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Bench Talk / Off The Wire

The High Price of Profile


By Fred Wallace


Hi, this is Fred Wallace with " Off the Wire ".

Tonight at the theatre for " Rabbit Hole "...
Tomorrow at Saugeen Golf Club for the Crimestoppers Tournament....
Maybe Saturday at Hanover Raceway.....

Somewhere, sometime, in there, someone will mention how many more days before the Ontario Hockey League season commences. You can set your watch by it.

But before we look ahead, let's reflect on what just transpired at Regina at the Memorial Cup.

The Quebec League Champion Acadie-Bathurst Titan, from a community of about 12,000, captured the title by blanking the host Regina Pats 3-0 in the final.

Give or take the round robin game between the Titan & Pats, I thought the Memorial Cup was excellent; 4 fairly balanced and competitive teams, close games, good games mostly and no shortage of star attractions on any of the 4 entries.

It was a very positive showcase for the Canadian Hockey League's premier event........except at the bank.

The story came out mid-tournament that the organizers expected to lose around $ 2 million dollars. The host committee wasn't okay with that figure.....but neither were they shocked, relating the financial shortfall was understood long before the opening faceoff, and the price tag to showcase the city of Regina and the historic Pats franchise was simply the cost of doing business and meeting the CHL's guaranteed fee to be their host.

Yes, there would be spinoff dollars for the city of Regina, but that's like everyone telling you they had a great time at your party for years after they wrecked your parents' place ( trust me, I've been there ).

And in the years ahead, how many Canadian Hockey League franchises will be able to host the Memorial Cup if the anticipated financial loss will be 7 digits ?

By the way 3 & 1/ 2 months til the Ontario Hockey League commences again.

I'm Fred Wallace


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