Wenatchee at it again
The Wild applied again for the BCHL.
Is there any reason the same result won't repeat?
USA Hockey, the governing body for amateur ice hockey in the United States, blocked a Wild move to the BCHL in 2011, but reversed its decision after reviewing an appeal by the franchise last February.
BCHL already had its schedule made up and did not want to make changes to upset the apple cart.....The precedent was already set with USAH allowing the move late last year after much arguing....
No doubt this will be approved and then the BCHL can accept the franchise for 2013-14
Unfortunately, there's trouble from the Wenatchee end of the equation.
If you recall the arena debt issue, well, either it's coming back to bite the Wild organization in the face, or the mayor is giving appearance of same to, er, who knows what.
Why would the USAH block the Wild move to the BCHL? SO much closer for the team. I remember about 15-20 years ago a BCHL team in Bellingham so it's not a precedent to have a team from that league in the US.
E:Sorry - USHL =/= USAH. I knew what was means just typed out wrong.
If anything, the BCHL has a certain number of owners who are afraid Wenatchee could threaten some of their smaller markets, one possible reason why it's been months without hearing if the application is approved. Of course, the arena issue is more of the reason, and certainly more pressing at the moment.
When the Wenatchee-BCHL issue came up again, I wondered if the BCHL was going to be the same issue it was last year. It's theoretically that way again... except the league's justification might be more solid.
Yes, this would be part of the proceedings leading up to Wenatchee BCHL, but there's no lease in Wenatchee for BCHL availability at this moment.
While I'd hope someone else could take up a contract with the city of Wenatchee, that doesn't seem likely. There are indications that Bill Stewart got a sweetheart deal in Texas, and that he was running low on funds to be a BCHL owner... if that makes sense.
This puts Wenatchee hockey between a rock and a hard place. The NAHL wasn't manageable in that location without a lot of close competition. Town Toyota Center is too big for NORPAC or even AWHL (I've seen that rumor)... probably the same for WSHL. It wouldn't be the smallest WHL building, but certainly the smallest in the US Division with practically no way to get a current team unless it can be poached from another US city. It's also too small a market- and more importantly too far from a good airport- to consider the ECHL. It's really the right size for BCHL. Sad.
I came back to this after finding:
1) the new Wenatchee ownership apparently decided to file- just as the predecessor did- for BCHL membership.
2) everything has been approved, except by the BCHL. Per rumor, there's one hitch.
The rumor: Wenatchee isn't really serious about the BCHL.
They're trying to light a fire under USA Hockey, or the NAHL, or both.
Best-case scenario for them: USA Hockey negotiates the US WHL teams out of the WHL and into a league at the USHL level. (Best case scenario for Wenatchee, but certainly the least likely from everyone else's standpoint... supposedly. I'm not totally sure small-market Canadian teams wouldn't jump at that offer.)
Second-best: find a way for Wenatchee to not have to pay everyone else's travel bills. More teams in the Northwest, maybe? Simply more stability? This year's alignment with Alaskan and Midwestern teams can't be helping them.
For a team that draws so well, I still don't know how they manage all this.
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