This write-up is about 2500 words long. Please take the time to read it before calling me an idiot on why I am in favor of expansion, I'd really appreciate it.
Normally my posts have a lot of good formatting and they look nice, but I'm not gonna have any of that this time. The topic of the CHL expansion has led to a lot of passionate thoughts about why it's been a horrible experiment on why it's a bad thing, but there hasn't been a whole lot about why it's a good thing. This post will address the BENEFITS of LG expansion, and hopefully it'll show everyone that expansion can be a great thing. You may notice how I say LG expansion, and that's because I have a proposal that would change the entire structure of LG as we know it. This'll be broken up into three parts: The Re-Structuring of LG's lower tiers & the restrictions of the LG lower tiers, the explanations for the negatives associated with LG Expansion, and the positives of LG Expansion.
LG currently has 142 teams over the 3 leagues. A great way to keep LG Expansion alive and well is to restructure the league to accommodate 4 leagues instead of just three.
* The NHL will have 32
* The AHL will have 32
* The 3rd Tier League will have 32
* The 4th Tier League will have 40
This will leave the total amount of teams at 136 teams, so it slightly shrinks the amount of teams while still keeping the main goal of expansion alive. A thing to note, however, is that this proposal can still work with 142 teams as well.
In this proposal, the NHL and AHL will remain unchanged. The 3rd tier league would be called the ECHL. The ECHL would act as a 2nd affiliate to the NHL, and would function in many of the same ways that the AHL currently does. The new ECHL would have almost the same roster restrictions that the AHL has; only V's, A's, and DP's would be allowed. However, the ECHL would also allow RV's and Prospects WON IN BIDDING (let's call them BP's) to be on their roster. Allowing RV's and BP's to go up to the ECHL provides two big benefits:
1. It keeps Vets out of the CHL (more on that later)
2. It allows highly skilled prospects the chance to skip the CHL where they really shouldn't be playing to begin with.
The ECHL's Staff would most likely be the current CHL staff. They have experience in the league, and would be best suited to run the 3rd Tier.
Another quick note, since the ECHL is now the lowest tier among NHL-affiliated leagues, the ECHL will now show all of an organization's Training Camp Players.
This means that the 4th Tier would now become the CHL, but it's important to note that the CHL's entire purpose is to be a DEVELOPMENT LEAGUE. The new CHL would feature nothing but Prospects and Amateurs. Vets would be allowed to manage, however it would be heavily restricted in order to prevent Vets from hopping down to the CHL in order to scrub hunt new kids. Ideally the vets in the CHL would include guys like @Nutty Grandpa who have been around forever and are great examples of what a player's first LG owner should be like.
The staff for the new CHL would be made up of a brand new staff. One way of doing it could perhaps be having one of the experienced bogs (Undershot, Blame, CJ, etc) come down and mold their staff the way they see fit.
The new CHL would only have P's, A's, V's, & DP's allowed on main roster. This is to simulate the actual CHL, as it is made up exclusively by young kids that are just starting out their pro careers. Random Vets would NOT be allowed on roster as it woud be seen as an unfair advantage for someone such as @F0G 19 to sign up and be allowed to put up 12 points a game against guys who are brand new to LG and how everything works. Normal Vets would be allowed to play in the CHL IF AND ONLY IF they fall through at least ECHL bidding without a bid.
This is the big one. @Marr570 did some great research and came up with the signup totals for every season since S21. For those that don't know, S21 was the Summer Season of NHL 15. A line break will be inserted to indicate whenever it switches to a new NHL game.
- "There isn't enough players to support league expansion!"
NHL 15A thing to consider is that Winter/Spring Season generally has the most signups in any given game, and that pattern stays true with every NHL game except NHL 17. It is also worth noting that signups for each part of the season cycle have gone up. For example, Winter/Spring Season has steadily increased from 3146, to 3508, to 3567, to 3702. The only exception is also on NHL 17, where Summer Season signups haven't reached that level since.
In S34, there is a total of 2414 Roster Spots between the three leagues, leaving a total of 995 players to be placed into CHL TC's (12.75 per team). Assuming that 50% of them are inactive, that leaves just 6-7 TC's available for each team.
HOWEVER, an important thing to remember with my proposed plan is that the league will be decreasing in size by 6 teams. This means only 2312 Roster Players are now on the books. The league only loses 102 roster spots, but each CHL team will have a much larger TC to work with. Because the CHL will only have 40 teams in this scenario, that leaves 1097 players to be divided among the 40 CHL teams. So now, teams will be RA'd ~27.5 players after bidding. Assuming again that half of them are inactive, teams will now have 13-14 TC's to choose from if they need an ECU.
"But wait Wzia where the fuck did all these new signups come from?"
Good question, but the reason for all the new ECU's in the CHL can be observed when viewing the ECHL TC's. Currently, AHL TC's are made up of all CHL players & all CHL TC's. This gives NHL/AHL Organizations 2321 players (or 72.5 players per team) to choose from when ECU'ing for games. However, things get a little different if my proposal were to be implemented. With my proposal, the number of NHL/AHL/ECHL TC's would go down to 1777 (or 55.5 players per team), as they are pulling from a smaller pool of players (The current pool is 2321 players, while the new pool would be 1777 players). To make a very complicated thing short, this proposal essentially takes ~15-20 TC's from the NHL/AHL/ECHL TC and they get placed in the CHL TC's instead.
You need to keep in mind that the role of the LGCHL is to primarily serve as a development league for players that are brand new to the league. The more people that get a chance to play, the more people will sign up. Let's look back at @Marr570's statistics on LG signups. When the league did the S32 ECHL Expansion (before all the negativity came to be associated with the ECHL), LG experienced a 9.75% increase in signups when compared to S31. This was the single biggest increase LG has seen on a season-by-season basis since the 50% increase between S21 & 22. There is reason to believe that LG will see another 9% increase in the player base for S35, and this is the perfect time to capitalize on my proposed restructuring of the bottom two tiers. If players are given the opportunity to play in meaningful games that actually count towards something, they will get better. The focus should be on growing the league in order to make LG bigger and better
- "But the quality of play will go down, people shouldn't be handed a roster spot!"
This point was brought up by @Pastrnak x88 in his "CHL in Shambles" thread. He claims the following:
- "We need to cut down on the number of managers because they are too toxic and shitty representatives of the league!"
Well, my proposal would add roughly 20 TC's per team to each team. This makes most of the forfeiting issues moot because teams have double the amount of TC's to pull from if they're in need of an ECU. The other benefit of adopting this proposal is that more people coming to the site means more people looking to get into management. While not every new manager is going to love it or do this again in the way people like myself do it, this proposal allows people to get their feet wet with management in an actual development league instead of getting fed to the scrub hunters and shit-pumped 17-2.
Great point, but do me a favor and go look at the current CHL standings. There is currently 37 teams that have at least 60 points this season. I'm using 60 points as it shows the team is at least about .500. maybe a bit better than that. These 37 teams have a average point total of ~71.9. This is odd as if you were to look at the bottom 41 teams, they all have an average point total of ~43.6. There is a clear divide between the top half and bottom half of the league, and the 4-Tier System in my proposal makes it so that all 4 leagues will continue to stay competitive. With 32 teams in the ECHL, these top teams are able to stay competitive among themselves, and the talent level of the teams should (if the managers bid correctly) be a fairly equal showing across the board. The bottom 40-46 teams now have the opportunity to stay in a competitive environment where they no longer are getting shit-pumped by players that should be in a higher level league.
- "Why are you against a high level of competition in LG? After all, this is a COMPETITIVE LEAGUE!"
I've gone over why this reason is BS so many times, so here:
- "But Wzia! The league already tried doing the ECHL Expansion and it failed in S25!"
As stated above with the new TC numbers, the issues associated with a large amount of teams would mostly disappear.
- "The League expanded too fast! We need to cut the league down to 66 teams to find a middle ground!"
It's a hard sell to tell many people that they'll no longer be able to play LG 3 times a week when these new guys are needed to make this league grow. Sticking with my proposal allows many or all of the players to keep their roster spots.
- 300 people get to keep their roster spots
The NHL gaining another affiliate provides a new path for managers and players looking to join the upper leagues, but may not necessarily know anyone. NHL Owners will now be able to meet former CHLers and interview the right fit for their ECHL team. Obviously the ECHL would have management restrictions in the same way the current CHL does, as it's important to limit the amount of scrub hunting that could be done in this new league.
- The NHL gets another affiliate team
The stats earlier showed that TC sizes would DOUBLE under this proposal. This gives new owner so much more breathing room when it comes to running their team, as they no longer have to worry about maxing out their 5 TC's they do have too early in the season.
- Teams won't have to forfeit because they have no TC's anymore
This is WAYYYYY down the road, but downscaling the CHL to 40 teams allows Tris, McDonald, & Co. to keep the idea of expansion fresh in everyone's head. Maybe one way they could do this is by implementing the idea of a gradual expansion where 2 new teams are added each season for 10 seasons until the CHL get back up to the magical number of 60.
- The door for more expansion is wide open
As stated earlier, the splitting of the two leagues will provide a clear barrier between the "Elite" S33 CHL teams and the "Not Elite" S33 CHL teams. Having this barrier means that teams are more likely to face opponents near their skill level instead of skill levels that are wildly different.
- Both the ECHL and CHL will be competitive again
I'm sure I forgot a few things in here, but this article is already an insanely long piece so I'll stop there. Expansion needs to continue, and I hope you guys take the time to read this entire post before shit-talking me about how I'm an idiot or whatever. I put a ton of time into writing this, the least I can ask for is that you guys read before commenting.