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Wha Announces Teams


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And possibly the Silverdome for the Detroit team.

Anyone want to make a contest out of this announcement?

I prefer the idea of a league-wide death pool, m'self...

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"Death Pool" is right.

Well, as the old adage goes, "A fool and his money are soon parted." It seems that the founders of the new WHA have lined up at least eleven fools.

The eleven gentlemen who have stepped up to the precipice of financial insolvency, bankruptcy proceedings and the prospect of being answers to a question in a "Failed Sports Ventures" trivia contest are...

* John Marshall and Gino Naldini, owners of the proposed Toronto franchise. They are reportedly negotiating a lease with SkyDome. Nothing like placing a franchise in a market that already has a minor-league and major junior hockey teams in place that will seek to pick up any slack created by an NHL work stoppage. Placing the team in a cavernous facility like SkyDome seems like a brilliant move as well, don't you think?

* John Tyson and John Marshall, owners of the proposed Halifax franchise. They are reportedly negotiating a lease with the Metro Centre. Barring the WHA attracting two owners with the exact same name, Mr. Marshall is so impressed with the new WHA's prospects, he's opted to purchase a stake in two franchises.

* Dan Krusz and Tim Lovell, owners of the proposed Miami franchise. They are reportedly negotiating a lease with the Miami Arena. Another brilliant choice of hockey markets. The Florida Panthers pack them in on a regular basis, right? And how about the support for the Miami Manatees... "rabid", huh?

* Jean-Paul Boily, owner of the proposed Quebec City franchise. He is reportedly negotiating a lease with Le Colisee Pepsi.

* Jay Patel, owner of the proposed Detroit (based in Pontiac, Michigan) franchise. He is reportedly negotiating a lease with the Silverdome.

* Rick Munro and Ricky Smith, owners of a proposed franchise that will operate in either Vancouver or Dallas. They are reportedly exploring the possibility of leases with either GM Place or Reunion Arena. Hmmm, I wonder if the uncertainty over this team's home market is being driven by lease parameters... or maybe the fact that an anticipated home market of Vancouver suddenly doesn't look so great financially when all of the other proposed teams are located East of the Mississippi River?

* Mario Frankovich, owner of the proposed Hamilton franchise. He was exploring the possibility of obtaining a lease at the Copps Coliseum... until the Hamilton Bulldogs of the AHL apparently exercised their right to exclusive professional hockey use of the building. This caused the Copps Coliseum management team to terminate negotiations with Mr. Frankovich. The WHA has referred the matter to the Competition Bureau of Canada, naming the City of Hamilton, the Copps Coliseum, Hamilton Entertainment and Convention Facilities Incorporated, the Hamilton Bulldogs and the American Hockey League as parties in a complaint filed under the Canadian Competitions Act. I'm sure that this will sort itself out smoothly, huh?

And to think that in the face of all of this "sports business savvy" there is reportedly someone actually interested in becoming the new WHA's eighth team owner. Apparently, someone is looking into placing a team in Montreal. Maybe it's Mr. Marshall... after all, "three is a magic number".

This sports (mis)management "dog-and-pony" show is an accident waiting to happen. I can't wait to see the Entry Level and Free-Agent Draft on Saturday, July 10th. Which hockey players will be "lucky" enough to be selected to participate in the WHA's inaugural 76 to 80-game season?

Who cares? This thing is a farce!!!

Brian in Boston

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The laundry league... a nice place to wash your money and at the same time watch hockey be played in crappy venues that the NHL left years ago.

If we make a contest of this, all I can hope is that someone does the Miami club as the Miami Rats.

Miami Arena... the Montreal Forum of the south, right? :blink:

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It makes no sense...

When the original WHA started the NHL only had 14 teams (and were just going up to 16 as the Flames & ISles were gearing up) so there were many markets without a franchise--still they duplicated markets, and most markets failed. Even since the WHA was taken into the NHL 3 of the 4 teams that came in have moved markets... so unless you need a tax write off or are just looking to throw away money or are crazy, why buy into this? Especially with so much market duplication...

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The saddest thing is, the WHA probably COULD work if they only moved into markets that aren't already saturated with sports. I can come up with six off the top of my head:

Quebec City

Windsor

Portland

Winnipeg

Vancouver

Manchester, NH (seriously, they get almost 10,000 to every AHL game)

Then add Philadelphia and Chicago to give it a "Major League" feel (also home to high attendance getting AHL squads).

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You know, every time I hear about this league, I get the feeling that after anyone in one of their meetings has an idea, he follows it up with the phrase "wouldn't that be awesome? That'd be so cool!"

The new WHA. Coming soon to a reality series near you.

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