By Fred Wallace
Hi, this is Fred Wallace with " Off the Wire. "
In the end the result of the Kia Memorial Cup was fitting, in my view.
The Quebec League Champion Rouyn Noranda Huskies defeated the host Halifax Mooseheads for the 8th time in 10 meetings this year, scoring a 4-2 come-from-behind victory to capture the Memorial Cup.
Now, the next sequence of events to view is what falls out of the Memorial Cup....
The Ontario Hockey League Champion Guelph Storm performed well at the Championship Tournament, but you cannot deny that the Storm would never have gotten anywhere near the Maritimes had they not stocked up via multiple trades and added prominent players from Flint, Hamilton and especially from the Owen Sound Attack.
So what follows ?
First, we'll watch the Guelph Storm, and their fan base, going forward.
The anticipation is that by dispatching so many young players and draft picks ( almost a dozen to Owen Sound alone ) the Storm will be a miserable outfit for the next couple of years and tickets to the Sleeman Centre, which were hard to get in the post season, will be readily available.
But what if Guelph doesn't struggle ? What if the Storm beats the expectations and ices a squad that's every bit as good as the teams they usually build ( & keep in mind, one way or another, Guelph has been to the Memorial Cup a half dozen times, which is far more than most OHL clubs ) ?
That brings us to item # 2..... Whether Guelph struggles or not, my expectation is that the Storm model this year, one of conceivably sacrificing the future for the moment, will be followed and likely " one-upped " in the near future.
The unfortunate aspect, again in my view, is that the OHL Champion could become less of a club team title and more of an elite All Star Team, which in turn would impact the Kia Memorial Cup and turn that event. a great event, into an All Star Showcase more so than a competition to see which Junior Hockey Club and city is the best in the 60 team Canadian Hockey League.
I'm Fred Wallace