Gerry Cantlon says that the formulation of a Pacific Division in the AHL could go down by the 2015-16 season...
When the CHL's Denver Cuthroats and Arizona Sundogs pulled out of their upcoming season, it set off a new set of alarm bells. Two sources to Cantlon have those two teams bought by the Avalanche and (another team). They go immediately into the American.
Here's the rest of the West as of now from Cantlon:
The original five would be LA (from Manchester to Ontario, CA), San Jose (Worcester to Fresno, CA), Winnipeg (St. John’s to Thunder Bay), Phoenix and Anaheim.
Anaheim who will go to San Diego and play out of the Valley View Casino Center (12.920) is said to be the last team that needs to buy an AHL franchise and then apply to relocate as per AHL standard franchise rules.
Expect the merger talks of what's left of the CHL and the ECHL to pick up speed now- Allen, Brampton, Quad City, Rapid City, St. Charles, Tulsa, and Wichita could feasibly slide- if they all are alive. But, the Central would have to live on its own for the 14-15 season since the ECHL schedule is already locked in place.
Here's what Allen did to get into the CHL history books at the end of last season...
((HT: CHL/Todd Carr))
Remember, in our initial report of the ECHL/CHL merger, faithful readers pointed out St. Charles might be out of commission and that would put the CHL at the 6-team minimum for official league designation.
As a bit of a trade, Cantlon continues, the eastern franchises in the AHL would drop to the ECHL for 15-16: Utica, Glens Falls, Worcester, Springfield, Portland and Manchester.
So, then, the ECHL in 2015-16 would go like this under the Cantlon variant... a 31-team monster of a league that would have a one-team affiliation with NHL franchises across the board with one team left over...
Fort Wayne Komets
South Carolina Stingrays
Orlando Solar Bears
Greenville Road Warriors
Central Division (All CHL)