Should the WHL expand to Winnipeg?

Discussion in 'Fugu's Business of Hockey Forum' started by LadyStanley, Jun 26, 2011.

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  1. LadyStanley

    LadyStanley RIP Fugu

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    http://www.calgarysun.com/2011/06/26/adding-whl-to-winnipeg-too-makes-sense

    Sun pundit looks at the WHL desire for expansion and one city mentioned is Winnipeg.

     
  2. Shawa666

    Shawa666 Registered User

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    Why? MTS Center is already one of the busiest arenas in North America anyway.
     
  3. Cowen2

    Cowen2 Registered User

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    WHL should expand to surrey
     
  4. pucka lucka

    pucka lucka Registered User

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    If Winnipeg had another mid-sized arena, it would be a great idea. An NHL rink is too big to give up 40+ dates to an amateur team. Too bad Iceplex didn't have a rink with 7k seats.
     
  5. Rink Rage

    Rink Rage Registered User

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    Put one in Boise.
     
  6. No Fun Shogun

    No Fun Shogun 34-38-61-10-13-15

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    I guess it could make sense. There are going to be a lot of folks that aren't able to attend Jets games on a regular basis just because of how hot the tickets will be, so a junior team could find a good following in the area if run effectively.

    That's actually a good idea. It's a decent-sized market and Boise State has a loyal following, so if the WHL could tap even a little bit of that with a hockey team they'd likely be a successful squad. Plus, if memory serves, Idaho has a fairly good level of youth hockey participation for a non-NHL state.
     
  7. Tekneek

    Tekneek Registered User

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    MTS will have a struggle to open up enough dates to pull this off, wouldn't it? If they can pull off co-habitation, then go for it. Works well for Edmonton with the Oil Kings.
     
  8. GKJ

    GKJ Global Moderator

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    Why isn't there a team in Winnipeg anyways? Just because of pro competition?

    Personally I think they should be going south
     
  9. Dolemite

    Dolemite The one...the only... Sponsor

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    Perhaps it's me but if a team is going to be in the Western Hockey League, shouldn't a team be placed....oh I don't know....in the West?
     
  10. knorthern knight

    knorthern knight Registered User

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    Several cities have NHL+NBA teams in the same facility. NBA and NHL have basically the same season. Depends on how busy MTS Centre is. The main worry is that the WHL team ends up being like the Thrashers in Philips... i.e. the arena management figures they can make more money with 25 concerts/tractor-pulls/home-shows/etc than 40 junior hockey games.

    One possible advantage is that if NHL and WHL games are scheduled back-to-back, they could reduce expenses by using the same ice, although the WHL team would have to put up with the Jets' logo on the ice. Too bad it couldn't be done this year and have Mark Scheifele play a year of junior hockey in Winnipeg.
     
  11. GKJ

    GKJ Global Moderator

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    Well, there is already a team in Manitoba
     
  12. Shawa666

    Shawa666 Registered User

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    And Manitoba is the 4th westernmost province. They're west.
     
  13. Tekneek

    Tekneek Registered User

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    Further west than Ontario, so they're West! :)
     
  14. knorthern knight

    knorthern knight Registered User

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    In Canada, everything west of the Ontario border (including Winnipeg) is considered "west". Ontario and Quebec are "central Canada". If you think that's bad, please explain how Chicago is considered to be in "the US mid-west".

    BTW, the Winnipeg Jets were one of the early members of the WHL, joining it in its 2nd season (1967-1968). Their name was used by the local WHA club when the WHA was formed.
     
  15. bigplay41*

    bigplay41* Registered User

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    Winnipeg doesn't have a team because of travel, in the WHL they travel everywhere by bus...lets face it the WHL probably would ideally like out of Brandon. Winnipeg will never get a WHL which is a shame because id love it if we got one
     
  16. Killion

    Killion Registered User

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    Interesting idea. There was a WHL team in Winnipeg from 67-77; initially called the Winnipeg Jr. Jets preceding the WHA Jets by 6yrs; who were then sold & re-named the Winnipeg Clubs (brewery sponsor) & for their last season the Winnipeg Monarchs. Sold & relo'd to Calgary thereafter.

    If Im not mistaken, Winnipeg has 2 teams in the MJHL (Saints & Blues), the Saints having played their Playoff Games out at the MTS Iceplex in Headingly this past season. The MTS Iceplex is owned by True North, and will be used as a practice facility for the Jets, is a "Center for Excellence" with Hockey Canada, houses admin offices for TN, HockeyCanada etc etc. Its seating is seriously limited however, so over the long haul either a WHL team would have to play out of the downtown facility or TNSE would have to increase seating capacity at the Iceplex. Scheduling home games on weekends downtown wouldnt be all that problematical if they were Matinee's, other facilities or if reno'd the Iceplex when the downtown arena wasnt available.

    Travel is also a consideration, however, with Brandon a couple of hours away & the divisional scheduling of the WHL that does take into account team travel it shouldnt be a barrier & does actually hold some positives in terms of rivalry's etc.
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2011
  17. King Woodballs

    King Woodballs Captain Awesome

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    It would probably work
    it is more affordable to go to
    and all the people who got left behind on season tickets and get their hockey fix
    just dont know if they could do it that the phone booth.
    ice plex would be good if they had enough seats
     
  18. BrianL*

    BrianL* Guest

    More than an interesting idea, I think there is a real need for the WHL now. While we few, we happy few, rejoice in our ability to watch the best hockey in the world, a great many are bemoaning the loss of "family friendly" hockey. Back when the return of the NHL was still in the wishing and hoping stage of the desert debacle, I asked a co-worker if he was excited at the prospect of seeing the Jets return. He said no, it would push hockey out of the price range that he and his wife and kids could afford to attend. The issue of ticket availability aside now, I'm sure that describes the situation of a large number of families.

    I expect a lot of these people will respond to the current advertising from North Dakota, and include a Fighting Sioux game with their shopping trips south of the border. It would be nice to offer an alternative to keep those dollars here.

    Being a small NHL facilty, with the upper seats closed off, the MTS Centre has the intimacy to still be suitable for junior hockey. Sellout crowds would put us on a par with other NHL/junior cities like Vancouver, Calgary and Ottawa. I hope someone goes for a WHL franchise. Just don't name them after crappy beer again. That's one bit of "hockey history" I think we can let go.
     
  19. Hollywood3

    Hollywood3 Bison/Jet/Moose Fan

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    The Warriors also played in the WHL before moving to Moose Jaw.

    In the MJHL, the Blues played at the Iceplex last year and will remain there. The Saints are moving into the Civic Centre.

    The WHL suffered heavy losses when faced with WHA/NHL competition. The Calgary Hitmen turned that around with a Memorial Cup run a few years back. Now Vancouver and Edmonton are making a run at it, also.

    In Winnipeg their would some waiting list Jet fans looking for an outlet. However True North would make more off their non-hockey bookings.
     
  20. Guardian17

    Guardian17 Strong & Free

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    I think TNSE built the Iceplex For the Jets and other NHL teams to use because of how booked the MTS Centre is.

    I don't see the WHL returning to Winnipeg in the near future, but I will not say never.
     
  21. Killion

    Killion Registered User

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    Ya, I think it would prove successful this time around. I dont know that TNSE would want majority ownership in a WHL franchise though. Ideally, a combination of some ex-NHL'rs involved would be good, as is the trend throughout the Major Junior & Provincial Jr.A ownership ranks across the country.
     
  22. Mork

    Mork Registered User

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    I lived in Winnipeg and Brandon from 1960-76, and attended home games for both the Wheat Kings and the Jets. There was a world of difference between the two franchises. The Wheat Kings were embedded in the community and it's no wonder they have survived while the Jets haven't.

    I think Winnipeg is more like Toronto, which is a tough market for junior hockey. It will love the Jets to death, but I think it would have a tougher time supporting a WHL team at this point in time. Too much all at once.

    The best scenario would be to hook up with the Jets, once they're fully established, in a way that captures some of the overflow enthusiasm from the NHL. Otherwise, I think it would be a tough sell.

    Tough travel too. Back in the day there were three Manitoba teams: Winnipeg, Brandon and Flin Flon (no picnic for travel purposes either), and most of the Jr. Jets other opponents were in Saskatchewan. I don't remember so many teams West of the BC border as there are now. Can anyone help me here?
     
  23. BrianL*

    BrianL* Guest

    No picnic for many reasons. To paraphrase an old joke...

    What has 1000 eyes and 10 teeth?
    The crowd at a Flin Flon Bombers game. :laugh:
     
  24. Killion

    Killion Registered User

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    I'll try Mork. :D

    I grew up in Toronto in the 60's when it was a far far different place than it is now, and both the Junior & Senior Marlies were extremely popular playing out of the Gardens. Junior Hockey in general for that matter, from Dixie (Mississauga) to Oshawa, A&B levels. In Toronto proper, that pretty much died a slow death through the 70's & 80's, though I wasnt around much back then to see it, and it wasnt until the 90's that it started to bounce back with teams like St.Mikes, Brampton & others either re-entering the league or winning expansion franchises.

    Any comparison to Winnipeg today to the Winnipeg of the 70's is much the same. Here in Vancouver, the Giants came in to the league 10yrs ago & have been a huge success playing out of the Canucks old arena, Pacific Coliseum. I'm certain a WHL team in Winnipeg would be a smashing success, much more similar to Vancouver in so many ways than Toronto is today.
     
  25. saskganesh

    saskganesh Registered User

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    Brandon is only a few hours drive from Regina, so that's spitting distance on the prairies. Further there is no evidence that WHL wants to abandon such a successful long time franchise. Sure it's further east, but it's all relative ... someone has to be the most "eastern" team. If not the Wheaties, then it would be the Pats.

    As for WPG, I remember the Warrior's short residency. I doubt it would be easy to establish a good junior operation.
     

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