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01-12-2013, 02:53 PM
  #840
PCSPounder
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About the AHL idea, I'd pass on it, too...

...but this is where the current Portland issues throw a monkey wrench into the mix.

Bill Gallacher bought the Winterhawks from a group that had just about driven the franchise into the ground AND out of town. From there, the Winterhawks got good fast. That helped pick up attendance, but it also started the rumors around the WHL.

Sure enough, there was a contract in a traded player's hands that wasn't the copy sent to the league... only in the manner of arranging for parental flights to Portland, but bad enough to get the sanctions most of you have heard about.

The sanctions caused Gallacher to ask to delay a city council vote on renovations to Memorial Coliseum, which is a good chunk of the reason why people around here have referred to the sanctions as a "death penalty." The council vote is now delayed until March, after a supposed February hearing with the WHL regarding the sanctions.

This has exposed a small market v large market rift in the WHL. There's the Canada v US issue (which exists in lesser form with the Dub) that could factor into the equation...

...so Portland might not be in the WHL for long. Could that be the AHL's opening? Possibly? I don't know. There's not a lot of viable options.

The Seattle Thunderbirds have not drawn as well as they'd hoped in Kent. If the NHL does arrive, I tend to think they're done. The Portland-Seattle rivalry IS a draw, is intense, and may have to be portable.

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