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Edmonton WHL Franchise update

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05-17-2004, 11:40 AM
  #1
Mizral
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Edmonton WHL Franchise update

Watching SportsNet News this morning, they had a bit about Edmonton courting a WHL franchise. This isn't new, but they did talk with several people.

Patrick Laforge was at the Memorical Cup playoff game yesterday, and he said that their intentions are known, they aren't keeping it a secret.

Talked with the WHL commishioner, and he said in the short-term, it isn't an option since no WHL franchises are interested in selling. However, he said in the long-term they'd love to have a franchise back in Edmonton.

SportsNet reported that the Oilers organization would be willing to pony up $5 million dollars for a WHL franchise.

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05-17-2004, 11:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mizral
SportsNet reported that the Oilers organization would be willing to pony up $5 million dollars for a WHL franchise.
But that's only if a team sells so Edmonton can have the team for this coming season. The offer goes down to like $3.5M otherwise I'm told.

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05-17-2004, 11:55 AM
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LongFellow
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Have the Oilers ever expressed intrest in...

an NLL franchise?

I would love to see an NLL franchise in town.

The would probably make some money on it too.

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05-17-2004, 11:56 AM
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Mizral
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Just another quick point, judging by the success of the Vancouver Giants out here, an Edmonton WHL franchise can only succeed at this point. Lately, hockey has become so popular (really, in the last 10 years, hockey's popularity even just in Canada has skyrocketed out here, I'm sure it's gone up in Alberta too). The Giants sucked real bad for a couple years, but last year they were amazing, and with young Gilbert Brule, they are going to have a hell of a year next year.

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05-17-2004, 12:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LongFellow
an NLL franchise?

I would love to see an NLL franchise in town.

The would probably make some money on it too.
When the NLL was looking to expand out west, Edmonton was apparantly one of the cities that was definitely getting a team.

Then it went to they were a front-runner, then in the mix, then an outside shot, then they never got one.

The NLL has had a tough time breaking into markets that are close to other NLL centres, so I am thinking that they are going to hold off on it for a while, and unless a team folds and moves, I don't think the NLL will be in Edmonton for a while.

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05-17-2004, 05:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mizral
Just another quick point, judging by the success of the Vancouver Giants out here, an Edmonton WHL franchise can only succeed at this point. Lately, hockey has become so popular (really, in the last 10 years, hockey's popularity even just in Canada has skyrocketed out here, I'm sure it's gone up in Alberta too). The Giants sucked real bad for a couple years, but last year they were amazing, and with young Gilbert Brule, they are going to have a hell of a year next year.
Why didn't the Edmonton Ice survive here? My foggy memory wants to say there was just a lack of fan support.

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05-17-2004, 06:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mackdogs
Why didn't the Edmonton Ice survive here? My foggy memory wants to say there was just a lack of fan support.
Peter Pocklington.

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Old
05-18-2004, 12:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by George Bachul
Peter Pocklington.
Not exactly... but party true.

It was a very tough time in Oiler history and the timing was bad for the Ice. True Pock was looking at selling the Oil, but there were many factors.

The biggest reason I can see is that in the emotion of the oilersalmost moving to Houston, thousands of people bought seasons tickets and minipack. That put way too much preasure on the market for the Ice.

Another huge problem was the rink they played in. The Agricom is a dump. It would be fine if there was a new team and they had to play the odd game there, but it has to be in the Rex. Parking also has to be cheaper.

The business community has done a great job at suporting the Oilers in the last 5 years, and now their isn't as much pressure to sell the building out with Mom and Pop customers. As a result, there are now actually people who want to go see the Oil but can't get tickets. That wasn't the case when the Ice played here. If the Oil own both, they can do some very crafty sales promotions with both teams and will also have a large database of customers to work over...

Short answer...very bad timing!

Lowetide can fill in any of the blanks I missed.

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05-18-2004, 01:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mackdogs
Why didn't the Edmonton Ice survive here? My foggy memory wants to say there was just a lack of fan support.
To be fair, the team wasn't given much time to build up a fan base as they only played two seasons in Edmonton before moving to BC. And at that time, the Ice sucked while the Oilers were in a playoff position after four years on the outside.

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05-18-2004, 01:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doomsday Device
To be fair, the team wasn't given much time to build up a fan base as they only played two seasons in Edmonton before moving to BC. And at that time, the Ice sucked while the Oilers were in a playoff position after four years on the outside.
Yeah, didn't they go something like 40 games at one point where they only had two wins? They were very, very bad, If they had stuck around for even two more years, I am sure things would have been completely different.

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05-18-2004, 02:15 PM
  #11
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Goil - I'd agree with you on your points, although Pocklington did have more than a little to do with the Ice's lack of success. He saw them as a competitor rather than something he could work with, so I believe he did what he could to undermine the Ice. Not sure if they would have survived even WITH his support (and that of the Oilers organization), but I know it made a difference.

The Agricom wasn't a great place to watch games in, and the timing wasn't great, but with the Oilers actively pursuing it, you know they've done their homework and are confident in making it work. Too bad it won't happen for this fall, though - I'm sure they were figuring on it getting a huge kick-start with the (likely) lack of NHL games for much of this fall (and perhaps beyond).

Bart

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05-18-2004, 06:12 PM
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Interestingly in the Edmonton Sun today in Hicks on six it mentioned that Laforge at present is talking to four teams in hopes of getting a franchise for the 2004-05 season.

So interest may not quite be dead, Laforge is still talking.

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05-18-2004, 06:48 PM
  #13
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What do you guys think about having the Oilers AHL farm team also in Edmonton? Does any other city do this?

It sure makes sense from a $$ perspective. Instead of flying someone in for a game from T.O. you call em up and they drive to the Rex. Doesn't help if the team is on the road obviously.

The negative here, and it's a big one, is that they'd likely have to share the Rex and that could create a scheduling nightmare (especially if both were to make the playoffs).

Just musing here, but this scenario could have avoided using Scott *&(^% Ferguson as a winger last year, if it was even a home game.

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05-18-2004, 07:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spaz44
Interestingly in the Edmonton Sun today in Hicks on six it mentioned that Laforge at present is talking to four teams in hopes of getting a franchise for the 2004-05 season.
Just to add some names to this... I'm told the four are Tri-Cities, Seattle, Prince George and maybe even Kootenay.

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05-18-2004, 07:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mackdogs
What do you guys think about having the Oilers AHL farm team also in Edmonton? Does any other city do this?
Philly id doing it with the Flyers and the Phantoms.

I don´t think, that it would be positive to have a NHL, AHL and WHL-Franchise.
An AHL-Franchise closer to Edmonton would be fine, cause of the call-ups.

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05-18-2004, 07:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bakos
Philly id doing it with the Flyers and the Phantoms.

I don´t think, that it would be positive to have a NHL, AHL and WHL-Franchise.
An AHL-Franchise closer to Edmonton would be fine, cause of the call-ups.
I couldn't agree more. I meant Edmonton to get an AHL team and not WHL. 3 teams in Edmonton couldn't cut it.

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05-18-2004, 07:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guy Flaming
Just to add some names to this... I'm told the four are Tri-Cities, Seattle, Prince George and maybe even Kootenay.
The Oilers have had some discussions with Kootenay but I don't know how serious.

http://www.bchockey.com/bchockey/art...7&Team_No=3667

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05-18-2004, 07:43 PM
  #18
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I think the coolest thing would be for Edmonton and Calgary to have their farm teams in Saskatoon and Regina. I doubt it would ever happen with the junior teams and all, but it would be a cool idea.

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05-19-2004, 01:30 PM
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bakos
Philly id doing it with the Flyers and the Phantoms.

I don´t think, that it would be positive to have a NHL, AHL and WHL-Franchise.
An AHL-Franchise closer to Edmonton would be fine, cause of the call-ups.
Large centers have difficulty filling AHL buildings when they also have NHL, I hardly think it would be worth while to have AHL and NHL hockey in Edmonton. Cities like Winnipeg, Hamilton etc can survive because AHL is all they have - in Edmonton it just wouldn't work. In addition scheduling would be nearly impossible for 2 professional hockey teams plus other events at rexall. In Philly the Phantoms play at the Spectrum across the street, in Chicago the Wolves play out in the burbs - 2 teams in 1 rink like Edmonton has would be impossible IMO.

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05-19-2004, 01:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walsher
2 teams in 1 rink like Edmonton has would be impossible IMO.
Most do it with basketball and hockey... I mean practically every NHL/NBA city has the teams sharing a building, so I don't think that aspect of it is a problem.

The AHL in Edmonton would probably be a good thing. I mean my 2 seasons tickets cost me about $1600, and with a little accounting, I get half of it back from my income tax (mind you not everyone can do this). So $800 for the 31 games I went to for 2 people is practically nothing.

I think an AHL team in Edmonton (Edmonton's farm team of course) would probably do quite well, and even 7000 people is a good crowd.

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Old
05-19-2004, 01:39 PM
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walsher
scheduling would be nearly impossible for 2 professional hockey teams plus other events at rexall. 2 teams in 1 rink like Edmonton has would be impossible IMO.
[sarcasm font enabled] Yeah because as we see in all the cities in the US (and Toronto) where there is a NBA team sharing the building... it's really impossible. [sarcasm font off]
Your point about not being a big draw in town with the Oilers also here makes a lot more sense. I liked the idea someone had of putting a team in Saskatoon though... too bad the Oilers have such a sweet deal with the Roadrunners owner.

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05-21-2004, 01:18 AM
  #22
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A tidbit from Sportsnet...

In other news out of Kelowna, the Team 1040 is also reporting that Burke and his partnership group have rejected a $5-million offer from the Edmonton Oilers to move the Tri-City Americans of the WHL to the city of Edmonton. The Americans ownership group is made up of Burke, Darryl Porter, Glen Sather and Bob Tory.

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Old
05-21-2004, 08:26 AM
  #23
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the AHL is not going to come this far west, it doesn't make sense for travel. Time to give up the ghost there, IMO.

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Old
05-21-2004, 09:40 AM
  #24
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Tri Cities?? Old News.

That story about the Americans is old stuff.
They rejected the deal almost 10 days ago and re-signed a new long term deal with their arena people. They also inked a cost sharing deal with the local levels of governments. They ain't moving.

Their group played this whole affair very well. With all the hype, they were able to have a solid 5 million deal thrown at them, which must have been tempting. Plus they managed to get the local levels of gov't to step up (something they hadn't done before apparently) and assist them in making it work there. A few higher level WHL people I talked to the past week were quite shocked they didn't take the dough. They were convinced up until about a month ago they would serious look at the money. But they shocked a lot of people.

Overall... Good for them... Bad for the Oil.


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