CHL Statement on Oklahoma City/New Mexico


CHL Statement on Oklahoma City/New Mexico

Blazers and Scorpions to suspend operations for 2009-10 season

The Central Hockey League (CHL) announced today that the Oklahoma City Blazers and the New Mexico Scorpions will not play in the 2009-10 season.  The league will play the 2009-10 season with 15 participating teams.  

“We, along with the Scorpions ownership group, have been working diligently for months trying to make it possible to play in Rio Rancho (New Mexico) this season but our efforts fell short,” said Duane Lewis, Commissioner of the CHL. 

Conversely, the request from the Blazers comes as a complete surprise for the league from a franchise that has annually been considered one of the best in all minor professional sports.  The team had been approached numerous times about rumors of a switch to the American Hockey League (AHL) but had always denied such claims and had been working on a schedule for the upcoming season with the league.  Additionally, they were involved on working on a lease in the Cox Center in order to play without Ford Center interference. 

“We feel hurt by this late notice and surprising announcement,” said Lewis.  “Many times as rumors had swirled about another League having interest in the market we asked about their intentions and repeatedly they refuted those claims.  Representatives from our office have travelled to meet with team and City officials in Oklahoma City to assist and offer advice towards the Blazers’ next lease, which turns out wasn’t for a CHL team.  This decision did not happen overnight, and to continue to work on the schedule and wait until July to inform us is disappointing.  We feel for the Blazers staff and for the team’s fans who are some of the best in hockey and who will lose their longtime and close rivals around the CHL.”

All Blazers and Scorpions players become free agents effective immediately.  The CHL will announce the new division alignment and work on announcing the 2009-10 regular season schedule in the coming weeks.
 



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