Wednesday, June 20, 2007
The International Hockey League is back... sort of!?!
I had today marked on my iCal as the day that the UHL would be announcing the changes for the upcoming 2007/08 hockey season. I knew that a bunch of the teams that payed last season would be gone for next season, as two teams are moving to other leagues and a few others are folding. But what I saw when I visited the UHL site tonight was pretty surprising!
The first thing I noticed when I clicked on my UHL bookmark was the the url quickly changed from theuhl.com to ihl-hockey.com. Then as the site showed up in my browser I saw that the UHL had indeed shrunk in teams from 10 last season down to 6 for the upcoming season. But more interestingly, the league had also changed its name from the UHL (United Hockey League) to the IHL International Hockey League).
My immediate reaction was that of excitement, after all, the IHL was my favorite hockey league until its demise in 2001. I was very disappointed when IHL folded.
Happily six of the IHL teams (including my favorites: Manitoba Moose & Grand Rapids Griffins), moved over to the AHL. I have a great T-shirt with those logos and the slogan, "the Original Six", as a homage to the original six of the NHL.
I always wished that IHL had not gone away, or at least that after a season or two they could have come back to play another season.
So here it is 2007, and we once again have the IHL, albeit a very different IHL.
Part of me thinks its wrong to change the name of the UHL to a name that already existed, but, at least 3 of the 6 teams playing in the new IHL were teams that played in the original IHL, so I guess that make this seem just a little 'less wrong', and possibly even OK.
I'll be very anxious to see the new IHL season begin this coming October. Once the season get going, I'll make up my mind if this is the greatest hockey move ever, or the worst move ever. Lets just hope they don't make a mockery of the IHL name.