Beyond The Benches

Denver Cutthroats Shut Their Doors

When the 2014-2015 Central Hockey League season gets kicked off, there will be two teams who will not be a part of the this upcoming season. The first of which was the St. Charles Chill who announced they were ceasing operations back at the start of May. Unfortunately, Wednesday’s breaking news will alter the CHL even further as teams and owners prepare for the start of the season.

The Denver Cutthroats announced they will be ceasing operations effective immediately and that the franchise will not participate in the upcoming 2014-2015 season. Just as with the St. Charles Chill franchise, the owners of the team will be active in looking for additional funding with the hopes of bringing the Cutthroats back for the 2015-2016 season.

The Cutthroats had just completed their second season in the Central Hockey League in which they made their first appearance in the Presidents Cup Final after posting an impressive regular season record of 38-117-11; good enough for second at the end of season standings. However, the Cutthroats experienced a difficult time in generating steady attendance in their two-years of existence.

The Denver Coliseum was home for the Cutthroats with a seating capacity of over 8,000 for hockey games. With a 40% attendance in their inaugural season, the Cutthroats saw their attendance drop down to an abysmal 15% last sea on. Even with an improved season performance and finals appearance, the Cutthroats struggled to draw a sizable following.

Another big impact on the rest of the league is the fact that all players on the Cutthroats franchise are now free agents and can proceed how they may. There has already been one major acquisition as a result of the Cutthroats closing their doors and that was the signing of last year’s MVP Garett Bembridge by the already talented Missouri Mavericks. The Bembridge signing should only be the beginning of what could be some significant additions across the landscape of the CHL thanks to a talent rich roster in Denver.

Regardless of what happens in the future, the Cutthroats were a promising franchise coming into the form in the Central Hockey League. The organization spent significant time building a strong reputation in the community of Denver through multiple charitable efforts. Moving forward, it will both be interesting to see whether Denver can be reborn as a franchise and in the more immediate future; the destinations for a group full of talented free agents.

 

Staff writer: Michael Memmolo is a passionate hockey fan who loves to share thoughts & opinions regarding everything having to do with the sport; especially when it has to do with the Boston Bruins. Mike lives in Chelsea, Massachusetts, with his fiance Julie and their dog Graham.  He can be reached on Twitter @btownpucks.