Bringing minor league hockey back to Louisville, Steve Ryan eyes Louisville as a possible expansion market for his Central Hockey League.
Ryan, the CEO and commissioner of the league, confirmed Louisville’s status as a consideration for a franchise expansion for the 10-team league, according to the Courier-Journal. “We think Louisville’s not only got great demographics but a corporate base and facilities,” Ryan said.
In the city’s recent history, Louisville has been home to two East Coast Hockey league franchises: the IceHawks (1990-94) and the Riverfrogs (1995-98).
And the American Hockey League’s Louisville Panthers stay in the city from 1999-2001. Although the hockey franchises were excited to make a home on river city, the AHL club went dormant after only two seasons and both ECHL teams moved to Florida after a short stint north.
With nearby franchises in Illinois and Missouri, Ryan commented, “I think the owners of the league would be very happy if Louisville came in.” The Central Hockey League is an affiliate of the National Hockey League.
When Ryan was promoted to the position of CHL commissioner, Rodney Steven, CHL Executive Committee Chairman, commented, “We are very excited about the future of the Central Hockey League and what Steve’s leadership and vision will bring to that future.” Rumors in Louisville might say that this vision is bringing the CHL to the Ville.
As to where a CHL team would skate on ice in Louisville, the decision of facilities is up in the air. The Louisville Icehawks and Riverfrogs called Broadbent arena home, while the Panthers skated in Freedom Hall.
With the year of the Cardinal in the past and sports always on the mind of Louisvillians, the rumors of another hockey league promise to give sports zealots something to scream about.