The one where the AHL shortens the schedule in 2011-12

So, the AHL announced today they are changing the schedule beginning in 2011-2012.  Each team will play only 76 games, down from 80, and the first round of the Calder Cup playoffs will be a best of five series.  They will also lengthen the season to spread games out more and eliminate any four games in five night scenarios.

I totally understand the need to decrease the number of games.  It’s going to be safer for the teams, and raise the level of competition.  For a league that relies on busing to games, four in a five day span is way too much for a professional athlete.

I’d really love to see more variety and equality in the schedule.  The Checkers faced Norfolk 12 times this year.  I was SO TIRED of the primary color clown barf uniforms by the end of the season!  We didn’t play a single team from the Western Conference, despite the fact places like Texas and Oklahoma City or Lake Erie are no further away by plane than Portland , Syracuse, or many of our other Eastern opponents.

I do not like the playoff changes.  I know the ECHL does a best-of-five playoff, but I hate these.  I think it makes for an unfair playing field, because usually it’s a 2-2-1 series… it would mean the team without home ice advantage could very well only have one home playoff game.  Maybe my opinion will change if there are a lot of first-round sweeps this year, but I just don’t see that happening.

Selfishly, my personal beef is that I paid for a full 40-home game set of Season Tickets for next year.  Paid in full, done deal.  Obviously, two games isn’t going to make or break the deal, but I paid for 40, and now I’m only getting 38?  Those two games cost me about $60 give or take, and I want my full money’s worth!  It’s just not cool to sell a 40-game package, and only give your ticket holders 38…. but it’s not exactly the Charlotte Checkers call on this.  And looking back at all of the sales sheets, etc., the Checkers never wrote it was a 40-game package… we just assumed it was, because it was a 40 game home season this year, too.

The Checkers have been an amazing team in their first year of AHL hockey.  I’ve had great season ticket sales reps, and the Checkers are giving us some great perks next year (even though I’m still kind of wary about the prospect of these “season ticket holder jerseys” and fear they could be the epitome of jersey fouls… especially if they are a funny color!).  I just don’t like that the league announces this after I’ve paid in full for my tickets!

 

I can’t imagine it’s an easy thing for the local clubs to deal with, either.  Taking away four games affects some budget items… hotel rooms, travel expenses, arena rent, but they still have to pay the same salaries, same insurance, etc. so refunding season ticket holders for two games is a financial burden on them, too.

Alright, sorry for my personal rants, but this one caught me off guard!

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4 thoughts on “The one where the AHL shortens the schedule in 2011-12

  1. I feel the same way about the number of games being reduced. The worst is the five game first round, this is so ECHL. I hated it in the “E” and I will hate it in the “A”.

    • EXACTLY! It’s so minor league… even if the A is the minors. I’ve come to expect such a level of talent and professionalism from the AHL. The five game series is DEFINITELY a step in the wrong direction.

  2. It just doesn’t make any sense. What could possibly be the reason? Is 2 more playoff games (which probably only get played half of the time) really that big of a deal when talking about wear and tear?

    I know its just 2 games that may or may not matter but its still 2 games! I want more hockey…not less.

    And as a season ticket holder in Hershey I agree on the cost thing. We haven’t paid for ours yet so hopefully the rates are properly adjusted but I can understand your frustration.

    Oh..and I thought the logo adaptation was clever. No offense taken. Enjoy your visit to Hershey this weekend. Hopefully no fans give you a hard time!

    • A five game series in a 2-2-1 isn’t fair. At all. I paid for my tickets in full over a month ago. And yeah, it’s only about $60 for me, but still, that’s something. At the same time, the team is losing a lot in not having those two games. Their budget is spent on all of the yearly things. Two days of arena rent (for us, in a city where we are low priority on the arena booking) is minimal savings for the team. I just think the timing was off here. And too many teams are going to be in a bind deciding what to do for those of us who have committed to 40 games.

      Looking forward to the trip… it should be a fun weekend! And I kind of expect some taunting, I can take it!

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