Here is the press release: TEMPE, AZ (June 14, 2011) – In preparation for the Central Hockey League’s (CHL) historic 20th Anniversary Season, the league announced several operational issues that were determined by the CHL Board of Governors during meetings at the league’s annual Summer Conference that took place at the Talking Stick Resort in Scottsdale, Arizona on June 10 and 11.
The CHL announced that 14 teams will be participating during the 2011-12 season with two seven-team conferences. The Turner Conference will consist of the Dayton Gems, Evansville IceMen, Fort Wayne Komets, Missouri Mavericks, Quad City Mallards, Rapid City Rush and the new Bloomington club that has yet to determine their team name. The Berry Conference will be made-up by the Allen Americans, Arizona Sundogs, Laredo Bucks, Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees, Texas Brahmas, Tulsa Oilers and the Wichita Thunder. The Thunder are the lone CHL team that played during the 2010-11 season that will be shifting conferences, moving from the Turner to the Berry for the upcoming season.
Bloomington (team name TBD)
Fort Wayne Komets
Quad City Mallards
Rapid City Rush
Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees
Teams that participated last season that are not on the CHL’s roster of teams are the Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs, Colorado Eagles, Mississippi RiverKings and the Odessa Jackalopes.
“We were notified just prior to our meetings on Friday that the Mudbugs would not be able to defend their title,” said Duane Lewis, CHL Commissioner. “We thank Tommy and Leslie Scott for their efforts, dedications and leadership over the past two seasons and as the CHL family will miss them deeply. We do understand the numerous issues and challenges they faced to make the Mudbugs a financially viable franchise and do respect and understand their decision to cease operations.
“We would also like to express our sincere appreciate the RiverKings contributions to the CHL as one of the League’s original members,” Lewis continued. “We thank the RiverKings, Maddox Hockey and the Maddox Foundation for their commitment and tenure in the CHL.”
Players from the Mudbugs and RiverKings will join the players from the Colorado Eagles (announced in late May that they would not be participating in the CHL) as unrestricted free agents within the league. Additionally, the players from the Odessa Jackalopes are also free agents as the team failed to submit their summer player protection list by the June 10 deadline.
The league’s playing schedule for the 2011-12 season will be announced later this summer but it was determined that for the second straight season, that each team will play 66 games during the regular season.