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1997 - 2002

United Hockey League (UHL)

Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena

United Hockey League Doesnít Deserve Fourth-Rate Tag

July 6, 1997

MAILBAG

As a sports writer for a Mid-west hockey publication called Just Hockey, and six-year follower of the Colonial Hockey League, I must strongly disagree with Hockey News editor-in-chief Steve Dryden who ranks the CHL (now the United Hockey League) three levels below the AHL. How would he know? To my knowledge, he has never attended a CHL game and his publication does not regularly follow the league.

In these parts, the AHL and IHL would be considered the Triple A level, and the UHL and East Coast Hockey League would be considered Double A level. We may not be in as large cities as the ECHL, however, I would put any of the United Hockey League teams up against that league and we would beat them nine out of 10 times.

The ECHL allows only three veterans and 15 rookies, which do you suppose is a better brand of hockey? This past season the record breaking Flint Generals, who were 54-18-3 for 111 points, had three players with more than 200 games I either the IHL or AHL. Neil Eisenhut, Ross Wilson and Kevin Kerr and a dozen others played numerous games at the Triple A Level.

Please do not rush to judgment. And remember, Flint had a team in the IRL for 21 years before we got our CHL team in 1991 and the crowds in Flint are the biggest they have had since the 1973-74 IHL season. This past season, the flint Generals averaged 3,737 in a 4,021-seat arena and had 17 sellouts.

Flint also had 48 player call-ups to either the IHL or AHL, leading all five Double A hockey leagues, including the ECHL.

Donít believe it when you hear that the UHL is the fourth-rated minor league. In truth we are just a half notch below the famed AHL and IHL. Shame on Steve Dryden for implying as much. No itís not the AHL, but its darn good hockey. Just ask Neil Eisenhut.

Christopher Warner
Flint, Michigan

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