How many junior hockey teams don't survive an extended layoff?

Discussion in 'WHL' started by MeHateHe, Apr 14, 2020.

  1. MeHateHe Registered User

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    Lots of grist for the mill. Gregg Drinnan, who's been following junior hockey for more than three decades, asks if there are WHL clubs that won't survive if the lockdown remains in place - as many expect - through at least the beginning of the 20-21 season.

    Dale Hawerchuk rings Bell of Hope . . . Will some junior teams not make it? . . . Doughty can’t see NHL season resuming

    Meanwhile the BCHL commissioner is saying some Junior A teams are going to struggle, in part because significant money makers - especially spring camps - are no longer an option.



    I suspect the small market teams in the dub - Swift Current, Moose Jaw, Prince Alberta - and the ones who are already struggling - Prince George, especially - are the most vulnerable to cash shocks.

    In the Junior A ranks, you have to think that teams like Merritt (BCHL) would be really in trouble. How many others?
     
  2. JMCx4 Gateway to Hockey

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    One possible saving grace for the Cougars - as this THN article from March 20th pointed out - is that they had finished all of their 2019-20 home games before the shutdown. So they at least booked all of their regular season revenues, versus several of their competitors who lost home dates.

    In the OHL, I'd think North Bay & Flint would be in particularly precarious positions based on market sizes & attendance numbers in recent years. Those conditions could easily apply to several QMJHL teams.

    One wild card affecting many of the CHL teams in all three leagues - presuming this practice hasn't changed in the last few seasons - are the payments made to the major junior teams by NHL clubs who sign & ice the junior players. With NHL revenues at risk going forward, that arrangement could change or go away (if it hasn't already).
     
  3. afrobomber11 Registered User

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    must consider the fact that during the last month-2months of hockey they dont have expenses..... no gate but no expenses either
     
  4. JMCx4 Gateway to Hockey

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    I'm only marginally familiar with the major junior hockey business model. Why is it the team expenses end before their play does? :dunno:
     
  5. Paul F Registered User

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    There is a chance we won't see WHL hockey in 2020-21. Might see some teams dropping off if they miss an entire season.
     
  6. wetcoast Registered User

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    Some teams probably due though in rent and keeping some personal on and there is no doubt that this is going to be a problem for some teams if they can't play in the 20-21 like normal, ie with fans in the stands which looks like a 100% probability.
     
  7. Juniorhockeyguru Registered User

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    Well teams with big pockets like Kamloops, Calgary will be fine. But the Swift Currents, Prince Alberts, Lethbridge could be in some trouble.

    Still a long time away from the start of next season, so a lot can change.
     
  8. canucklax Registered User

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    What happens if one or more teams go under? Is there a dispersal draft, or do the players become free to sign with any whl club?
     
  9. Flukeshot Fletcher Activate!

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    The Winterhawks are bankrupt but one would have to imagine there will be a buyer.
     
  10. Juniorhockeyguru Registered User

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    I heard there's a possibility that there could be no US division.
     
  11. canucklax Registered User

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    If the border remains closed it would be incredibly difficult to get the roster together, plus road trips to Canada would be a problem.
     
  12. Juniorhockeyguru Registered User

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    Well I don't see how teams would survive in the US if they were to take a hiatus.
     
  13. canucklax Registered User

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    I dont know the ownership situation of the rest of the division but I would genuinely be shocked to see them ALL go under. The CFL appealing for bailout money may give an indication if short-term support could come from governments to help out local teams until sports can return with fans in the seats
     
  14. Juniorhockeyguru Registered User

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    Well honestly I don't think it's fair for the rest of the league not to play because of how terrible the virus is in the US. I think it's something real that could happen.
     
  15. PCSPounder Stadium Groupie

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    Portland. So there.
    The Winterhawks already have interest from ownership of... ready?...

    ...ownership of the Portland Pickles baseball team.

    The prime owner used to have a stake in the Northwest League’s Salem-Keizer Volcanoes. Apparently, he and his partners were looking at buying... eh, you can read for yourself.

    Portland Pickles owners interested in purchasing Portland Winterhawks
     
  16. PCSPounder Stadium Groupie

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    It may not be a matter of them all “going under.” It may be a core of smaller Canadian markets seizing on a chance to finally take down some larger markets, and it doesn’t “hurt” that a new NHL team is likely to siphon off interest in those markets anyway.

    Which assumes those markets have that power, and the argument is, er, maybe a bit fanciful. The WHL has, to this point, valued their territory and the big money... even as the Winterhawks have faced issues with Oregon over the amateur issue and the class action case against the amateur issue. No threats from the league to date. So there’s that.

    So... shrug.
     
  17. MeHateHe Registered User

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    I don't think there is a great urge for smaller Canadian markets to do away with the larger US markets. Hockey fans, especially in Western Canada, like tradition, and they see the stability of teams like Portland and Spokane (especially) as have a healthy amount of allure. If there is any of that anti-large market bias by the smaller teams, it is aimed at the NHL cities, who they see as being encroaching on the junior market. So if Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary and Winnipeg went away, I suspect the smaller markets would be less concerned than if the Winterhawks, Chiefs or Americans vanished.
     
  18. RussianRacket Registered User

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    Cougars are currently owned by a coalition of NHL alumni and local richie riches. They'll survive.
     
  19. PCSPounder Stadium Groupie

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    Local Twitter stream says a bankruptcy court oversees the Winterhawks sale. Per that, bids are being accepted through the end of June, a vetting process takes at least another 8 days...

    ...and since this is in Canadian courts, I won’t make any conclusions as to when anything is actually announced.

    Recall that the owner is bankrupt, not the franchise. So it won’t necessarily be rock bottom sale price.
     
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