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March 17, 2005 - Another alternative

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Another alternative

You have to give the people trying to revive the long-dead WHA credit for sticking with it. After failing to start the alternate league last fall, they're at it again, and at least this time, they have a tournament organized.

With help of Flyers center Jeremy Roenick, who has been recruiting NHL players, organizers are planning a six-team tournament named after Bobby Hull, who played in the old WHA and is its current commissioner. They hope to play between May 20 and June 2, after the world championships conclude, in cities in the East and West.

I can see the tournament coming off, but as far as for an alternate to the NHL next fall, I have serious doubts. The NHL has trouble enough in its major markets.

Imagine the WHA making any serious inroads in the smaller markets left in the United States and Canada.

Still, Keith Primeau, who, along with his brother Wayne, has committed to playing in the spring tournament, said that if the NHL cannot solve its problems, he'll commit to a full season.

"Depending on how this all transpires with the NHL in the next few months, I would be willing to commit if there is no place for me to play next year," he said.

"But it could depend on where I was playing and who I would be playing for. I want to play, and I prefer to play in the NHL, but if they're not going to start on time I'll have to look for other options."