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01-12-2013, 09:55 PM
Stadium Groupie
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Portland. So there.
Country: United States
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If the option is the AHL going against two WHL teams, there's a real problem. People here will sniff out the difference, and we have our stories about WHL players going straight to the big show.

I'll throw you a curve, however. If the NHL does reach Seattle, then how about AHL in Everett? As the Mariners already take advantage of having AAA in Tacoma and short A in Everett, the precedence is already set. Besides, if the NHL is in Seattle, it really does disrupt the WHL US teams. Seattle games are still big in Portland, so removing that makes the Winterhawks even less stable than their current state. The effect of NHL on Everett and Kent is debatable, but I think it's problematic for them. I do know the Seattle media ask that question, BTW.

Maybe we see AHL in Everett and Spokane? Maybe Portland as well?

Mind you, if Seattle does get NHL, then a LOT of pressure is placed on Paul Allen to let Portland match that. I think most (sans the few thousand die-hard Winterhawks fans) will see the inability to match as a failure and discard the Hawks. Allen has only considered NHL in conjunction with subsidies his people have asked of the city... but he has to know how viable the Winterhawks are if the NHL drops in up where it smells like fish. The problem: he believes there's only so much corporate money to go around up here. The luxury suite contracts are all tied up with the Blazers and involve 365-day access to those suites, and that obviously can't be changed easily. Mostly, I don't think Allen wants to try... I wouldn't be surprised if he secretly supports the Mariners in trying to kill the arena project in Seattle, frankly. Allen's Seahawks operate the exhibition center attached to CenturyLink Field and probably doesn't want competition from a new arena.

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