Ex-Ducks Affiliate Franchise Suspended From Operation

----- -----------Correspondent IJuly 8, 2009

In unattended news, it's come to light that the minor league hockey team Iowa Chops, has been suspended from the American Hockey League for the upcoming 2009/10 season.

The suspension, announced by the league's Board of Governors is effective for July 6th 2009. 

The American Hockey league President and CEO David Andrews stated "The Iowa franchise has unfortunately been unable to remedy certain violations of the provisions of the league's Constitution and By-Laws, the will be no further statement from the league or the Iowa Chops at this time".

The specifics of the situation around the suspension, such as the direct violated By-Laws have not been released, but it has been learned that the club has used the franchise as collateral to obtain a loan in March of 2008 from Wachovia Bank.

The loan amount was in the tune of $1.99 million and was going to be used to cover operating costs, such loans are not permitted under the AHL League rules.

The Chops where once the affiliate team for the Anaheim Ducks, but that ended, under the issue of lack of payment was made on the affiliation contract.

There was talk of the league hoping to find a suitor to purchase and relocate the franchise, but a Polk County District judge approved an injection keeping the franchise from being moved from Des Moines. This is a potential road block for a sale of the franchise.

The franchise owners, Dallas businessmen Bob and Kirby Schlegel, are attempting to sell the franchise after losing close to $4 million over the past four seasons. 

Initially, there was significant hope to salvage the team based out of Des Moines, by providing two potential scenarios to the County. County officials had rejected two offers from the team's owners that would have helped ease the loss of the team and left the club owners with no other choice than to sell the club.

Refunds are going to be given to those who have season tickets for the upcoming season, but as for the future of the franchise uncertainty clouds the situation.