I heard a few months back that Bobby Hull wanted to restart the WHA of the 70s and 80s. He wanted to try and provide viable competition for the NHL, by avoiding the mistakes the NHL have been making (financial trouble, rule changes). Anyboyd else hear about this, and if it's still going to happen? It sounds like a cool idea, in theory.
EDIT: And just to prove that I'm not pulling this out of thin air, here's a link to a Globe and Mail link from September about this:
I think Bobby Hull was named the commissioner of the league, and then it dropped from the news entirely. I have a hard time believing that after the NHL takes thirty teams worth of players there will be enough talent left to run a second viable league. If I'm not mistaken, weren't there only about half as many teams in the NHL the last time the WHA tried to make a go of it and failed? I have a feeling this will wind up just like that other league that tried to start up in 1991 (anyone else remember that? They made a big deal out of drafting Eric Lindros during his Nordiques holdout...) and will never even play a game.
I recall Bobby Hull saying he thought he could get guys who were NHL free agents (like his son Brett will be, coincidentally...NOT) to come play in the new WHA when the lockout started next year and that would be the start of making the league competitive with the NHL.
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The WHA doesn't start play until next year, and is still in the formative stages. This will be the "major" hockey league for this venture, and is the one that Bobby Hull is involved with.
The WHA2 starts play this year with three defectors from the ACHL (Macon Trax, Orlando Seals, Jacksonville Barracudas) and three new teams (Miami Manatees, Lakeland Loggerheads, Alabama Slammers). This is a lower-level development league, presumably designed to feed players to WHA teams. As expected, they're running things on a shoestring -- the merchandise is being run by the league, rather than by individual teams, and the online stores went from "September 1st" to "September 15th" to "Coming Soon!" and stayed there. Pity, as I'm dying to see what the Lakeland jerseys look like.
The ACHL (Atlantic Coast Hockey League) has apparently folded and/or morphed into the SEHL (South East Hockey League). The Huntsville Channel Cats join the OTHER half of the ACHL, namely the Cape Fear FireAntz, Knoxville Ice Bears, and... oh dear...
The last ACHL team was the St. Pete Parrots, which lasted only half a season in St. Pete before flying (HAW! I kill me) to Winston-Salem. There are no parrots in Winston-Salem, but then again, there's no Jazz in Utah, either. The owners sponsored a contest to rename the team for this ACHL season, but when the ACHL folded for good, apparently the Parrots folded as well. A new team takes their place in the SEHL with a very ominous trend -- they sold the NAMING RIGHTS for the team to a third party.
"We were going to let the fans name the team, but there's no money in that," sez the owner. (In fairness, European team jerseys often carry more logos than NASCAR vehicles, and this isn't the first time that Moosehead has plastered their logo on a hockey team.)
It makes me glad that I grabbed my Parrots jersey when I did.
(edited by vsp on 20.10.03 0611) "Noah is busy playing with his one Lego. He can make it be a brick... or a closed shoebox... or a very large Pez." -- Kibo
A team that may or may not fold (probably not) gets a real draft pick in a draft that's happening on June 26-27 for a league that will probably have an extended work stoppage. When the CBA is hammered out, Ovechkin will be a Washington Capital.