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Wha the return...


Sharky99MB

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Well, the World Hockey Association will make its return for the 2004/05 season...just where the WHA will play, that is up in the air..I hope the WHA will return to Winnipeg as well...would be happy as hell to see it happen...what do ya think...where do ya see the WHA play in?? ANd what about the WHA2? Any idea where teh WHA2 will play? AND I know there was a topic in here that centered on the WHA jersey theme...I wonder if the WHA will notice these cool jerseys?? Or what?
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Ahh...  The topic that never dies!

Yes, I have seen the WHA website and I'll believe this when I see it.  Yeah, I'd love to see the WHA revived and challenge the NHL, but there isn't enough money or talent to do it.  The NHL is a different beast compared to where it was 30 years ago when the WHA started for the first (only?) time.

Actually, it would be great if the WHA came back.  Then my beloved Washington Caps could pass off Jaromir "playoff albatross" Jagr to some other unsuspecting fools...  :angry:

But back to the WHA discussion...  The idea that there could be a WHA and WHA2 seems preposterous to me.  Again, not enough money or talent to do it.  I'd love to see the WHA place franchises mostly in Canadian cities like Winnipeg and Quebec City.  I hear Calgary would like a pro hockey team...  Huh?  What's that?  The Flames?  Oh...  :P

As for the "cool jerseys" (thanks Sharky!) I'm sure the WHA lawyers will ensure that new names, logos and jerseys will be used.  I doubt I'd ever get contacted to design anything for them.  But that's alright.  I'm enjoying playing in fantasyland with my WHA concepts! :)

It's funny that this came up...  I was going to post that I'm probably going to modify my WHA concepts as I stumbled across a copy of Adobe PhotoDeluxe 1.1 (yeah...) and now I can resize logos without losing clarity.  Match that up with the vectorized .gif images from TheSLE, and I can really clean up the jerseys.  If only I could keep the resoulution from going crappy when I save them...

Anyhow, for those who miss the WHA thread, it can be found  right here.

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A new WHA would be fun to have around but it's not going to happen.  We should recall that in the early 1990's the IHL tried to gobble up most of the mid-size to large markets without an NHL presence and also sprinkled a few teams among existing NHL markets.  What ended up happening is that most of the teams folded, the league imploded and a handful of the surviving franchises merged into another league - the AHL.  

Keep in mind that when the first WHA was born, there were only 16 NHL franchises and ten of those teams were less than five years old.  Today we have 30 teams with 23 franchises established in their markets for no fewer than ten years.  I just think it's going to be close to impossible to create a viable rival to the NHL at the present time.  However if it does get off the ground, I hope the end result is a means of getting Quebec, Hartford and Winnipeg back into the league and also possibly taking Houston, K.C. and Oklahoma City  in as well.  Somehow I don't see a 36 team NHL coming any time soon.  But, as Frylock basically said, it's nice to dream.

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The WHA says they're not trying to compete with the NHL.  They'll have a salary cap at $10 million plus one franchise player per team.  The WHA2 will be their exclusive farm league and it's set to start next season, virtually wiping out the ACHL by taking four of its teams.

The WHA supposedly has LA, Chicago, Pittsburgh and Detroit teams in for sure.  This is contradicted by having also heard that the league won't be able to break into any NHL markets.  Oakland and 2 or 3 Canadian teams are talking as well as some other cities and Miami, Jacksonville and Orlando will join when it makes sense.

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from the WHA2 press release....

The WHA2 has already begun discussions with an additional eight markets about joining the new league.

Those cities are: Birmingham, Alabama; Huntsville, Alabama; Columbus, Georgia; St. Petersburg, Florida; Tallahassee, Florida; Richmond, Virginia; Lakeland, Florida; and Augusta, Georgia.

The ACHL Knoxville Ice Bears and Cape Fear Fire Antz have been invited to join the new league and will make that decision within the next two weeks.

According to Peter Young, Director of Hockey Operations for the Orlando Seals, Jacksonville Barracudas, and Miami Manatees, there will be some similarities between the ACHL and the WHA2.

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While the idea of a new World Hockey Association is not without it's merits I cannot see it coming to full fruition unless the next CBA for the NHL does not solve major problems with labour and salaries.

The Calgary Flames ownership group has flat out stated that if the next CBA doesn't level things out for all teams and make the NHL a financial proposition where they can break even then they will fold the team and take the write-off for their taxes.  There have also been inklings that the Flames are not alone in this line of thinking.  There is a rumour that the Oilers' ownership group would sell the team and take whatever profits they receive into starting a new hockey franchise in Edmonton.  I can't imagine Pittsburgh would be very far behind either.  From what I've heard, there could be as many as 12 teams that would take this route.  That sounds like enough possible markets to make the WHA a financial possibility.

The problem with the IHL was that it tried to wear too many hats.  On one hand it had teams that were farm clubs for NHL clubs yet the league had no limits on the number of veteran players on the roster.  It made the league very torn in it's missions.

I could see the following cities in a new World Hockey Association:

Canadian Conference

Vancouver *

Calgary

Edmonton

Saskatoon

Winnipeg

Toronto *

Hamilton

Quebec City

Montreal *

Halifax

* (Very iffy though...these cities have trouble supporting anything less than the top tier of sports teams...Toronto and Montreal have difficulty supporting MLB and Vancouver couldn't support the NBA)

American Conference

Baltimore

Pittsburgh

Hartford (The rebirth of the Whalers)

Detroit/Auburn Hills

Chicago or Milwaukee

Minneapolis/St.Paul

Seattle

Portland

San Francisco or Bay Area

Los Angeles

Salt Lake City

However, I think the only way that this league would survive would be if a dozen NHL teams folded and WHA franchises started up in their wake.

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While it would be nice to have a team in Winnipeg in a league with bigger markets, it isn't going to happen. The Manitoba Moose "just" got here, and the city wouldn't be big enough to support two teams. The Moose are one or two years into an affiliation with the Canucks, and have a decent sized fan base. Recent success is making them more and more popular, and there has been zero talk of bringing the WHL here (the NLL, on the other hand, seems possible).
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Im all for it, as long as no potential LA franchise calls itself the Sharks!  :angry:

Oh, I wouldn't lose any sleep over that possibility.  

Aside from the obvious legalities, there is no way to come up with a better shark-based hockey logo than the one currently worn by the Men of Teal.

My greatest fear is that the new incarnation of the WHA, if in fact it ever sees the light of day, is going to be chock full of "xtreme" names, logos, promotions, shtick, etc not unlike that MTV roller hockey league from 10 years ago.

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Um, before you all freak out about this, have any of you seen the ACHL teams play?  They are horrible.  I could probably make the team.  They are not going to rival the AHL, much less the NHL.  Honestly, the new WHA looks like it'd probably rival the ECHL as far as talent; with the teams from the ACHL being a minor league to that.

Additionally, the ACHL teams cannot leave the ACHL for the WHA2.  The ACHL has contracts with the cities.  If the owner leaves and "takes his team," the ACHL still retains the market, the team name, and the players.  THis said, it doesn't appear they will have to pack heavy bags.

Rob

P.S. - Did I mention how bad the level of play is in the ACHL???

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My guess is that the WHA2 has little interest in most of the ACHL players, especially if they are as bad as you say they are, Rob.  I think the WHA's intent is to sign away better players - perhaps guys that might otherwise be upper-tier CHL or ECHL players or even guys who could hang on an AHL roster for more than a cup of coffee - and develop those guys to fill out rosters on the "big clubs" when they get going the following year.

Of course, all of this presumes that there is adequate cash capital to make this happen - lure players away, secure arena leases, market, and most importantly of all, pay for transportation expenses if the league cities are going to be so spread out.  

Frankly, if the WHA is going to be viable it should simply try to work out affiliations with Central Hockey League teams.  It seems that this league has the fewest number of NHL prospects so if the NHL teams decide to relocate their CHL prospects to the ECHL it won't really affect the quality of the on-ice product.  Of course, if they are going to do that, they are probably going to have to forgo putting a WHA team in Oklahoma City which is and has always been the CHL's strongest market.  That might be a dealbreaker.

But, it's probably all talk anyway because if the NHL really thought that there was enough competitive, NHL caliber talent to keep every franchise viable in every market, there would be another round or two of expansion.  I don't think the WHA is ever going to be able to repeat the (relative) success of its predecessor.

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Frankly, if the WHA is going to be viable it should simply try to work out affiliations with Central Hockey League teams. It seems that this league has the fewest number of NHL prospects so if the NHL teams decide to relocate their CHL prospects to the ECHL it won't really affect the quality of the on-ice product. Of course, if they are going to do that, they are probably going to have to forgo putting a WHA team in Oklahoma City which is and has always been the CHL's strongest market. That might be a dealbreaker.

Except the WHA isn't planning on being a developmental league.  The CHL is AA, the WHA wants to be AAAA.  Above the AHL (AAA) but not NHL.  They won't have the veteran rules the other minor leagues have.

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why cant Long Island ever have more teams? i mean we have little major teams - Isles (NHL), Dragons (AFL), Cyclones (A), Lizards(MLL), Ducks (A) and thats all!!!!! and most em SUCK!!! i cant wait to leave this island for a big city :cool:

Couldnt have said it better myself.

We do have the Islanders and we sorta have the Mets.

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