahoo sports.
They are not the first hockey league to do this, the KHL, DEL2 in Denmark have all closed up shop as well. And several Canadian Junior Hockey League’s are exploring options for their playoffs which would have started next week, and the Memorial Cup Tournament.
So what does all this mean, well I could post a music video of Queen Another One Bites the Dust, but I don’t think that’s a good taste right now.
The ECHL closing will surely start to worry fans of the AHL as well as the NHL. While other sports leagues have just started or haven’t gotten underway. Both the AHL and NHL have about a month to go, and about two months of glorious postseason.
However, the ECHL infrastructure is then the NHL and even the AHL. The ECHL runs off a smaller Arenas and business models compared to their parent clubs. Even though most of them are owned by their parent clubs these teams are playing in arenas that at Max hold somewhere between 2,000 to 6000 people. With the exception of the Orlando Solar Bears who play at the Amway arena, home to the Orlando Magic.
The ECHL doesn’t have the structure to go down long-term with nothing else going on. They could survive during an NHL lockout, because of players and Prospects being sent down because at least then the NHL is still running somewhat. Players can be signed players can be waived or sent down and the ECHL machine keeps going.
But when everything shut down a few days ago, which it doesn’t feel that long ago, the ECHL couldn’t survive being cut off from Big Daddy NHL.
Think of the AHL and ECHL as the younger sons of a rich father in the NHL. Both of them live in pretty decent Apartments, make out pretty well for themselves and have good jobs. But they’re nice apartments are being paid for by their dad in the NHL. However because of the coronavirus and the shutdown of all major leagues, daddy has cut them off.
The AHL has a better job than their younger brother in the ECHL, they put money away(rainy day fund), they have a few side hustle going on with their friends. So when odd daddy stops giving allowence,they have a nice little bit of money tucked away.
The ECHL doesn’t, they completely live off of Father’s money, so when Dad cut them off, they didn’t have enough to pay this month’s rent.
Now as in the title, I don’t think this is a reason for American Hockey League fans to panic. Code AHL follow suit and close up shop? Absolutely, truth be told the NHL could do the same thing.
If there if this goes on too long, without a flattening of the Curve, or it is still unsafe for people to gather their or Arena availability just isn’t there going into the summer. Then we just ran out of time and/or options.
I am remaining optimistic, that both leagues or at minimum the NHL will be able to start playoffs. I’ll take the league stopping the regular season in just going right into the playoffs at this point.
For now though, to quote Marge Simpson from the Shinning ToH episode. ” We’re just gonna have to wait and see.”
That’s My Opinion….
You can follow me on Twitter at @RBloss64, for hockey stuff, wrestling and anime stuff that matters to me.