I'd like to say before you read any further that I am not an alarmist, and if anything, I'm soliciting a good forecheck from the Rink to dig into something I saw on NHL Network the other week.
Essentially, are the Capitals looking to have an ECHL affiliate in Richmond, Va.?
Puck Daddy linked to some news today that the Johnstown Chiefs will move to South Carolina, giving the state two ECHL teams. Last week, I had commented in a thread about Ted Leonsis' media tour of his book, that I thought he had referenced the Caps having an ECHL team in Richmond. It was probably lost considering it was late in the day and was somewhat unrelated.
Leonsis talked about creating a culture of happiness throughout the organization and mentioned that it goes "right down to our team in Richmond" then mentions Hershey as well.
At least I think that's what he said, but I had a tough talking myself into it sounding like South Carolina, Stingrays or Charleston. Today's news of movement involving the Carolinas forced me to react to put this out there, even e-mailing J.P., to see if this is something the staff had the time to look into.
See, I watched "On The Fly" on our DVR-less TV, so I couldn't rewind. If he had uttered Richmond's name given in the context I provided in the comment, it makes a lot and not a lot of sense, but it's intriguing.
I inquired about obtaining a transcript or a recording of the segment from the NHL Network via its Web site, but who knows how long that will take, and how much it would cost.
I'm wondering if any of you by some small chance, recorded that show and could post it, or had watched the interview as well.
Now, here's why I think I'm not crazy:
• Minor league teams are moving around and selling in recent weeks, including a move that sends the Albany River Rats to Charlotte, N.C., reviving the Checkers name. So now seems like a good time as any.
• Leonsis thinks in big picture when it comes to his organization. It feels like the fanbase is growing more northern thanks to its great Hershey relationship. Why not find some owners and bring Richmond into the fold to cultivate the Virginia base, creating a north-south drive of four to five hours of all phases of Capitals development?
Think about that one for a moment. Actually, pull up Google Maps and see where the Capitals' properties would be on a map. Practically a straight north-south line. Pennsylvania will be tough to penetrate, but there has to be a prime opportunity heading south on Interstate 95. Sure would help his goal of wanting millions of more fans.
And why I am crazy, along with unanswered questions:
• The Johnstown move cancels out the Charlotte loss of an ECHL team. Greenville and Charleston are in opposite corners of the state, so they won't affect each other. If there is any sort of concern, it might be having the Charlotte AHL affiliate close to Greenville, unless the Hurricanes take advantage of that relationship and geography.
• I could have heard the broadcast incorrectly, but it definitely did not sound like South Carolina or Greenville coming out of Uncle Ted's mouth.
• Do you want to move a franchise that's won a Kelly Cup and is doing great this year?
• Can Richmond support an ECHL team after the Renegades failed?
Aside of whether this is happening, let's ponder whether this is a move that should be made, whether the Capitals' are thinking about it or not.
Should the Capitals end their affiliation with South Carolina and revive the Richmond Renegades, or even the Baltimore Bandits? Could it be successful? When would you make the move?