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Thursday, May 03, 2007

Breaking NORPAC/AWHL News

When I spoke of Eugene a couple days ago I mentioned a few different items. First off was their release about their expectations of the team/league going T3A. At least the release said the the move to T3A was in the application stage (eventually). However, when one examines their tryout camp brochure, one finds the following:
Starting in the 2007-08 season, the Eugene Generals and the Northern Pacific Hockey League (NOR PAC) will compete as a Tier III Junior A league.
Are you sure you don't want to hedge that just a little bit, guys, or is a little deception okay so long as you hope and pray you get approved?

Anyway, that's not the big story, because I bet if I looked I could find another half dozen examples of teams jumping the gun on their status for next season. It's also not the big news of the night, because what's really important is the NORPAC conference call underway this evening.

As most people know, the Rocky Mountain Division has planned to split off from the NORPAC, add a couple new markets, and reform the AWHL. That plan seems to be in danger as the remaining NORPAC teams are trying to hold on to as many eastern teams as possible. The first indication of this we saw was that Eugene release, which mentioned Missoula and Great Falls as going NORPAC, not AWHL. As it turns out, Great Falls isn't ready to return to the hockey ranks yet (cue the Annie soundtrack folks, as it seems they're always a year away), but it appears that not only has Missoula been convinced to go NORPAC, but Butte and perhaps even Coeur d'Alene have been secured to stay in the old league. The loss of these three markets puts a serious dent in the chances the AWHL can get off the ground this season. Tonight's conference call should shed some light on who is in and who is out, and I hope to have some news on the proceedings tomorrow morning (but probably not in my normal 6 AM posting).

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Comments on "Breaking NORPAC/AWHL News"


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (10:19 AM, May 04, 2007) : 

The Salt Lake City area would be a great location for a Junior team as a member of the AWHL if it forms. With the current news that a couple teams may stay with NorPac, Salt Lake could be even more attractive. And if Salt Lake were to be added, maybe these teams would stay in the AWHL. There is one facility in our system where a team could potentially have its own locker room which was once used for the pro team.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (12:42 PM, May 04, 2007) : 

too far south for NorPac teams to travel to play (and vice versa) - isn't there another league closer for SLC to play in?


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (1:16 PM, May 04, 2007) : 

As of last season, a team from Salt Lake City was to be added to the WSHL.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (2:42 PM, May 04, 2007) : 

Salt Lake City, unfortunately, is an in-between city. NorPac wouldn't be a good fit because of the distance between cities. But the teams in the eastern division or of the AWHL if it is resurrected are a bit closer. It's even a worse situation with the WSHL in terms of driving distance. The individual who was supposedly going to operate that WSHL franchise passed away so I am not sure of its status. If ice time were available and if the AWHL could find ownership for teams in cities such as Jackson Hole; Powell, Wyoming; Rock Springs, Wyoming; Casper, Laramie or Cheyenne, Wyoming and maybe two franchises in Utah, the AWHL could be viable.


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