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Blue Jackets Links

Dayton Bombers, I hardly knew ye.

Thursday, October 04, 2007
No, seriously, I really did hardly know you. Beyond the occasional post by Sarah over at Neutral Zone Trap about you, I had little knowledge as it pertained to what you were up to, despite being the Blue Jackets' junior hockey league affiliate.

And now I'll probably continue to hardly know you, due to today's announcement that the Blue Jackets will be shifting their ECHL affiliation over to the Elmira Jackals of Elmira, NY.

Columbus Blue Jackets General Manager Scott Howson announced today that the club has reached an agreement with the Elmira Jackals to serve as the ECHL affiliate for the Blue Jackets and the American Hockey League's Syracuse Crunch for the 2007-08 season.

"We are very pleased to have the Elmira Jackals as our ECHL affiliate," said Howson. "The foundation of any successful franchise is the development of its young players and we think this relationship will be a very positive one for our organization."


Certainly not anything that was expected, I know that much. Howson's logic is understandable, though ... even if those HFers are crying foul, with one or two of them threatening to not come to Blue Jackets' games in disgust.

But let's be realistic here; the Blue Jackets are better off keeping their minor league affiliates close to one another, regardless of whatever ill effects this may have on the team's popularity over in the Dayton region. Hockey fans, in my own opinion, should be fans of the sport, and not of a team's affiliations. If people decide to stop going to NHL games because their nearby NHL team decided that it was in their best interest to find an affiliate close to one of their other affiliates, then so be it.

And in all honesty, the logistics really need to be considered when analyzing this. CHL, ECHL, and AHL teams do not have the sort of money to send their players from one team to another if they're leagues away from one another (pun not intended). What was once a $200-300 plane from Dayton to Syracuse for a player has now become a $100 (or even less) bus ride or carpool between Elmira and Syracuse.

Of course, this doesn't factor in the poor Youngstown Steelhounds, the Jackets' CHL affiliate, who are still at least five hours or more away from their affiliate siblings. But the Steelhounds actually are the furthest team east in the CHL, so what can you do?

Those are the breaks, folks.

Randomly, is anyone else a little amused at the Jackals' proclamations on their homepage? They sure seem proud of being a member of the ECHL, don't they? Just a hunch, based off of the ad nauseum way in which they proudly proclaim their proudness to be proud members of the ECHL.

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1 Comments:
  • At 11:30 AM, Anonymous Drew said…

    How many Bombers have gone on to be Blue Jackets? Hmmm...

     
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