It’s not the NHL, but the Central Hockey League is coming to the Kansas City area this fall. According to this article, the Independence Events Center, where the team is to play, is 50% complete, and on target to be done by November 2nd. There has been no publicity surrounding the new team, which I found odd until I learned that it is actually not a completely done deal yet. This article says the deal is nearly finalized, and a deal could be reached on April 6th. Kansas City Hockey History has a page dedicated to the team, which includes a poll for possible team names (Independence Impact kind of has a ring to it).
I’m glad professional hockey is returning to KC, but I can’t honestly say I’m too excited about a CHL team. It’s an independent league, not a development or feeder league. I’ve never been to a CHL game, but I imagine it’s similar to the UHL (which the Kansas City Outlaws played in for one year), where guys who have passed the prospect age continue to play for very little pay because they just love the game and/or they can’t shake the dream of making the big time. I’ll watch and enjoy anybody playing hockey, but, as long as we’re not an NHL town, I would vastly prefer to see kids with NHL potential working their way up the ladder (such as in the ECHL, AHL and even the USHL). The top five scorers in the CHL right now are an average age of about 31.
But, hey, hockey’s hockey, and I’ll definitely go check out the action in Independence. Besides, I need somewhere to rock my Scouts jersey.
Edit: The deal has been finalized.