Minor League Hockey
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CHL, IHL merge to form 'AA' level super league

Tempe, AZ (Sports Network) - The Central Hockey League (CHL) and the International Hockey League (IHL) have entered into a letter of intent to form a "AA" level super league beginning in the 2010-11 season, the leagues announced in a joint statement.

The newly formed minor hockey league will play under the CHL name, with the identity of the IHL being maintained through various aspects, according to the release, which also stated that further details would be ironed out this week.

"The arrangement between the CHL and the IHL should create an innovative and exciting "AA" level professional hockey league which is scheduled to start play in the 2010-2011 season," IHL Commissioner Dennis Hextall said. "The two leagues each have longstanding histories and share the common goal of solidifying minor professional hockey for our players, our passionate fans and their communities. I believe this arrangement will enable our teams to recruit the best young talent to join our league, with the potential of improving their game and moving up to the higher leagues."

"This is an exciting day for our teams and markets," CHL Commissioner Duane Lewis said. "Both leagues have worked hard to establish tremendous entertainment at a great value for their fans, and by combining our resources we believe we can strengthen those efforts providing greater fan interest as well as a stronger brand."

Operating guidelines will be discussed at the league meetings in June.

06/01 16:20:56 ET