First Look: 2014 Relocation & Realignment

On Monday, I announced the plan for the upcoming realignment of the IceHL and subsequent relocation of an IceHL EAST franchise. Since we have a couple of weeks before that project begins, I wanted to lay out some more details and open it all up to feedback from the community at large.


With the Icethetics tournaments back in full swing this summer, I thought it would make sense to use the bracket format for some of our IceHL votes. In fact, I have four in mind!

City Bracket
To make things simple, we'll start with 16 cities which will give us four rounds of polls to determine an ultimate winner. Scroll down past this section on brackets to to see the 16 cities I currently have in mind.

Naming Bracket
When it comes time to pick a team name, we'll have 8 to choose from. You'll all be free to suggest names over a period of several days. And one of the cool new features of the Icethetics comments section will help determine which of those will be the 8 that go to the bracket.

If you hover over a comment on any post, you'll see some icons pop up in the corner, one of which is a like button. The name suggestions with the most likes (assuming they're appropriate) will be included in the bracket.

Logo Bracket
Just as with previous IceHL projects, all appropriate logo submissions will be included in the voting. But this time, we'll do it bracket-style. I'm allotting two weeks to get through them but the number of rounds will be determined by how many logos are submitted.

Jersey Bracket
Jerseys will work the same way as the logos. All appropriate submissions will be included in the bracket. Seeding for these brackets is still up in the air. I haven't yet decided how that will work, but if all else fails, seeds will be assigned randomly.

16 Cities

The plan for the City Bracket is by no means final, but I wanted to give everyone a look at what I'm thinking so you can suggest changes before voting begins next month.

Tentatively, the bracket will include these first-round pairings:

  • Albuquerque NM vs Phoenix AZ
  • Whitehorse YT (Canada) vs Billings MT
  • Honolulu HI vs Mexico City DF (Mexico)
  • Boise ID vs Cheyenne WY
  • Des Moines IA vs Omaha NE
  • Oklahoma City OK vs Wichita KS
  • Las Vegas NV vs San Francisco CA
  • Sioux Falls SD vs Fargo ND

As you can see, I've tried to pair cities based on geography. Again, I have not yet determined seeding, but I do think these pairings would make for good opening match-ups.

The idea behind these 16 was to look at states, provinces and major metropolitan areas that don't already have IceHL teams.


I anticipate getting this project off the ground almost immediately after the season ends on April 13. The league champions will be announced April 14 as will the IceHL EAST team that's moving west. On April 15, I hope to launch the first city polls. The process will conclude in mid to late July with the full branding of the new team complete.

It may seem like a lot for one team — especially given how many we did last summer. But bear in mind that at the same time we'll be launching the third league, IceHL World. That'll include all of the same processes from choosing cities to names, logos and jerseys. We'll stay plenty busy this summer.

Once we get things underway for the IceHL WEST relocation, I'll announce the plans for the IceHL World. I will reiterate that we'll be starting the league with 8 teams. Stay tuned for more.

If you have any suggestions, leave a comment or send me an email.