Beyond The Benches

Arizona Sundogs Continue With Rough Week For CHL

Another day and the unfortunate news continues coming out of the Central Hockey League. On Wednesday night, the Arizona Sundogs became the third team to suspend operations and withdraw from the upcoming 2014-2015 CHL season. The Sundogs have been one of the more longer standing franchises in the CHL having been a part of the league since 2006.

The news of the Sundogs organization closing their doors came on the same day that the Denver Cutthroats announced they would be ceasing operations effective immediately with the hopes of returning to league action the following season. With the CHL seeing their amount of teams dwindle down to seven in only a matter of months, there has to be a heightened level of concern for what this season is going to look like only seven weeks from the start.

While both the Denver and St. Charles Chill organizations were very quiet in their reasons for shutting their doors, the Sundogs offered more insight on what prevented them from being able to commit to the 2014-2015 season.

Majority owner Brad Fain shared the following words with the media in a team released statement, attempting to shed light on why the Sundogs are closing their doors. “I applaud the fans’ support of the team and would have wished for a different outcome. Slower than expected off-season revenue along with other league issues have moved us in this direction. We will actively pursue other opportunities in hopes of keeping Sundogs hockey in Prescott Valley for the 2015-16 season and beyond.”

Arizona is coming off a season where they had to fight to get into the playoffs as the eighth seed. Most analysts did not give the Sundogs a chance against the highly favored regular season champion Missouri Mavericks. However, the Sundogs showed the grit and determination required to survive in the playoffs and became the first eight seed in CHL history to knock off the top seed.

Just as was the case with the Denver Cutthroats and St. Charles Chill, all players formerly on this roster are now free agents and open to any other team in the CHL or other leagues as well. There’s already rumors that top goal scorer Kevin Baker could end up being a fit on the two time defending champion Allen Americans.

What the last few months have shown is how difficult for a lot of these teams it is to end up making money and revenue at years end and being on the positive side of things. Moving forward, the CHL will have more talent rich rosters with the teams reduced to seven, however there is no guarantee that there will not be more casualties this offseason.

 

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.

(Photo Credit: Arizona Sundogs via Twitter)