[hockhist] A new WHA?
- From the Winnipeg Free Press:
Remember the WHA? Want to see it again?
TORONTO -- When the Winnipeg Jets became one of hockey's Original 21 back
in 1979, there were many people who believed they'd never hear the words
"World Hockey Association" uttered again.
Maybe they were wrong.
Toronto businessman Al Howell, a guy who has bounced around minor
professional sports for a lot of years, has secured copyright and trademark
rights to the name and logos of the original World Hockey Association, and
there is nothing he'd like more than to resurrect the league.
"The NHL owned the rights and let them lapse, not thinking, I guess, that
anyone would be interested any more," said Howell. "With all the financial
problems the NHL is having these days and with the IHL losing teams -- and
I'd be willing to bet Kalamazoo (Michigan K-Wings) won't be the last team
to either close down or change leagues this off season -- this might be a
good time to start thinking about reviving the WHA.
"I know that in Canada, there are still a lot of hockey fans with fond
memories of the league."
Howell, who owns the Anaheim franchise in the new minor-pro American
Basketball Association 2000, has one problem, however. Although not
interested in the name "WHA" the National Hockey League still owns the
rights to the names of the teams that merged with the NHL -- Winnipeg Jets,
Quebec Nordiques, Hartford Whalers and, of course, Edmonton Oilers.
"Unfortunately," said Howell, "they weren't ready to part with the team names.
"But we're working on it."
- As an old WHA buff I'd love to see that. I can see a few problems aside from
what is mentioned here.
In 1972 when the WHA began there were many very good cities such as Winnipeg
and Edmonton who had been passed over by the NHL. I don't think that is the
case today with all the expansion. That being said WHA franchises in Quebec
City, Winnipeg, Cleveland, and Cincinnati may work today.
Where the heck will the players come from? Already the NHL has a problem
with few teams having more than one good line and one pair of NHL caliber
defensmen. My god, what will the product look like in either league if the
WHA starts again? Remember in the 70's the WHA still had the college ranks,
and Europe which the NHL had basically ignored.
From: Jason Glass <jason_glass@...>
To: firstname.lastname@example.org <email@example.com>
Date: April 27, 2000 8:02 PM
Subject: [hockhist] A new WHA?
>From the Winnipeg Free Press:names.
>Remember the WHA? Want to see it again?
>TORONTO -- When the Winnipeg Jets became one of hockey's Original 21 back
>in 1979, there were many people who believed they'd never hear the words
>"World Hockey Association" uttered again.
>Maybe they were wrong.
>Toronto businessman Al Howell, a guy who has bounced around minor
>professional sports for a lot of years, has secured copyright and trademark
>rights to the name and logos of the original World Hockey Association, and
>there is nothing he'd like more than to resurrect the league.
>"The NHL owned the rights and let them lapse, not thinking, I guess, that
>anyone would be interested any more," said Howell. "With all the financial
>problems the NHL is having these days and with the IHL losing teams -- and
>I'd be willing to bet Kalamazoo (Michigan K-Wings) won't be the last team
>to either close down or change leagues this off season -- this might be a
>good time to start thinking about reviving the WHA.
>"I know that in Canada, there are still a lot of hockey fans with fond
>memories of the league."
>Howell, who owns the Anaheim franchise in the new minor-pro American
>Basketball Association 2000, has one problem, however. Although not
>interested in the name "WHA" the National Hockey League still owns the
>rights to the names of the teams that merged with the NHL -- Winnipeg Jets,
>Quebec Nordiques, Hartford Whalers and, of course, Edmonton Oilers.
>"Unfortunately," said Howell, "they weren't ready to part with the team
>"But we're working on it."
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- Craig wrote:
>Where the heck will the players come from? Already the NHL has a problemMaybe I was reading too much into it but I got the impression that Howell
>with few teams having more than one good line and one pair of NHL caliber
>defensmen. My god, what will the product look like in either league if the
>WHA starts again? Remember in the 70's the WHA still had the college ranks,
>and Europe which the NHL had basically ignored.
had more of a triple A level minor league in mind.
- Number One players: The NHL, outside of a few top teams is hopelessly
broken--as a rule, you couldn't POSSIBLY present more boring hockey! If a
new league could open up play a bit so that smaller, more skilled players
could get more of a chance, it could let the NHL have all of the grinders
and goons and call itself superior if it wants. It could also be freindlier
to the wallet!
There are a lot of ex NHLers in Europe, the odd European who disdains the
NHL style, and top minor pros. Add on kids who are getting shrtcahnged from
the rookie cap and some Group II free agents wihtout bargaining power. Two
classic examples were Elias and Morrsion from Jersey who sat a month before
agreeing to deals lower that they wanted!
Bring back the banana blade and make goalies fair game when they leave the
crease to discourage them handling then puck thus livening up the forecheck,
take eout the red line except for icing, and do stuff like bringing in the
new experimental OHL slew foot rule...you may have a league that is A LOT
more fun than the NHL! Maybe to bring some intensity to play, you take a
page out of the new XFL and bonus players for wins. This league will feature
scoring, not snoring!
2-Cities: Add on Houston, Portland, Milwaukee, Oklahoma City, Seattle,
Saskatoon, Toronto (maybe give MLG a reason to stay up--they'll rent it to
ANYBODY even Harold did the Toros), Vancouver (PNE), and Orlando.
Remember, the IHL has had problems because of an ambiguous, mixed identity.
This league wouldn't have that problem. As for the NHL, you could undercut
their ticket price which has worked GREAT in Philly and Detroit!
As for the level of the league goes. It couldn't and shouldn't go toe to toe
with the NHL. They should strive to be a bit like the CFL was in it's glory
days, major league yes but direct competitor for EVERY SINGLE player --no.
Play a distinct style, sign the odd free agent and and name prospect but
don't go to war for the top guys nor after fringe role guys either. Find
those young guys that are rooked by the system and won't kill you too much!
And keep it fairly small at first, 6-8 teams with good rivalries and less
- Here's a release on the Belfast Giants' first signing:
The report has just been added to EH.N and there's the team's logo on there
WHISTLE A HAPPY TUNE IN THE LAND OF THE GIANTS
ONE giant step for ice hockey in Northern Ireland, an even bigger one for
coach Dave Whistle.
Thats what happened this week when the man who led Bracknell to the Sekonda
Superleague title a couple of months ago left behind cosy Berkshire and
pledged his future to hockeys new kids on the block the Belfast Giants.
The hottest job in British ice hockey has been filled by a man who has come
a long way in a short time, in fact the 2000/2001 season will only be 34
year old Daves third season as a Sekonda Superleague coach, in fact as a
coach at all!
But why did he choose the Giants? Well, quite simply, its the biggest
challenge in British ice hockey. Its a great opportunity to be in at the
start of what I believe will be something special in British sport and it is
my aim to make this a winning franchise straight off the bat. You dont
often get the chance to start a hockey club from scratch so when you do you
have to grab it, and with Bob Zellers infectious enthusiasm Im sure we can
Despite being relatively new to coaching Dave is as passionate as they come
and has often been seen doing a jig on the players bench, sometimes of
delight, sometimes of frustration, but always borne out of passion. And his
credentials are there for all to see, having led underdogs Bracknell to the
top prize inside two seasons.
Dave, who hails from Thunder Bay, Ontario, only took charge of the Bees at
the start of the 98/99 season, having served his hockey apprenticeship with
Brandon University in his native Canada before moving to Britain where he
went on to star as a goalscoring centre for Billingham, Romford,
Basingstoke, Telford, and of course, Bracknell.
He then hung up his skates, pulled on his suit and took on the role of
coach, and hasnt looked back since. In his first season in charge of the
Bees he led them to a very creditable fourth-placed finish and a play-off
semi final spot. Last season he added the Sekonda Superleague title, in
addition to acting as assistant coach to the GB side that narrowly failed to
win promotion to the World Championship Pool A the games international
Dave is a man who likes a challenge and forsaking Bracknell, where he most
probably would have had a job for life, Manchester Storm who courted his
services for a long time, and possibly the GB job should Peter Woods step
down, he instead chose Belfast and the Giants. And along with wife Heather
and sons Jackson and Brandon, hell be making the big move across the water
in late summer. Before that he will be assembling the best team the
£450,000 wage cap can buy.
Im already talking to two guys, one of whom will also be assistant coach
and once I get them in place the others will begin to follow, he said. I
know what it takes to win and Ill be looking for players with a winning
attitude, real characters that know Superleague and who have been, and still
want to be successful - from the word go. Im after a mixture of speed and
grit, I want big, tough defencemen and forwards that are prepared to do
anything to win the puck and then put it in the back of the net.
I want to go with two scoring lines and a checking line, but first and
foremost Im after guys that are good in the locker room, guys with spirit
who can bond fast and gel to become a team in every sense of the word.
One thing you can never accuse Dave of is standing still, and while hes
recruiting hell also be fitting in a coaching seminar in Vancouver and a
kids hockey school back in Bracknell before taking up the reins at the
stunning Odyssey Arena. Above all he is a realist and he knows things wont
be easy to begin with. Until the Odyssey is completed well be spending
our time on the road, which will be a real test of character. Well be
missing out on the Benson & Hedges Cup, which is always good for team
building and conditioning. That means the guys Ill be bringing in will
have to get out on the ice all summer in order to be really fit when they
But once we get those first few weeks out of the way we should be okay and
I cant wait for the first home game at the Odyssey, its a beautiful
building and its going to be a night to remember.
So between now and September you can rest assured the phone lines across the
Atlantic will be red hot as Dave goes about whistling up a team Belfast and
the whole of Northern Ireland can be proud of, a team that will live up to
the name Giants.
Hockey sans frontières!