The ECHL made it official today: Nineteen teams will play next season, one fewer than this season. All of the changes affect the American Conference, whose teams won’t play the Reign in the regular season. Here is the full release:
Johnstown’s Move to Greenville Approved
The Board unanimously approved the transfer of home territory for the Johnstown membership to Greenville, S.C. to begin play in the 2010-11.
Charlotte Checkers Move Up To AHL
The Charlotte Checkers received unanimous approval from the Board to move up to the American Hockey League for the 2010-11 season and will relinquish their membership in the ECHL at the end of the current season.
Voluntary Suspension Extended For Columbia
The Board unanimously approved the extension of the voluntary suspension for Columbia, S.C. for the 2010-11 season as the work on plans to construct a new arena in Lexington County, S.C.
With these moves, the ECHL will operate with nineteen teams in the 2010-11 season. Work is under way on the 2010-11 playing schedule.
Without a team in Johnstown, Pa., the ECHL loses its only remaining charter franchise. ECHL commissioner Brian McKenna told the Johnstown Tribune-Democrat, “From the league’s perspective, there has always been a soft spot for Johnstown, the tradition, the fact that it’s the only charter member still playing in the same arena in the same market. A lot of players, front office folks, coaches and broadcasters have moved up and on from Johnstown. It’s played a very significant role in the history of the ECHL.”