CINCINNATI, OH – After one year in the South Division, the Cincinnati Cyclones are changing divisions. Again. For the third consecutive season, Cincinnati will be competing in a different division, however, this form of change is good after the colossal whiff by the ECHL that took place last summer which sent the Cyclones into a division they only played five games against.
Beginning with the 2017-18 campaign, the Cyclones will be reuniting with long-time rivals as well as some of their old Midwest Division chums from a couple seasons ago. On Tuesday afternoon, it was announced that Cincinnati will be heading back to the Western Conference joining the Fort Wayne Komets, Toledo Walleye, Quad City Mallards, Indy Fuel, Kalamazoo Wings, and Kansas City Mavericks in the newly reformed Central Division.
It goes without saying, but Cincinnati wins here big time. To recap from when the schedule for next season was released just over a month ago, the Cyclones will now have 43 games within their own division as opposed to five they got last season. That’s over half of their schedule that’s being played against Central Division opponents.
The ECHL got A LOT, and I mean A LOT of flack last summer for the radical division shift that made next to zero sense. However, they have made up for it with this new alignment. They got this one right and I’m extremely happy to see it. Although, I am absolutely 100% going to acknowledge that I completely called it during my close to 1000 word rant on the old divisional alignment that I posted back in March. You can go back and read that “piece of brilliance” here.
The best part about this new alignment? Nobody was shoehorned into a division they had absolutely zero business being in. Last year, Cincinnati was shoehorned into the South with teams they never even played and were 500+ miles away from almost every single one of them. With the Alaska Aces ceasing operations and Jacksonville IceMen joining the South, I was legitimately concerned that Cincinnati would get shoehorned into Alaska’s spot in the Mountain Division because I was that worried about the league’s decision making with this stuff.
Thankfully, that isn’t the case and some of my faith in the ECHL that was lost has been restored again. The calendar flipped on the hockey year on June 16th and it’s nice to start the 2017-18 hockey year on a good note and let’s hope it continues. Before you know it, you’ll be hearing about player signings and what names will be on the backs of those Cincinnati sweaters come October.
You can view the full Divisional/Conference alignment here.