Thursday, September 30, 2004


World Hockey Association: Death Before Life

If a hockey league folds, and nobody is around to care, does it still make a sound?

The World Hockey Association started out as a league with big dreams and plenty of media attention. With the impending lockout, the WHA looked poised to make a name for itself in its second reincarnation.

Sadly, their business planning was poor and their execution was even worse; Leases rejected, Unsettled ownerships, no commitments from players?

Really, it is no big surprise that the WHA never got going in the first place. Their business plan ($15 mil payrolls are not workable for the WHA), stupid franchise names, and lack of good management could not make up for Bobby Hull's big dreams.

What's really sad is just how quietly and pathetically the WHA has died.

Checking out the WHA Website, the last news item is posted from August 27th, when the "Nordiks" folded (not long after they chose that stupid name). There hasn't been an announcement in the major news outlets or even the WHA site since then! The worst kind of publicity is no publicity.

Is it dead? Still breathing on life support? Lost on a deserted island? I'd just like some kind of closure. Poor Moe Mantha, the one and only coach hired by the WHA, would probably like to get a real job by now.

If the WHA, they should at least let the world know. Admit their mistakes and move on to the next venture...unless they really hold out *Some* hope that the WHA can be revived once again.

(EDIT: Well suck me sideways! It appears that the WHA will announce some time in the next day that they are really folding the tent. Details can be found in this story.)

At the very least, the WHA gave us some very interesting press to read; from drafting Sidney Crosby, holding the draft in a frickin' CASINO, to getting players to open up about non-NHL options, to seeing Travis Green drafted 2nd overall over Joe Thornton...crazy crazy stuff.


According to a Portland Winterhawks fan on, Robin BigSnake was scratched because he was with the AHL's Hartford Wolfpack on a tryout.

It's great to hear that BigSnake has earned an AHL tryout, although I don?t believe he will make their team. BigSnake was never drafted, but he's got a shot to earn himself a job in some lower league in his future. With that name, he's already got a leg up with the ladies ;)

Should somebody give a eulogy for the WHA? Did you just do that now?

Oh well. Rival leagues never truly survive anyway. It would have been nice to see if the WHA would've pressured the NHL to resove their differences quicker, but without an alternative... who knows?
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