Six Teams from the IHL to join the AHL

By Andrew Bourgeois
After this years Turner Cup 6 teams from the IHL are expected to join the AHL to make 1 triple A minor hockey league.

According to sources close to the situation, the International Hockey League will cease operations after its playoffs, and six IHL teams will be absorbed by the American Hockey League.

Six IHL teams, are expected to officially become members of the AHL following a meeting of the AHL’s board of governors.
The new AHL would grow to also include the Grand Rapids Griffins, Milwaukee Admirals, Manitoba Moose, Chicago Wolves, Utah Grizzlies and Houston Aeros.

All six teams would pay $2.5 million apiece to enter the AHL, with $1 million from each team earmarked for the IHL to help the league close business after 56 years of operation.

The IHL has been experiencing financial problems. The league, which had 19 teams in 1996-97, was down to 11 clubs this season and on life-support.

The Cleveland Lumberjacks nearly folded in midseason, but were bailed out and run by the league. The Lumberjacks, however, lost their NHL affiliate last week when the Minnesota Wild chose not to exercise its option for 2001-02.
Efforts by the IHL to find a Cleveland buyer for the Lumberjacks have been fruitless.

Cleveland is not the only floundering IHL franchise, either. The Detroit Vipers, Orlando Solar Bears and Cincinnati Cyclones have been plagued by financial problems and dismal attendance and, along with the Lumberjacks and Kansas City Blades, were not expected to be part of the IHL next season.

With the addition of the six IHL teams, the AHL would have 26 clubs.

There is a cloak-and-dagger atmosphere surrounding the upcoming moves to the AHL and the demise of the IHL.
AHL president David Andrews has issued a gag order to his league’s teams and officials on matters related to the possible addition of IHL teams.


Chicago Wolves
Orlando Solar Bears 5

Orlando leads Turner Cup Final 2 games to 0 games.
Bryan Adams and Dan Snyder both scored a pair of goals as the Orlando Solar Bears defeated the Chicago Wolves, 5-1, to take a two games to none lead in the best-of-seven Turner Cup Finals. Adams netted a power-play marker with 7:31 remaining in the first frame, Snyder followed with a goal 5:41 later and Adams gave Orlando a 3-0 lead with another power-play tally early in the second period. Herbert Vasiljevs scored his sixth goal of the playoffs with 6:43 remaining in the middle stanza to give the Solar Bears a 4-0 lead after two periods. Norm Maracle, the league’s regular season MVP, stopped 32 shots to pick up the win for Orlando, which is making its third finals appearance but seeking its first cup. Steve Maltais scored a third-period marker for Chicago, but Snyder responded with a power-play marker midway through the stanza to cap the scoring. Wendell Young suffered the loss after giving up five goals on 32 shots for the Wolves, who are defending Turner Cup champions.


May 23, 2001

Orlando Solar Bears at Chicago Wolves 8:00pm
Orlando leads Turner Cup Final 2 games to 0 games.