From one end of the spectrum to the other

By Jeff Bromley

From one end of the spectrum to the other

In a world seemingly gone loony and getting crazier by the minute, I offer up a rant and rave about things that, upon further review seem minuscule in the greater scheme of things. Stepping away from CNN for a moment…..

The WHL G.M.’s will have met over the weekend and by the beginning of this week, there should be a decision on the adaptation of the new ‘Fast Face-off’ rule in the CHL. Word is that everybody loves it (except, strangely enough the fans I’ve talked to) and the of tweaking it to the tune that an extension of five seconds be added to the home side’s line change time and every period having one promotional timeout to take care of business. In other words, in that short timeout the fans will inundated with promotional advertising in order to satisfy the business end of things at the hockey games. Just so we’re clear; first, the games are going on too long partly due to the jousting and jockeying for position on the face-offs and the subsequent dismissal of one or both of the combatants by the linesmen. Add on the abuse of the last change rule by the home team and you have the reasoning for the implementation of the rule. Going to the other end of the spectrum whereby it isn’t uncommon to see only one team in at the face-off dot before they drop the puck, now they do a turnabout realizing that advertisements, both in-house and on the radio broadcast aren’t getting enough play time. Tell me again why the powers that be don’t just enforce the rules that exist for delay of game. A couple of power-plays against the home team for long changes would do just nicely to deal with any delays. One wonders why they have to hospitalize the patient, perform surgery and then realize it was a small ailment that was easily treatable. Oh, and did I mention that I didn’t much care for the rule? Good, just so we’re clear on that……

The format for choosing the Memorial Cup host in the OHL has been a favorite of mine in comparison to both the WHL and QMJHL’s way of picking the site and club a year in advance. In the Ontario league the top two clubs in each conference by a certain deadline (sometime near mid-December), each are able to submit a bid to host the CHL championship the following May. The league goes through a process of selection and awards the successful bidder the Memorial Cup. Thereby almost ensuring that the host club will almost certainly be competitive with the three league champions come May. The added bonus is that is the club that lands the tournament is more than likely to be competitive without wholesale changes and trades to the host hockey club that more often than not tend to decimate the club’s future for a few seasons as per the Western and Quebec league’s process.

There is one problem that presents itself with the OHL process and depending what side of the fiscal ledger you’re on, the owner’s or fan’s, it may not be a problem at all. The trend of the past few years has been the Memorial Cup host city has never had an arena size of less than 7000. And with the cup scheduled to go to Quebec City (Remparts) at Le Colisee (cap. 15,750), you can bet your bottom dollar that the tournament will never again grace the likes of small to mid-size Canada again.

Begging the question, what if the top four teams in the OHL at the deadline for selection include locations that are, let’s say, less than desirable by today’s standard of Memorial Cup city? Do the club’s step aside for a site more capable? With Kitchener, Belleville, Barrie and Plymouth leading the pack at the early stages of the season it is an interesting eventuality to ponder…… Has anybody noticed that the WHL has abandoned the two-referee system this season? Thought so. Does it really make any difference? Probably not…..

Tri-Cities G.M. Bob Tory has earned the moniker ‘Trader Bob’ since the start of the season, a mere three weeks, Tory has completed seven trades since the beginning of the season (not counting the overage player Tory’s going to have to decide on) to enhance his Kennewick, Wash. club. Whatever he’s doing it seems to be working as the Am’s are a respectable 3-3-0-0 going into weekend action and came out on top of the ICE 6-4 last Wednesday night to avenge the 7-0 drubbing they suffered two weeks prior. Tory seems to be icing a competitive club, now only if the people in Tri-Cities would come out and watch. Attendance for the Am’s-ICE game was a paltry 1611.