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Thread: Hockey , Til the next Season - whenever that is ...

  1. #1
    eny
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    Hockey , Til the next Season - whenever that is ...

    [IMG]images/img/candle.gif[/IMG]

    Yeah we'll light a candle . Not looking so good for next fall, except if you are in Europe , or have a WHA team.

    The WHA has six teams in place , and it's speculated many NHLers will take a hard look at joining. Even Martin ST Louis who cleaned up on the NHL hardware, has said he had given it some thought.

  2. #2
    Hockey is life! EvaLaruefan's Avatar
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    Gotta start hunting down WHA teams now, man that's bad.

    I want hockey back! Let see how long this thread will get 'til the next puck drops. September/October sounds good to me. I doubt it though.

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    Jay
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    The WHA has arena agreements in six cities - Halifax, Quebec City, Detroit, Dallas, Orlando and Jacksonville. Toronto and Hamilton are expected to join them once they finalize arena deals. Nothing in Montreal, Ottawa or Western Canada and two teams in Florida?

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    eny
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    From the Globe & Mail
    New WHA targets NHLers
    By TIM WHARNSBY
    From Thursday's Globe and Mail

    Toronto — Is it a case of déjà vu all over again?

    The old World Hockey Association brought you the first million-dollar hockey player, a teenaged superstar by the name of Wayne Gretzky, and rewrote the existing pro hockey salary structure.

    The new WHA is poised to hold a free-agent and entry draft next month and launch a 76-game schedule with eight, and possibly 12, teams in late October.

    It plans to draft teenage phenom Sidney Crosby, woo players with National Hockey League experience, and has secured arena-lease agreements with six cities, including Halifax, Quebec and Detroit.

    And it's doing all this in a year when it increasingly appears a labour war will shut down the NHL.

    "There was a lot of skepticism back in 1972, too," new WHA commissioner Bobby Hull said, referring to the rogue league that signed up players such as Hull himself, Gordie Howe and later Dave Keon, a 17-year-old Gretzky and Mark Messier.

    It was Hull who became the poster boy for the WHA back in 1972, signing for the unheard-of sum of $2.75-million, a contract that included a much-celebrated bonus of $1-million.

    Hull and the new league announced yesterday that Halifax, Quebec City, Detroit, Dallas, Orlando and Jacksonville have secured arena lease agreements for the 2004-05 season and that Toronto and Hamilton will announce their own lease agreements in the next few weeks.

    What now appears to be an eight-team league, Hull said, could swell to as many as a dozen by the time the new WHA holds its draft on July 10.

    "This takes me back to 1972," Hull said, "when a bunch of courageous guys put that league together. Now we have a new group who are passionate about the game, want to make a go of starting another league and providing fans with entertaining hockey at an affordable price."

    Peter Young, the new league's director of hockey operations, believes most franchises will build their rosters with six players with NHL experience, six players with AHL experience and six junior-aged players. He outlined four rules different from the NHL, including the removal of the centre-ice line.

    The schedule has not yet been completed. However, each franchise will have a $15-million (U.S.) salary cap, including a marquee player who can make as much as $5-million (U.S.).

    Hull confirmed that his son Brett, the Red Wings' sniper, has interest in playing for Dallas, where he makes his off-season home, but only if the NHL is dark next season.

    "My son wants to become the second all-time leading goal scorer in the NHL," said Bobby Hull, whose son is 60 goals behind Howe's 801 goals.

    Gretzky is tops at 894. "But if the NHL is not playing next year, of course, [Brett] is interested in playing."

    Hull talked of possibly seeing players such as Wendel Clark returning to play for the Toronto — which will be named the Toros, the same name as Toronto's last WHA entry — or maybe even Dale Hawerchuk or Adam Graves. None of these players have been contacted yet, but Hull and the WHA owners will draft them in the hopes they can later convince them to play.

    There is a whisper out there that the owner of the Halifax franchise, which will play out of the Metro Centre, has a $2.5-million letter of credit from a bank to sign Crosby, who turns 17 on Aug. 7.

    When contacted yesterday, Crosby's agent, Pat Brisson, said: "There is nothing going on. Sidney is committed to play for the Rimouski Océanic [of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League] next year."

    The new WHA is quick to boast about comments made by Detroit Red Wings defenceman Chris Chelios and backup goalie Manny Legace last February. They said they are interested in playing for the WHA Detroit team that will play in the Silverdome, the old home of the National Football League's Detroit Lions. The Silverdome will be reconfigured to have 30,000 seats for hockey.

    Toronto businessman John Marshall is the front man for the Halifax franchise. He would like nothing more than to draft Crosby next month and persuade him to play at home. Crosby is from nearby Cole Harbour, N.S.

    "The desire is high," Marshall said. "Whether it's going to happen or not is up to Sidney.Toronto front man Gino Naldini may have the biggest selling job. He said he is close to inking a lease agreement with the SkyDome and will play there in a 14,000-seat configuration that can increase by as many as 6,000 seats.

    Naldini's is one of three teams trying to lure former Buffalo Sabres coach Ted Nolan back behind the bench.

    The Toros will be the third pro hockey team behind the Maple Leafs and the Roadrunners of the American Hockey League. The Roadrunners routinely played in front of crowds of less than 2,500 last season.

    "Yeah, but I consider that a farm system," Naldini said. "We will be a notch above that."

    And if the Leafs are playing next season?

    "How many families can afford a $200 individual ticket?" Naldini said.
    I had also read that retired players were considering returning, so Eva , you may see Claude yet ..

  5. #5
    C'mon Without Cmon Within QuinntheEskimo's Avatar
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    Orlando?? wow, this city will do anything to get itself on the Professional Map... given the past success of the IHL- Orlando Solar Bears- they averaged close to 10,000/ game in their final season before the AHL/IHL merger dissolved the team (in other words, slightly more then the Lightning were getting before the bandwagoners jumped aboard ).

    this soap opera will be fun to watch!

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    Jay
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    It's not real hockey but I think I'll pay attention to the upcoming hockey fight tournament. Does anyone know when it is starting?

  7. #7
    eny
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    From www.hockeygladiators.com

    PROactive Sports Management Group confirmed today that Battle of the Hockey Gladiators has decided to hold their first annual pay-per-view sports entertainment spectacular at the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota.




    “It’s been a long process making a decision on a suitable venue and city for this event”, said Wolski in a statement today. He added “Minnesota is a natural for Gladiators. With the success of the NHL’s Minnesota Wild, the NHL All-Star Game played there last week, and the tremendous hockey heritage of the Gophers (University of Minnesota) … the only hard part for us was picking the date.




    The dates for the Battle of the Hockey Gladiators are Friday August 27th and Saturday August 28th, 2004. Tickets will go on sale Saturday April 3rd at the Target Center Box Office in Minneapolis, and will be available through all Ticketmaster locations in the USA and Canada. Upper bowl seating for $25, lower bowl seating for $35, for information on Corporate Suites and On-Ice VIP seating contact via e-mail info@hockeygladiators.com.




    In other Gladiator news, talks have begun to have former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura join the panel of judges for the event. PROactive Sports Management has a standing invitation for CBC Hockey Night in Canada Analyst; Don Cherry to join the broadcast, to date the outspoken hockey legend has yet to accept.


    PROactive Sports Management hopes to announce more confirmed participants over the next weeks.

    They have also signed the legendary "let's get ready to rumble" Micheal Buffer to host . Am I a bad person for thinking this is kind of neat ? More entertaining than some girlie men in tights.

  8. #8
    Jay
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    "Hockey Gladiators", yes, that's the name of the "tournament". Thank you, eny.

  9. #9
    Senator Fan Little Zdeno's Avatar
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    Does anyone think there will be a season next year? Or a shortened season?
    "Hockey is like a disease, you can't really shake it."
    - Goaltender Ken Wregget

  10. #10
    eny
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    It's not looking good . The players met and offered NHL a paycut, rev sharing , luxury tax & some other goodies. NHL turned them down flat wanting a salary cap period.
    That's what you get when you have an NBA guy running the show.

    I would be very surprised to see any action before Jan, if then , as both sides are dug in. The Euros will go home , and lots of NA guys will follow. I know for example on the Leafs Tucker has already had preliminary meetings with Lulea , the same team Renburg already signed with. With the WHA coming online , that's another option.

    The Red Wings have said they will not offer Brett Hull another contract. Daddy's running the league, so guess where Brett will be.

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