Saturday, February 27, 2010

New Teams in 2010-2011

Yes, I know this news is a little old, but I wanted to post some thoughts about the expansion into Muskegon and Dubuque for next season. I'm hoping (key word) to get the blog rolling a little more for the rest of the season.

First, it was announced that Dubuque would be returning to the league for next season. This is great for the league, as it's not a 14 hour bus ride for West teams and right in the heart of the USHL. I think Dubuque will do very well attendance wise, especially with Cedar Rapids, Waterloo, and Des Moines being so close. They also announced that Boston Bruins GM, Peter Chiarelli, will become part of the ownership in Dubuque. It's great that Peter is getting involved and hopefully it will make others notice the USHL is a top notch league for pro prospects to take in order to achieve their dreams. It was also announced that they will remain the Fighting Saints and unveiled some nice looking logos.

Next was one of the worst kept secrets in the hockey world. Muskegon, Michigan will also join the league next season, after having professional hockey for 50 years. They will be the Muskegon Lumberjacks, same as their current IHL team. This could potentially be a great market to jump in, if the fans in Muskegon give the USHL a chance. I'm always very cautious and optimistic when the USHL goes into a city that is used to having pro hockey. I know the fans in Muskegon are very educated with the game and I'm sure most will at least give the USHL a chance. Below are a few clips from Youtube regarding the press conference about Muskegon joining the USHL and a Q & A video with owner, Josh Mervis. You can also follow along with some chatter on the Finish Your Check board.


Yeti said...

Holy crap. I thought I was hallucinating. The Unofficial USHL Hockey Blog is back! Awesome news, Ryan!

Looking forward to the two new teams next season. How do you think the league will split up 16 teams? 3 or 4 divisions?

Ryan said...

I have heard they are leaning towards 3 divisions, but were trying to finalize the teams in each division. I think that would make the most sense, because with 4 you seem to take away some obvious rivals.

With 3 divisions, it looks like it could be:
East: NTDP, Youngstown, Indiana, Chicago, and Muskegon.
Central: Dubuque, Cedar Rapids, Des Moines, Waterloo, and Green Bay.
West: Fargo, Sioux Falls, Sioux City, Omaha, Lincoln, and Tri-City.

I think that would work best, with GB getting some extra games against the East division.