Smart money says neither ever see an opening face off...
Losing Quebec at this point is about the final nail in the coffin for
the WHA...we are in September now, NO team offices are open, NO players
signed, we only know of three leases one of which is a bad deal, and
only one GM hired. Peter Young made a promise of "big announcements" in
July...we heard none. To run a league of this scale at this stage it
would be hard pressed to even get a November start or December or even
January. Their credibility has slipped to a low that if there was not a
lock out they would be getting ignored by the press. It is starting to
look like that scene in Monty Python where the guy has his limbs cut off
one by one and keeps screaming "not dead yet come back and fight you
sissy." A tactical retreat is in order...keep quiet until there is a
real announcement or go off into the sunset.
As for the FHL, we have seen this stuff for how long? All the teams have
names but most have no owners, no leases as of now. When does MR. Larsen
plan to get them the day before the game? This is more like the other
Python scene, "we can fight with pointed sticks..."
The WHA was a serious effort gone amiss. Possibly too grandiose,
possibly personalities (the entire Waronker affair), a lot of things
contributed to it. It may not be dead but it is on a bunch of machines
plugged to it and is in a deep coma with the vitals looking almost flat.
The FHL was an amateurish farce from day one and the fact that it
persists is a monument to both that fact and that every half assed
entrepreneur that has been to a hockey game thinks he has a plan to
capitalize on the lock out. Right now only two groups seem to, they are
the existent minor pro leagues and, scarily enough, the Original Six 4
on 4 concept that is built for the lock out.
I still think that there is room for an AAAA league. But the timing is
not ripe for it. It will be better served to wait for the smoke to clear
from the lock out and the EXACT LONG TERM niche to present itself. It
would also help if the people setting it up have their act together. The
FHL COMPLETELY lacks the second, a tier two operator from Ontario has
already run rings around this guy for the O6 in two months while he has
been at work for what, nearly three years and we still have these
fantasy teams with the horrible names...Montreal Muskateers...great name
for the market (if you've been drinking muscatelle maybe)...he came up
with these names himself like any other good fantasy owner, no trademark
checks, no market research...
Compared to the FHL the WHA is a sure bet for success and its chances of
success are now not only gloomy but all but non existent. One is a real
effort by professionals that missed the mark, the other is hockey's
answer to the DeNiro movie about a shyster lawyer trying to become a
boxing promoter, it was a tragic comedy which is what I'd classify the
FHL, come to think of it maybe it would make a good movie with Mike
Myers as Larson... and all of his "owners"...it would be appropriate. I
hate to tee off on new ventures but this one has taken a lot of players
for try out money and been in the way of better ventures, harming the
credibility of other more serious new groups for too long. Give it up
From: J.P. Martel [mailto:jpmartel_18@...
Sent: Wednesday, September 01, 2004 12:36 PM
Subject: [hockhist] Re: WHA: Announcements are imminent
> --- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "Mike Witty" <kegger_eh@h...>
> WHA: Announcements are imminent
> Canadian Press
> The proposed World Hockey Association, having failed to
> introduce managers and coaches last week as promised, now says
> announcements are imminent.
I'm surprised that no one posted the news that the Québec Nordiks
had announced (last Friday) they had given up the idea of
fielding a team this coming year in the WHA, citing the
impossibility to work properly with so many uncertainties still.
The Nordiks, with the exception of their awful name, seemed to
have one of the most serious organisations in the WHA (in
particular, they had hired Martin Madden as GM). Now that they've
given up, I don't see that this league could possibly take off.
Allan Howell, of the WHA, said he was disappointed but not
surprised, blaming the decision on the lack of financing rather
than the official reasons given. He said the announcement was
unfortunate, considering that important announcements would be
made in a week (which gives a deadline of this Friday, Sept 3;
hold your breath). Howell also said that, although unfortunate,
the Nordiks' decision would not prevent the team from operating.
It was also announced (last Thursday) that Sidney Crosby had
rejected a three-year, $7.5M offer from the Toronto Toros.
Before the Nordiks abandoned their plans (for this year, they
specificied - they haven't given up on the league entirely),
Mike Ribeiro had also rejected their offer. Ribeiro was their
"draft-exempt" (marquee player) choice.
On the league's web site, their list of media releases has one
entry since July 18 (last week's Nordiks' announcement). Their
"top story" is a denial of an apparent rumour that the NHL has
offered to buy them.
Until recently, I actually thought there was a chance the WHA
would indeed take off. Now is there anyone left who still does?
On a similar subject, the Federal Hockey League has revamped its
web site and is promising that the league will start operation
in October with six teams (West: Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver;
East: Montreal, North Bay, Saint John). First games will be
October 16, when Edmonton Wolverines visit Vancouver Seals,
and Saint John Mariners visit Montreal Muskateers. At 7:30 PM.
Only the actual venues still need to be announced.
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