Talk:International Hockey League (1945–2001)

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IHL vs NHL[edit]

The IHL was seen to be preparing a serious challenge to the NHL for the supremacy of North American professional hockey as NHL labor woes flared. I see there's now a cite here, but since it's a print source, I don't know what the source's relevant content is. As I said, the claim above is difficult to believe; the payroll gap between the leagues was significant, most IHL teams played in inferior facilities, and the IHL's financial structure depending in part on payroll subsidies from the NHL. I'd like to know what Total Hockey or any of these "dozens" of other sources said. Indeed, the article as a whole has just that one source, and could certainly use more. | Mr. Darcy talk 13:55, 21 November 2006 (UTC)

Well, the only scope the article can have is whether such a belief was prevalent at the time, which has nothing to do with personal opinions. Among them, for instance, your belief that the IHL teams played in inferior facilities. Pulling up the Sporting News hockey guide from 1995, Atlanta, Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Denver, Houston, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Milwaukee and Minnesota all played in stadiums equal to or exceeding what Boston, Buffalo, Quebec, Hartford, Winnipeg and Ottawa played in at the time. San Diego and Phoenix played in arenas seating over 13 thousand. Only Kalamazoo, Fort Wayne and Peoria played in smaller arenas, and all three would be out of the IHL within a couple years thereafter, too small to compete.
Further, let's have the relevant quotes from Total Hockey: "The IHL's early-1990s growth spurt seemed to have the league on a collision course with the NHL. In addition to the teams in Chicago and Detroit, teams were placed in Long Beach and San Francisco, both near NHL cities. Relations between the IHL and its senior counterpart soured and many National league clubs canceled their IHL affiliations. Only four of 18 teams had an NHL affiliation in 1997-98." Hm, here's another, from the Hockey News 1996-1997 Yearbook: "Only time will tell if the IHL will make a serious challenge (to the NHL), but league governors are paying attention." Ravenswing 23:44, 21 November 2006 (UTC)
First of all, it would be really helpful if you'd drop the ridiculous pretense that asking for quotes has anything to do with my personal opinions. When I first tagged the article, it was entirely unsourced. It's still undersourced, in fact, and pointing that out with questions about the unsourced content is entirely appropriate.
I have changed the relevant portion of the article to reflect the quote from Total Hockey, which is a lot more vague on the "challenge" than the article's original content was. Your second quote is useless; it is saying that at that moment, the IHL was not making a serious challenge, and it was not clear if the league was going to make a serious challenge. And FWIW, the fact that the league collapsed without the payroll subsidies provided by NHL clubs is pretty strong evidence that there wasn't a challenge in the offing - their financial model couldn't support it. In the future, let's keep the content of this article NPOV and cited. | Mr. Darcy talk 00:47, 22 November 2006 (UTC)
When you repeatedly state that you don't believe there was any such perception, any premise that personal opinion is entering into this is spot on accurate; the mere fact that you're continuing to debate the viability of any such challenge is blatant. Secondly, the article never stated that there was any such challenge, only that there was a wide perception in the hockey establishment and media that there was one, which is another matter altogether. Thirdly, your new wording directly quotes the Total Hockey article and is a copy violation. And a couple more quotes while I'm at it, which I'll source in the main article:

Mention signing established NHL stars and International League commissioner Robert Ufer smiles. Mention salary caps and he'll start talking about the ceiling - as in creating a soft one ... The deal the IHL and the union agreed to last November and signed into official status just before the current season started will have a team spending over the cap paying a fine - or tax as the league calls it - proportional to the overage. In 1995-96 that cap figure is expected to be $1.5 million. But what if so many teams surpass that figure - through, as many observers expect, signings of veteran NHL players - that the average payroll computes, for example, to $2 million? Then the cap is raised, and only the teams over $2 million get fined.

"I never conceived that out of this would come something that would stretch coast to coast," said Huber, "let alone a league that went head to head against the NHL in its own markets." ... From there, commissioner Tom Berry launched the league into its big-market boom period, which is still very active with Ufer's guidance and has raised hopes of challenging for the Stanley Cup in the foreseeable future.

Ravenswing 03:03, 22 November 2006 (UTC)
You're obviously not familiar with copyright rules if you think a two-sentence quote is a "copy violation." I never stated that I didn't believe there was any such perception - that's your strawman position here. I stated that I believed that there was no IHL challenge in the offing. I still don't see anything to indicate that there was such a challenge - merely the perception that there might be one down the road. You might want to review WP:OWN before you resume your attack against me and my request that we properly cite things in this article. | Mr. Darcy talk 03:28, 22 November 2006 (UTC)
Sorry, I work with copyright law for a living, and never mind Wikipedia's clear policies on the subject, any verbatim, unattributed quote from a published work without even so much as an assertion of fair use (which the article couldn't support) is in violation. WP:C and WP:FAIR are reasonably comprehensive and accurately phrased; I recommend reviewing it. As far as "attacking" you goes, I am not the one who trotted out words like "ridiculous," "strawman," "weasel word," and so on. Perhaps there is some reason for your ongoing combativeness on this issue - especially in light of your beliefs falling short of accuracy - but I'd rather not spend time in speculation. In any event, if you desire more cites in the article generally, feel free to add some. Ravenswing 13:10, 22 November 2006 (UTC)
And I have worked with copyright law as well. A single sentence, properly attributed (which it was), is more than acceptable. If you feel better putting quotation marks around it, go right ahead. As for "weasel word," it's an accepted Wikipedia term for certain phrasings that are vague, often deliberately so, on questionable issues - the use of the passive voice being one such type of writing. "The IHL was seen to be preparing a serious challenge..." is weaselly - who saw them to be preparing a serious challenge? Was this a common view? Was it a realistic view? If it was the view of a few hockey writers, how did business writers (who could better assess the viability of such a challenge) view it? And so on. The current sentence is a pretty clear violation of the guideline against using weasel words, and it's probably POV (a pro-IHL view, as it were) and I'm not sure why you're so resistant to a change that is clear, NPOV, and better reflects the citations provided - or why you feel the need to attack me for suggesting that the article needs such improvements. | Mr. Darcy talk 18:12, 22 November 2006 (UTC)
MrDarcy: you challenged and are now complaining that someone responded to said challenge. I don't understand this. The statement in question is adequately sourced, yet you contend otherwise without any referenced counterexamples. I'm under the impression that you're line of thinking is the IHL failed, therefore they were never a threat. I suppose the WHA was never a threat either (including the proposed reincarnation). ccwaters 14:21, 22 November 2006 (UTC)
See above. I'll thank you to avoid making unmerited assumptions about my thinking. I saw something unsourced and vague, and am saying that it needs to be improved. Focus on improving the article, rather than casting aspersions on me. | Mr. Darcy talk 18:12, 22 November 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for making clear arguments. According to WP:Weasel: Weasel words are words or phrases that seemingly support statements without attributing opinions to verifiable sources.. Sources are given.
So we're not trying to revise/diminish past intentions/perceptions with the luxury of hindsight? Yet, you add a disclaimer comparing league salaries as if to counter. ccwaters 20:31, 22 November 2006 (UTC)
There are sources, but they don't support the statement as it was originally written. The rewritten version accurately reflects the quotations provided above; I don't see what the problem is, other than that it's not the way that Ravenswing seems to want the page to read. As for the payroll figures, they're properly cited, and serve to illuminate the gap between the leagues - without any editorial comment on how significant that gap was in whether the IHL could mount a challenge or not. The original version implied that the IHL was on the verge of a challenge, but in reality, it wasn't. As I said, I see no problem with making the content clearer and the phrasing more explicit, or with adding properly cited mentions of the relative sizes of the leagues' team payrolls. | Mr. Darcy talk 22:47, 22 November 2006 (UTC)
Yes, I was wondering about that myself; MrDarcy's slipping into outright advocacy of a position here, and his grasp of WP:WEASEL seems on a par with his grasp of copyright law, Wiki copyright policy, NPOV, minor league history or then-prevalent IHL stadium sizes: the definition seems to be "I don't agree with it." First he claimed to want cites, then he wanted the cites explained to him, then he wanted more cites, now he wants cites from businessmen. Unfortunately, Wikipedia is still not a soapbox, and I'm disinterested in chasing down yet more cites which will then be dismissed on some pretext or another. An assertion has been made, a request for citation was made, that request was more than thoroughly filled, done deal. Any more research he can do himself. Ravenswing 22:51, 22 November 2006 (UTC)
And the personal attacks continue. But I do want to respond to one point you made earlier: Among them, for instance, your belief that the IHL teams played in inferior facilities. Pulling up the Sporting News hockey guide from 1995, Atlanta, Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Denver, Houston, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Milwaukee and Minnesota all played in stadiums equal to or exceeding what Boston, Buffalo, Quebec, Hartford, Winnipeg and Ottawa played in at the time. San Diego and Phoenix played in arenas seating over 13 thousand. There are two major problems with this argument. One is that capacity is only one variable, and not even a major one, in determining the revenue-producing capability of a stadium. Luxury boxes, club seating, signage, concessions, parking, and stadium age are all major variables as well. The other is that of your six NHL cities with poor facilities, three were about to lose their teams (Quebec in 1995, Winnipeg in 1996, and Hartford in 1997); Boston's new facility opened in September of '95, boasting what I believe was the highest average ticket price in the NHL during its first season; Ottawa's new facility opened in January 1996; and Buffalo's new facility opened in September of 1996. My point about the stadia was that the viability of an IHL challenge would depend in part on what kind of revenues its facilities could produce. | Mr. Darcy talk 16:55, 24 November 2006 (UTC)

So we are arguing the actual statement and not the wording? Instead of referencing one statistic and declaring it the end all litmus test, why don't you look at the hockey climate as a whole? Things to consider: The escalating salaries and the effect on the financial stability of teams in the NHL, the 1994-95 lockout which was primarily an unsuccessful attempt at instituting a salary cap, the shift from a primarily midwest league to a national major market league, the solidifaction of the AHL becoming a developmental league vs the IHL being veteran friendly to the point of even poaching a few established NHLers. Remember, we're not contending that it didn't fail, we're just stating (with references) that an attempt was made. ccwaters 02:55, 23 November 2006 (UTC)

I'm not declaring any one stat as any kind of end-all litmus test. What I think the article really needs is a more thorough description or exploration of what the IHL's strategy in the mid-90s was. Yes, some hockey writers speculated that a challenge was in the works, and since that's properly cited, I have no objection to that being in the article. We don't have any evidence that there was such a challenge in the works, though - no quotes from IHL league or team execs, for example, or articles describing an actual strategy to challenge the NHL. (I remember reading a great article, possibly in USA Today, in '96 or '97, where a senior IHL exec described their marketing strategy, saying that they wanted to hit a price point that the NHL no longer served, even slotting in under NHL teams in strong NHL markets like Chicago and Detroit. I haven't put any mention of this in the article, though, since I don't have a citation.) Without the payroll info or any other statistics, we also don't have any information to allow the reader to determine if such a challenge was realistic; the working capital required to go from a subsidized minor league in inferior stadia to a bona fide rival league would have been in the $300 million to $600 million range, given how prior rival leagues (WHA, USFL, WFL, even the Federal League) typically had to overpay players to get them to jump leagues. Let's get the complete picture into the article, complete with quotes from relevant executives, since the IHL's rapid expansion and the apparent souring of its relationship with the NHL led pretty directly to its demise, and is thus an enormous part of the league's story. Ccwaters' suggestions of other points that should go into the article (if properly cited) are all excellent, although I disagree with the very last statement that "an attempt was made," as the sources provided so far only show that some observers believed an attempt was coming. Perhaps that's a subtle distinction, but I think the difference between "the IHL collapsed because it tried to challenge the NHL" and "the IHL collapsed because the NHL believed a challenge was coming" is significant. Either may be true, and as long as the citations back it up, I'm not going to object. | Mr. Darcy talk 16:55, 24 November 2006 (UTC)
Probably both were true; the IHL collapsed because the league tried to go too far, and the NHL materially contributed to the collapse by yanking their affiliations en masse. I don't foresee usable citations for either. IHL execs and owners constantly denied they were trying to compete with the NHL, and I don't think the NHL owners would have ever gone on record claiming they were worried about the IHL. All I've found in contemporaneous reference to affiliation shifts were variations on "We thought that {X AHL club} would be a better fit." Certainly the issue of collusion was a hot topic in those days, as people might remember, and the owners would have been gunshy about any appearance of the same. Ravenswing 19:05, 25 November 2006 (UTC)

Recent edits[edit]

While I agreed that the IHL owners carelessly overreached, this has proved a contentious enough subject (see the above discussion for proof) that saying so without ironclad cites constitutes NPOV violation that won't be let slide. Combine that with several grammar and spelling errors, and I felt it safer to revert pending cleanup and adequate sourcing.  Ravenswing  23:17, 29 April 2007 (UTC)


Time to restore the original title of this article without the dates, doesn't anyone think?  Ravenswing  05:48, 1 September 2010 (UTC)

I could go either way. With 5 leagues of the same (or almost the same) name. Leaving it as a disambiguation page might be appropriate. However, this league probably is the most known league of the bunch. -DJSasso (talk) 12:49, 1 September 2010 (UTC)
Given that it was around for three times as long as all the others combined, that'd be a safe bet!  Ravenswing  15:48, 1 September 2010 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

No consensus to move. Vegaswikian (talk) 03:27, 10 March 2011 (UTC)

International Hockey League (1945–2001)International Hockey LeagueRelisted. fuzzy510 (talk) 07:26, 3 March 2011 (UTC) As is noted in the discussion below, the other IHL's were either short-lived or, in the case of the KHL, better known by a different name. Khan_singh (talk) 02:16, 13 February 2011 (UTC)

  • As I argued several months ago, I'm in complete agreement.  Ravenswing  17:34, 13 February 2011 (UTC)
  • The title shouldn't be moved, as the league no longer exists. GoodDay (talk) 22:57, 13 February 2011 (UTC)
  • I don't perceive your logic; how does the league's existence or lack thereof impact what name the article should have?  Ravenswing  13:47, 14 February 2011 (UTC)
  • For reference, see American Football League. That title points to the AFL circa 1960-69. All other AFL's are qualified by their years of operation. The AFL of the 60's is the best known league by that name. This IHL was in business for over fifty years, and only the Kontinental Hockey League could be argued to be a better known league, but it's now called the KHL, and most sources know it by that name. Khan_singh (talk) 21:10, 15 February 2011 (UTC)
(res to RG & Khan) The (1945-2001) in the title, shows up front that the league doesn't exist anymore. Ya stumped me with the AFL example. GoodDay (talk) 05:26, 1 March 2011 (UTC)
Support - For the reasons I stated above. Khan_singh (talk) 03:09, 26 February 2011 (UTC)

*Oppose move: This article should remain as a disambiguation page. Over the past century several ice hockey leagues have been called the "International Hockey League". This disambiguation page is a useful resource for our readers to be directed to the proper article that covers the appropriate IHL league of their interest. The fact that there are no current hockey leagues called the IHL does not in itself mean that this article should not moved, but it does demonstrate that this the "International Hockey League" moniker has been used and re-used to the point where it does not identify any specific historical league; so again, a disambiguation page is useful for readers and editors alike to correctly identify which defunct league they want to refer and/or link to. Dolovis (talk) 15:31, 26 February 2011 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.


This article is a little confusing as the IHL did not merge into/with the AHL, but the info is leaning towards that the IHL did merge with the AHL. There should be a sentence in the article that says the IHL did not merge into (with) the AHL since the remaining IHL teams merged into the AHL as expansion teams and not the IHL. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:40, 30 May 2012 (UTC)

It does not say in the article that the league merged. It says 6 teams merged into the league, which is what happened. -DJSasso (talk) 13:32, 30 May 2012 (UTC)