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Everyone please check out my new comeback article on Bleacher Report about the Divas Division Comments, retweets,props, anything appreciated!
Thanks for becoming my fan, Dylan. Remembering the WHA, it wasn't much of a threat to the NHL, but it did managed to sign first class NHL talent, (Bobby Hull, Gordie Howe and his sons, Real Cloutier, Wayne Gretzky as an underage junior). The WHA's main weakness apart from being the new kid on the block, was its venues. They either had to play in second class facilities (the 8000 seat Coral in Calgary for example) or in established NHL arenas where they had to pay high rent.. Only Edmonton took the league seriously and began to build the arena they have now during the end of the WHA's life. But a new league would have 2 first class arenas in Hamilton and Quebec, and Winnipeg's arena is small but acceptable for a new league. Smarter choices for American franchises would help too. Certainly Hartford with a new arena would be a smart choice. It would be a reasonable gamble to put teams into Seattle, Portland, and Milwaukee. Unknown Rochester might be worth a try.
And I wouldn't rule out Saskatoon. There was talk of a Saskatchewan franchise back in the 1970's. If Saskatchewan rallied around the NHL franchise like they do the CFL Roughriders, as a provincial regional team, there is no reason why it couldn't be a success. The key would be to build a first class arena. Remember, Ice Edge wanted to play Coyotes games there including all the playoff games, so they believed in the market. Still don't believe me? Look what has happened in the CFL. Small Moncton elbowed its way into the forefront for an expansion team, ahead of much larger cities like Quebec, Halifax, London, and Kitchener, simply by building a CFL size stadium. The CFL hasn't announced it officially, but there will be a second Touchdown Atlantic game played there on Sept. 25, between Hamilton and Calgary. And it is rumored that Hamilton will play all their home games there while their local stadium gets renovated. Quality of city fans is more important than quantity of city fans. If Moncton can do it, why can't Saskatoon?
Thanks for reading and commenting on my article, Dylan. I think a new league, based around the 3 disaffected cities, Hamilton, Quebec, and Winnipeg would survive, especially if they could get some kind of Canadian tv deal. When the WHA merged with NHL in 1980, 3 of the surviving teams were Quebec, Winnipeg, and Edmonton. Hamilton already has a good size NHL arena, and Winnipeg a barely acceptable one. If Quebec built a proper arena, a franchise would have a good chance of surviving. The same would be true of any up and coming Canadian city that built a proper arena.
Happy New Year! Check out my first article of the year 2011! Comments, retweets,likes, anything appreciated!
Do you have a link to the video of the Flames game streaker?