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Re-Visiting a Wenatchee ‘Wild’ Proposal - Junior Hockey News
Published: Tuesday, 17 Jul 2012
By: Kirk Peck
A fan recently contacted me in the hopes of getting some answers about the likelihood of the Wenatchee Wild joining the BCHL. After a quick search and some creative investigation, I came to the conclusion that this was at best, a Wild wish! Let me explain.
I have little doubt that a move from the NAHL to the BCHL would make sense to the Wild organisation. The BCHL is widely recognized for its competitiveness and prestige. Wenatchee
's geographical proximity to other BCHL teams is agreeable, to them! In fact, it is the primary reason they want to switch leagues. Current frustration includes the extensive travel the team now experiences. Their population leaves little doubt that a change could lead to success in the BCHL, where several current teams have significantly lower population numbers.
Why it doesn't make sense. Wenatchee's geographical argument for joining the league is the exact argument for keeping them out of the league. The closest BCHL team to Wenatchee is the Surrey Eagles at a distance of approximately 340 kilometres, while the furthest team is the Prince George Spruce Kings at 1015 kilometres. That's 213 and 635 miles respectively. This higher distance is similar to Wenatchee's current travels. Add to those distances travel time that includes border waits and it becomes even less appealing for existing BCHL clubs.
Perception - it is the British Columbia Hockey League. Adding teams from south of the border may become problematic. Imagine the headlines if the Wenatchee Wild were to win the Western Canada Cup or the Canadian National Junior title namely, The RBC Cup (RBC stands for Royal Bank of Canada). How long would a Canadian sponsor maintain their commitment after handing the cup to a team from south of the border? Call it paranoia but that is how I see it.
Promotion - the BCHL still generates outstanding exposure south of the border, evident by the numerous NCAA commitments every year. No further endorsement required. Expansion is still an option (see Cranbrook, North Vancouver or Courtenay-Comox) if required. I am certainly not the final authority.
Perhaps the best indicator of the Wenatchee proposal is the lack of media coverage it received north of the border. I didn't find any articles after a quick search of BCHL's online archives or Canadian media sites. That should indicate something, don't you think?
posted Jul. 17th, 2012 - 12:42pm
KJ Lahti says:
Well the Wisconsin Wilderness played in the Dudley-Hewitt cup to see if they could play in the RBC, they did not make it, but they had a good shot of it..
I know teams out of Spokane play in Canadian Junior B Hockey
I think the biggest issue is the additional travel that the other teams of the BCHL would have to do and the additional costs to them
...and we do have American teams in the WHL
And American-based teams from the (Major Junior) Ontario Hockey League and Western Hockey League all have shots at the Memorial Cup every year. In fact, the Portland Winter Hawks and Spokane Chiefs of the WHL have each won the Memorial Cup twice.
COUNTDOWN TO LAUNCH.....
You might want to do a WEE BIT more "PREP" next time you do an article.
I'll break it down by paragraph for you.
2nd paragraph...the geographical remark that it is good only for Wenatchee....I'd be willing to bet that Chilliwack, Langley, Surrey and Merritt would be just fine coming to Wenatchee as they are with going to Prince George, which btw is an OK town. You might also want to take a look at the exchange rate-right now it is a tad bit more favorable to Canadians to come down here-and our gas prices are SIGNIFICANTLY lower than in Canada.
The 3rd paragraph is a real doozy.....you gave yourself an out with the word "approximately". However, it's pretty evident that you were not paying attention in geography class, nor have you ever learned how to read a map. I ssuppose that it COULD BE a distance of 213 miles Wenatchee to Surrey....via Miami, Florida. You might wanna open an atlas or a travel map-one made from paper and I think you will find that Chilliwack, Penticton, Trail, and Langley are all closer to Wenatchee than Surrey. Prince George, while a nice town, is far from everything. Regarding border wait times, they travel on buses-they go to a completely separate area of most border crossings and for the most part are in and out fairly quickly. They are kinda low risk travelers. I believe some teams also have all players and staff apply for NEXUS trusted traveler status.
Next paragraph, perception blah blah...how long would a Canadian sponsor maintain their commitment? Hmm-Do you really think that RBC doesn't have offices in the USA? Tim Horton's? I wouldn't call it paranoia, I'd call it stupid. We share the worlds longest undefended border and have the largest trade partnership in the world. We are different countries and different cultures, but you might want to actually take a peak at one of those brass plates at a border....they say something like shared lineage.
I really liked the last paragraph about the lack of media coverage north of the border. The center of the world media power is NYC, NY. The vast majority of media north of the border is controlled from Toronto and maybe Ottawa. Were you expecting the NY Times to write an Op-Ed piece about this and it be carried by every newspaper in Canada? Maybe the Washington Post does a series called Wenatcheegate, with a byline from the Globe and Mail.
That is where JuniorHockey.com comes in. This is one of the authorative sites for junior hockey. So, remember that the journalism part goes up top of this page (things like fact checking, and supporting conclusions), and the opinionism part comes down here.
Readers should not have to sort through a story to know facts from opinion (or fiction).
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