The addition of three new cities has made the International Hockey League an 11 team circuit for 1990-91.
New to the IHL ranks are teams in Kansas City, San Diego, and Albany.The Kansas City Blades will operate as an independent with some players coming from Hartford and Edmonton. The San Diego Gulls are also an independent with a partial player agreement with Detroit.
The Albany Choppers (so named because of a tie-in-with Price Choppers supermarket chain in the area) will hire all of their own players.
The IHL will be divided into two division this season, with two of the new teams - Kansas City and San Diego - becoming instant rivals of Salt Lake in the West.
The Golden Eagles, Kansas City, and San Diego are joined by Phoenix, Milwaukee and Peoria to form a six team West Division. The East Division will be made up of defending Turner Cup champion Indianapolis, Fort Wayne, Muskegon, Kalamazoo, and Albany.
The schedule will be unbalanced to emphasize geographical and divisional rivalries. The second-year Phoenix Roadrunners will be Salt Lake's most common foe, with the teams squaring off 16 times. San Diego and Salt Lake play 14 times and the Golden Eagles will face-off with Kansas City 13 times. Peoria meets the Golden Eagles eight times, and Milwaukee six.
Kansas City was an Eagle foe in the Central Hockey League, while San Diego was one of Salt Lake's original opponents in the Western Hockey League in 1969-70.