If you haven't noticed that in the past month some more minor leagues are coming into play, odds are you aren't the only one. It seems that in the past few years, many new minor leagues have come-- and gone-- with the times. The latest attempts are the Eastern League (EPHL) and a resurrection of the Mid-Atlantic League (MAHL).
Now, I say resurrection because the MAHL went ended their season early last year due to lack of interest. You may remember this league, briefly, because a group of player from the Jamestown Vikings trashed a hotel upon learning the news. The players thought the owner of the league owned the hotel, that didn't stop them from trashing the place AFTER they found out that the owner didn't actually own the hotel. In for a penny, in for a pound.
What's my point?? I'm getting to it, calm down.
It's getting to the point in minor league hockey were the lower-tiers may have to think abotu doing something like a Champions League or Super League. Obviously, the AHL and ECHL have their status set as a AAA and AA feeder respectively. However, leagues like the IHL, SPHL, EPHL, and MAHL could think about doing something to combine all the leagues and play out like that. If a super league is formed, it'll give the players more opportunities to have places to play and play for something. In a Champions League, you'll see talent spread out through the leagues in order to get the best team of all combined.
Of course, the only league out of the equation is the Central League (CHL), but they are an interesting breed. There's plenty of possibile options for the CHL in my fantasy world. First, they could continue to stand alone. With the history and stability, the CHL could be considered a good low-AA option. Second, the league could split, with some teams going up to the ECHL and others going down a level to the super/champions league. Third, outrightly go to the super/champions league and go from there.
It's an idea and something that should really be looked at. I, for one, am sick of seeing these leagues pop up and disappear. It's not so much because it's a failed venture, but it's a bitch on guys who try-out and want to play hockey for a living. They dedicate to this league and they miss payments, they have teams just suspend operations at the drop of a hat, or any other numerous things that could go wrong with a fly-by-night operation that these leagues appear to be becoming. There could be a diamond-in-the-rough in some of these leagues, but will be forgotten or not even seen because of leagues and teams shutting down before they are able to display what they've got.