IHL media teleconference

October 1, 2008

Just got off the phone from a very productive teleconference among IHL office staff and media members. Some of the highlights:

* The league is going to improve on informing media members, and thus fans, on news of suspensions and last-second player signings.

* Last year the league had officials supervisors at 78 of 220 games, and this year they are hoping to staff at least 120 games. The supervisors will include Vice President of Hockey Operations Brad Jones and NHL supervisor Jerry Pateman, Scott Zelkin, Mark Wilkins and Mike Martin. There will be more emphasis this year on calling things tighter in the neutral zone and using more judgement on calls in the offensive zone, i.e., if a hook does not prevent a scoring chance or lead to a turnover, it’s more likely to be ignored. The goal is to have more action in the offensive zone.

* The league is also using new NHL rules where a power play will start in the offensive zone no matter where the previous whistle was. Any time a puck goes out of play after hitting the goal, the faceoff will also be in the offensive zone.

* Players and equipment managers will be fined if players are wearing torn or ripped pants during games. This is unofficially called the Colin Chaulk rule. Just kidding. The league wants the players to look more professional.

* If the Central Hockey League goes on strike, the league will not be signing CHL players without permission from the CHL as per reciprocal agreements.

* Not a lot of talk about expansion, though the Chicago franchise is still out there and the league still has high hopes for it. They are being tight-lipped about expansion.

* Regarding the perceived potential troubles in Port Huron, the league is not worried about that ownership group in the least. It’s not even an issue they are even considering. This is me talking, but the IceHawks owners could buy the entire league if they chose to. They will be fine. The league feels they have gotten stronger with new ownership groups in Muskegon and Bloomington, also.

* The league does have to maintain six teams to receive work visas from the federal government.

* The league is launching new website very soon, and part of that will include interviews with league and club officials so fans can get to know them better.

* As a little thing, media members will be allowed to vote for the league’s PR Director award this season and will be allowed to vote for members of the teams they cover on the post-season awards. SO EVERYBODY BETTER BE VERY DARN NICE TO ME THIS YEAR! OR ELSE. Yeah, that will happen. LOL.

It was a very productive meeting and they answered every question we could come up with — as they always do.

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8 Responses to “IHL media teleconference”

  1. dschebig Says:

    I am very happy they will let you vote this year. I think they should let the off-ice officials have a vote. Who knows more about the players and all the crying some of them do than the off-ice officials? They never will, but we can always hope.

    I agree about Port Huron. It would seem to me they have a political problem up there. The City Manager recently resigned. The Mayor must not be a hockey fan (His Loss). If they should lose their team the city would still have to maintain the building. They would lose more without the team and players contributing to the local economy. Political hacks just do not understand what is good for the public and what isn’t. Does that sound like any other city that is real up close and personal? Does Harrison Square rush to your mind?

  2. bsebring Says:

    Amen, as we’ve discussed before.

  3. rnbrown Says:

    Blake,

    If the CHL does go on strike, would there be any players from that league that you would like to see in the IHL? From what little I’ve seen regarding this, it seems that the CHL players knew nothing of this. (labor stoppage) (really BAD IDEA!)

    I think being allowed to vote for the players you cover is a good idea, after all you deal with them on a daily basis and it’s still only one vote.

    From the conversations that I’ve had with folks in the Port Huron area, I’m convinced that the local “leadership” is still lost in the 1950’s. (Sorry, but Ward Cleaver is not the Mayor!)

    Regarding Harrison Square….amazing how brilliant minds think alike!

  4. bsebring Says:

    None, Bob. If they are already under contract to CHL teams they are prohibited from signing in IHL.

    The point on the voting was, I didn’t want to vote for players who I did not feel were deserving no matter what team they played on. It was an ethical question about objectivity. If I felt player X was not the best at his position, why should I be forced to vote for him just because he didn’t play for Fort Wayne? Certainly does not mean I will necessarily vote for any Komet for any awards. Just means I have the option if I believe they deserve it.

  5. andydunn Says:

    HA HA HA Fort Wayne Tin Caps? Really our new baseball team’s mascot is probably going to be an apple. Sad day for fort wayne baseball.

  6. rnbrown Says:

    Blake,

    I apologize….I phrased my earlier question poorly. I did’nt mean to suggest that you would vote only for a Fort Wayne player. I know that you would only vote for the player most deserving of an award, regardless of which team they play for.

  7. bsebring Says:

    Please, no need to apologize at all.

  8. chuckitt Says:

    tincaps!!! ha ha ha ha ha laughing stock of the league!!!


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