Thursday, February 11, 2010

USHL Expansion - Muskegon Lumberjacks

Well, the worst kept secret is now official.  The Muskegon Lumberjacks IHL franchise is folding after this season, and a new USHL franchise will take its place for the 2010-11 season.  The team will still be called the "Muskegon Lumberjacks," according to the article linked below.  I'm not sure if the USHL team will use the same Lumberjacks logo as you see pictured to the left, which is the current logo of the IHL team in Muskegon.

I hope the hockey fans in Muskegon give the USHL a legitimate chance at succeeding in their city.  If you read the comments at the end of the article linked below, you'll see that some fans aren't too excited about the USHL style of hockey.  You have to remember that the fans there have had pro hockey the past 50 years, so the idea of junior hockey is something brand new to some of them. 

Click here for article.

With the addition of the Muskegon Lumberjacks and the Dubuque Fighting Saints next season, the USHL will grow to a total of 16 teams.  This means the USHL could decide to go a three or four division system, which would look like:

EAST: Youngstown, Indy, Team USA, Muskegon, Chicago
CENTRAL: Green Bay, Waterloo, Dubuque, Cedar Rapids, Des Moines
WEST: Sioux City, Sioux Falls, Fargo, Lincoln, Tri City, Omaha

or

SOUTH: Tri-City, Lincoln, Omaha, Des Moines
NORTH: Fargo, Sioux Falls, Sioux City, Waterloo
CENTRAL: Cedar Rapids, Dubuque, Green Bay, Chicago
EAST: Indiana, Youngstown, Team USA, Muskegon

Personally, I'm a fan of the three division system.  What say you?  How would the playoffs work with a 3 or 4 division system?

8 comments:

USHLProspects said...

Well I personally like the 4 division system for the sake of Lincoln's record. Honestly, in a division with Fargo and Omaha, playoffs will be tough regardless if we are a better team next year or not.

-Justin

BellTolls said...

I like 3 divisions with the division winners making the playoffs and then the next 5 highest points also qualifying.

Davvolun said...

With a 3-division system, how do you see the playoffs working? Could we see say Lincoln-Omaha in the Clark Cup series then? (As long as we stay away from that round robin crap...)

BellTolls said...

Davvolun,

maybe the 3 division winners go 1, 2, 3 (in order of points). Then the 8th best points plays 1, 7th plays 2, 6th plays 3 and 5 plays 4. This is how they do it in the NHL, so theoretically the 4th or 5th seeds may have more points than the 3 seed.

With Yeti's 3 division system, this is how the playoffs would look right now if the season ended today (points in parentheses)

1. Green Bay (65) vs. 8. Waterloo (40)
4. Omaha (59) vs. 5. Sioux Falls (53)
3. Indiana (48) vs. 6. Cedar Rapids (51)
2. Fargo (61) vs. 7. Tri-City (46)

obviously it just worked out that this year the 4 east teams would play each other and the 4 west teams would play each other, but that wouldn't happen every year. plus if all the higher seeds won, it'd be Green Bay vs. Omaha and Fargo vs. Indiana, so it would all mix. Not sure how the USHL would feel about this travel situation, which is something they'll probably consider.

USHLProspects said...

It's nice that the USHL is expanding, it's going to persuade a lot of prospects to play here and go the college route and gain the USHL even more prestige.

Jofa said...

I think it should be four divisions. Lincoln v Omaha may be the best rivalry, but Chicago v Green Bay is not far behind.

Anonymous said...

Indiana fans were vocal and not too supportive of getting a USHL team, either. However, they sure do come out and support it year after year.

USHLProspects said...

Their IHL team averages 2,835 people a night. I can't imagine however much they hate USHL hockey that half or more of those people are just going to sit at home on a Friday night instead of going to a game. Sooner or later, those 2,835 people will come around.