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World Hockey Association (proposed)

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The '''World Hockey Association''' was a proposed professional hockey league intended to compete with the established [[National Hockey League]] during the [[2004–05 NHL lockout]]. Noteworthy for instability and failed plans, its organization operated several minor and junior leagues thereafter.
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The '''World Hockey Association''' was a proposed professional hockey league intended to compete with the established [[National Hockey League]] during the [[2004–05 NHL lockout]]. Noteworthy for instability and failed plans, its organization operated several minor and junior leagues thereafter.
   
 
== History ==
 
== History ==
   
Seeking to capitalize upon the original [[World Hockey Association]] of the 1970s, [[Allan Howell]] and Dr. [[Nick Vaccaro]] announced in 2003 the formation of a new professional hockey league calling itself the "World Hockey Association." Original WHA superstar [[Bobby Hull]] was named its commissioner. The league was regarded by many as an attempt to fill the void that loomed as the NHL's serious labour problems, which led to the [[2004–05 NHL lockout]], became apparent. Most hockey commentators felt that the league's best hope was to operate while the NHL players were locked out and try to develop enough of a following to survive once the NHL labour problems were resolved.<gallery>
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Seeking to capitalize upon the original [[World Hockey Association]] of the 1970s, [[Allan Howell]] and Dr. [[Nick Vaccaro]] announced in 2003 the formation of a new professional hockey league calling itself the "World Hockey Association." Original WHA superstar [[Bobby Hull]] was named its commissioner. The league was regarded by many as an attempt to fill the void that loomed as the NHL's serious labour problems, which led to the [[2004–05 NHL lockout]], became apparent. Most hockey commentators felt that the league's best hope was to operate while the NHL players were locked out and try to develop enough of a following to survive once the NHL labour problems were resolved.
Halifax Ice Breakers logo.jpg|Halifax Ice Breakers logo
 
Quebec Nordiks.jpg|Quebec Nordiks logo
 
Detroit Gladiators logo.jpg|Detroit Gladiators logo
 
Dallas Americans logo.gif|Dallas Americans logo
 
</gallery>
 
   
It was projected that the league would begin operation with teams from [[Dallas, Texas|Dallas]], [[Detroit, Michigan|Detroit]], [[Halifax Urban Area|Halifax]], [[Hamilton, Ontario|Hamilton]], [[Miami, Florida|Miami]], [[Toronto, Ontario|Toronto]], [[Vancouver, British Columbia|Vancouver]] and [[Quebec City, Quebec|Quebec City]]. Four teams went so far as to acquire nicknames: the '''Detroit Gladiators''' (who planned to play at the [[Pontiac Silverdome]], a venue that had never hosted hockey before); the '''Dallas Americans''' (who introduced [[Toronto Maple Leafs]] goaltender [[Ed Belfour]] as goalie/co-owner); the '''Quebec Nordiks''' (a tweaking of the old [[Quebec Nordiques]] nickname); and the '''Halifax IceBreakers'''.
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It was projected that the league would begin operation with teams from [[Dallas, Texas|Dallas]], [[Detroit, Michigan|Detroit]], [[Halifax Urban Area|Halifax]], [[Hamilton, Ontario|Hamilton]], [[Miami, Florida|Miami]], [[Toronto, Ontario|Toronto]], [[Vancouver, British Columbia|Vancouver]] and [[Quebec City, Quebec|Quebec City]]. Four teams went so far as to acquire nicknames: the '''Detroit Gladiators''' (who planned to play at the [[Pontiac Silverdome]], a venue that had never hosted hockey before); the '''Dallas Americans''' (who introduced [[Toronto Maple Leafs]] goaltender [[Ed Belfour]] as goalie/co-owner); the '''Quebec Nordiks''' (a tweaking of the old [[Quebec Nordiques]] nickname); and the '''Halifax IceBreakers'''.
   
 
After being pushed back from June 2, a WHA draft took place on July 18, 2004 <ref>[http://www.thefourthperiod.com/wha/news20.html The Fourth Period :: WHA Coverage :: Crosby goes No.1 in WHA Entry Draft<!-- Bot generated title -->]</ref> in [[Niagara Falls, Ontario]]. Future superstar [[Sidney Crosby]] was the first pick; he turned down the league's three-year, $7.5 million offer. By August, however, things began to unravel: the WHA pulled the Quebec franchise <ref>[http://www.thefourthperiod.com/wha/news22.html The Fourth Period :: WHA Coverage :: Quebec team nixed<!-- Bot generated title -->]</ref> and Toronto, unable to find an arena, dropped out soon afterwards. The Florida-based franchise, apparently headed for [[Miami]], then [[Jacksonville, Florida|Jacksonville]] and finally [[Orlando, Florida|Orlando]], quietly expired. By September, the new WHA was down to four teams and had pushed its debut back to November <ref>[http://nbcsports.msnbc.com/id/5861563/ Weiner: WHA doesn't make dollars and sense - NHL - NBCSports.com<!-- Bot generated title -->]</ref>. By October, Dallas had folded and an announced "restructuring" never took place. <ref>[http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Hockey/WHA/2004/10/01/651501.html CANOE - SLAM! Sports - Hockey - WHA: Leagues on thin ice<!-- Bot generated title -->]</ref>
 
After being pushed back from June 2, a WHA draft took place on July 18, 2004 <ref>[http://www.thefourthperiod.com/wha/news20.html The Fourth Period :: WHA Coverage :: Crosby goes No.1 in WHA Entry Draft<!-- Bot generated title -->]</ref> in [[Niagara Falls, Ontario]]. Future superstar [[Sidney Crosby]] was the first pick; he turned down the league's three-year, $7.5 million offer. By August, however, things began to unravel: the WHA pulled the Quebec franchise <ref>[http://www.thefourthperiod.com/wha/news22.html The Fourth Period :: WHA Coverage :: Quebec team nixed<!-- Bot generated title -->]</ref> and Toronto, unable to find an arena, dropped out soon afterwards. The Florida-based franchise, apparently headed for [[Miami]], then [[Jacksonville, Florida|Jacksonville]] and finally [[Orlando, Florida|Orlando]], quietly expired. By September, the new WHA was down to four teams and had pushed its debut back to November <ref>[http://nbcsports.msnbc.com/id/5861563/ Weiner: WHA doesn't make dollars and sense - NHL - NBCSports.com<!-- Bot generated title -->]</ref>. By October, Dallas had folded and an announced "restructuring" never took place. <ref>[http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Hockey/WHA/2004/10/01/651501.html CANOE - SLAM! Sports - Hockey - WHA: Leagues on thin ice<!-- Bot generated title -->]</ref>
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