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So, just this Saturday night in the Rose Garden, Seattle is in town for Teddy Bear Toss night. Oh...
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Seattle coach Steve Konowalchuk does the "cash finger rub" at the Hawks coaches many times during the game, sends out guys to go after one of the players and the one real fighter on the Winterhawks, I saw my first ever "staged fight penalty" (and I'm not the only one), and the coaches were screaming at each other after the final whistle (apparently none of it printable). Yeah, I remember when Seattle fans goaded Tri-City players into swinging sticks into the crowd in a playoff game many years ago and couldn't help but hype the fight aspect later on... their FO is such a class bunch.
Meanwhile, the 'Hawks again gave extended videoboard time to the suspended head coach (with accompanying standing ovation) and gave the third star to the aforementioned fighter at the end of the game. Portland is most definitely in grudge mode.
The league is mum now. There's talk of another meeting between the league and the 'Hawks in February, but relations don't seem to be improving at the moment. The city addresses the Coliseum this week, but there's concern it will be held over to next year and a new mayor and a new commissioner with his own questions about the project.
One note on this: Bill Gallacher had the opportunity a couple weeks ago, and pulled the Coliseum proposal off the ledger for that week. At times, I wonder if he isn't TRYING to give the league an excuse to kick Portland out (or him, close enough). Stay tuned.
In February, while there were some media reports of a pending reduction in sanctions, the league nixed the idea.
Now, renovations are delayed again.
I don't think anything comes to a head in the next 10-12 months. The Winterhawks have had their best season at the gate in some time (still ranked #1 in CHL despite a few recent hiccups, best record in WHL by far), and it seems a few younger players will plug in where older players have left off. I don't see attendance issues into next year, absent some further drama.
Now, if Seattle somehow gets NHL (and I think that's at least a couple years off despite the crap coming out of Phoenix), then the Winterhawks may have decisions to make. However, that's all speculation at this point.