It’s my Parting Shot to, once again, debate the merits of having a host team for the Memorial Cup…
Thanks to last night’s 3-2, Game 7 victory in Swift Current for the Broncos, once again a team slated to host the MasterCard Memorial Cup will have a long wait in between games. For the Regina Pats, it will be 46 days between last night and when they open the C-H-L Championship on May 18th against the Ontario League champion. It was 51 days for the Saskatoon Blades between games in 2013.
Hearing those large numbers of days off between games for a host team leave many hardcore hockey followers to question the idea of a host team. Without the host, a three-team tournament of just league champions won’t draw flies in a neutral site. The C-H-L has been there, done that and took a financial bath in buying the T-shirt!
Yes, finances are a big part of the C-H-L’s modus operandi for declaring a national major junior champion every year. That concept escapes those who feel as though playing additional best-of-seven series between the league champions would be the best way to come up with a winner. Sure, imagine a Portland Winterhawks versus Halifax Mooseheads best-of-seven series to determine the Memorial Cup champion…probably brings out great hockey, but the costs would be astronomical!
The notion of scrapping a lot of the events around the Memorial Cup has been floated, thus allowing an organizing committee a lot less to plan when it comes to having just the three league champions play in the tournament and holding it in the home rink of one of those champions…no matter how close to the tournament that winner is decided!
That’s the best idea I’ve heard, but I don’t see it happening, so long as there is money to be made over a week-and-a-half worth of time in a city that may or may not get excited about their home team playing with the best!
Folks…what you see is what you get! Deal with it…and I’ll see you in Regina in 46 days!
That’s my Parting Shot, I’m Les Lazaruk.