Eric Crookshank signed with the Edmonton Chill of the IBL today. The Metro somehow ran this story first – I am sort of shocked with the speed of their Rainmen coverage, although, like every story in that thing, it lacks depth.
The Chill play in the International Basketball League in a 2000 seat arena. The IBL is one of a number of reasonably good spring leagues that include a mix of low level minor league guys and upper level minor league guys (including D-leaguers sometimes) trying to make ends meet. The Chill seem to get pretty good press in Edmonton, have lots of sponsors and their line up looks like it’ll be a decent team. I hope Eric does well and that we see him back in Halifax come fall.
I wonder how their season goes. One league option that really seems to have fallen to the wayside in all this league talk is the idea of a professional Canadian league. I actually think that a highly regional league running in the summers in Canada would be the best possible option.
Canada doesn’t have major summer sports teams outside of Toronto (Toronto FC and the Jays) and every city has arenas used by minor league hockey teams sitting empty (so much easier to get those crucial weekend dates plus it does away with having to compete with minor and NHL hockey). Travel is also much easier in Canada in the summer than it is in the winter, obviously. The real kicker is that a May to August league means that players expect less money and more good players are available. A Canadian summer league could theoretically compete with the BSN in Puerto Rico as the world’s premier summer league and potentially weasel its way onto one of Canada’s cable sports networks. Why is no one seriously talking about this?