Bruins to Victoria, more to come?

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Bruins to Victoria, more to come?

Post by Pounder » Thu Apr 21, 2011 7:51 pm

The announcement of the move of the Chilliwack Bruins to Victoria's Save-On Foods Memorial Centre has been brewing for a few weeks... and naturally, that's a big one I missed.

It's what might happen next.

The word seems to be that the league encouraged and engineered this sale, knowing Victoria had the larger market... and likely fearing that the AHL might again encroach on "their" territory as with what happened in Abbotsford. The odd part: Chilliwack was probably making a nice beachhead against the Heat for WHL purposes. The wicked part: the Fraser Valley is the real growth area in British Columbia, though since they're within Vancouver's media market and Victoria has their own media, it's not as easy to get things launched there. Still, the Bruins weren't doing all that badly at the gate. OTOH, between the Abbotsford arena and Langley Events Centre (if I showed you Langley up against the arena in Kent, WA, you'd probably guess wrong on who has what) that somehow only hosts Junior A, the valley could easily find itself playing musical chairs...

...as the league is rumored to be trying to engineer another move. The press has named Prince George or Kootenay (of Cranbrook) to possibly be moving to Chilliwack, with more focus at present on the remote Prince George. Prince George is where the old Victoria franchise ended up, and has really never fared well in the far north.

The frolic doesn't stop there. There's a Junior A BCJHL team poised to make a move, some think it's to Chilliwack, but Wenatchee (current home in NAHL) is grasping for a team, which was the original plan for the arena built there.

Then, of course, what of the ECHL Salmon Kings. Some think there's movement afoot to try again in Fresno. Some think the league would rather pocket the change instead. Of course, with Fresno's history, will anything happen?

I could go on for days with this one.
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