The Denver Cutthroats, a Central Hockey League farm affiliate for the Colorado Avalanche have wrapped up their 2014-15 season early. The team has announced they have elected dormancy for the upcoming season according to the official release.
"The Central Hockey League (CHL) announced today that the Denver Cutthroats have suspended operations, effective immediately, and will not compete in the 2014-15 season. The team will look to secure additional investors with the hope of returning for the 2015-16 campaign."
What does this mean for the Avalanche? Well, they lose a farm affiliate, but their biggest prospects were playing with the American Hockey League’s Lake Erie Monsters anyways. The Avs may or may not try to secure another affiliate in the near future, but for now they will probably sit tight and see what happens. Any prospects they had playing for the Cutthroats will become free agents within the CHL. The Avalanche will retain their rights.
We feel the Denver market remains a strong, viable area for minor league hockey, and has an ownership group that is passionate about making it work. -Steve Ryan, CHL Commissioner
The Cutthroats had the worst attendance in the league last season, despite reaching the league finals, drawing an average of 1,787 fans per game to the Denver Coliseum. This had to be the major factor for the franchise deciding to go dormant for a year. Unless they find investors willing to take a chance and provide some cash flow for the team, I don’t see how this ends well for the Cutthroats.
If the team does return, a more creative marketing initiative or in-game experience upgrades will be needed to bait the hook, and get fan support behind the squad. Otherwise, it seems like the fate of the Cutthroats is already in the cards, and those wanting to see a game are going to have to “go fish.” Anyone rich in Denver want to own a hockey team?