First off, let’s start off with what the IDHL is. The International Developmental Hockey League was founded in 2017 and is headed by Commissioner Andrew Richards. An overall theme for the IDHL is that a main goal for the organization is to benefit the FHL. The league mostly does this in the way of providing players for any FHL team who may need them in case of injury. As stated by Andrew Richards, who is also the Vice-Commissioner of the FHL, during an interview with Puck Planet, “We (The FHL) are constantly experiencing, like every other league, call-ups, injuries, etc. & it creates somewhat of a havoc.” Unlike other leagues, the FHL doesn’t have anything to call from easily. That’s where the IDHL comes in. The IDHL will serve as the FHL’s pool.
The Inaugural Season (Sort Of)
Now, for the inaugural “season” the organization has bought the Watertown Wolves of the FHL. Which means that there is no real season for the league this year in the traditional sense. The league won’t operate as a league yet. Although, the organization of the IDHL will try to actively send players to FHL teams who need/want them. This also means that the organization has 2 real goals for this season. One is to win the Commissioners Cup with the Wolves and the other is to try to provide some players, 2 or so, to every team to jump start the developmental segment of the league. Though the organization has those two goals, they are both separate.
The Possibilities of Future Seasons
The original and future idea for the IDHL was to create a league in which players that have overgrown junior hockey and have an unlikely future can prove themselves. This paid league would have these possible talents play in front of college and professional scouts. The idyllic IDHL would have two types of players in the league. Some that are looking to be scouted into a college program and some of the players are looking to be called up into the FHL.
Players looking to be scouted by a college to take them will not be called up to the FHL under any circumstances. This is because of the NCAA’s eligibility rules. Since the FHL is considered a professional hockey league, the players participating in the FHL would be barred from NCAA play. “They would not be able to participate in anything on the professional level,” said Andrew Richards. The players looking to be called up would play over a season to be scouted by any number of FHL teams looking for players to be able to be called up at any time. The two types of players will still play with each other in the league though.
So what do you think about the IDHL? Do you think the idea could work out well?
Check out the IDHL Website at www.theIDHL.com
Check out the FHL website at www.FederalHockey.com
Thanks to Andrew Richards, who was great with setting up an interview with us.