Sunday, July 11, 2004

Salivating for Sidney

The WHA’s Toronto Toros have yet to actually sign any documents officially joining the brave little band of dreamers. But that doesn’t stop their owner from having a few dreams of his own.

The most enticing one for hockey fans, is the wish of WHA president Peter Young to have junior phenom Sidney Crosby sign with the Toronto franchise of the fledgling league. Young says he’s been in constant contact with the junior star’s agent regarding the 16 year olds availability.

Crosby’s agent Pat Brisson however is pouring cold water on the idea as fast as the WHA folks can turn up the heat. Brisson has stated that there is virtually no chance of Crosby joining the WHA any time soon. Brisson also says its Sidney’s plan and his family’s wish to have him play the next year with Rimouski of the Quebec junior league.

For the Toro’s the idea of signing on Crosby is the same kind of possible PR win that the Winnipeg Jets achieved when they signed Bobby Hull, or the Indianapolis Racers received when a young pup named Gretzky made his pro debut.

Of course with the WHA it’s a still very much rumour over fact, as most of the teams consist of nothing more than a name and if their lucky a Post Office box. The latest on the Toro’s status is that they have a press conference planned for Tuesday where they will announce a rental deal with Skydome for the debut year of WHA II.

It’s been suggested that the Toro’s will also announce the name of their GM and possibly the head coach of the newborn franchise at the press conference. One name being bounced around a lot of late, as a possible coach is former Buffalo Sabre coach Ted Nolan.

While all signs point to it being unlikely that they will get Crosby’s name on a contract, it certainly would make Nolan’s job a lot easier to bear should he look down the bench and see the latest greatest ready to jump over the boards. And certainly would give the straw man of a league thus far, a bit more credibility. For until the various member teams start to sign some well known names to contracts, many will look at the WHA II as more fantasy than reality.

No comments: