ECHL changes for 2018-19

First off, give the league a lot of credit on the division alignments. They announced them before the schedule for the first time since the Komets have been in the league, and moving Wheeling into the Central Division to replace Quad City is a fantastic move for all the teams and the Nailers. That’s a very positive change for the league.

From an ECHL press release:

The ECHL announced on Tuesday that the League’s Board of Governors has approved the following changes for the 2018-19 Season.

Expansion Membership approved for St. John’s

The Board has approved the Expansion Membership application for St. John’s, Newfoundland to begin play in the 2018-19 Season. The St. John’s Membership will be owned by Deacon Investments LTD, an entity controlled by Dean MacDonald. Glenn Stanford, the long-time President of the city’s American Hockey League franchise, will oversee team operations.

“We are pleased to welcome St. John’s to the ECHL,” said ECHL Commissioner Brian McKenna. “The city has a long and proud hockey history and, along with the Maine Mariners, will be strong additions to our North Division.”

“Both Glenn and I are ecstatic that professional hockey is coming back to St. John’s. We believe that hockey fans in our city will welcome this great product,” MacDonald said. “We look forward to working with St. John’s Edge owners Irwin Simon and Rob Sabbagh, along with the City, to bring two amazing sports entities together. This strong partnership will elevate professional sports in Newfoundland and provide many nights of action-packed entertainment for the community.”

Quad City withdraws membership

The Quad City Mallards have withdrawn their Membership in the ECHL, effective at the conclusion of the 2017-18 Season.

League alignment for 2018-19 season

The Board has approved the following conference and divisional alignment for the 2018-19 Season.

Eastern Conference

North Division

Adirondack Thunder, Brampton Beast, Maine Mariners, Manchester Monarchs, Reading Royals, St. Johns, Worcester Railers

South Division

Atlanta Gladiators, Florida Everblades, Greenville Swamp Rabbits, Jacksonville Icemen, Norfolk Admirals, Orlando Solar Bears, South Carolina Stingrays.

Western Conference

Central Division

Cincinnati Cyclones, Fort Wayne Komets, Indy Fuel, Kalamazoo Wings, Toledo Walleye, Wheeling Nailers

Mountain Division

Allen Americans, Idaho Steelheads, Kansas City Mavericks, Rapid City Rush, Tulsa Oilers, Utah Grizzlies, Wichita Thunder