Wednesday, February 11, 2009

CIS Corner: Plans for Queen's rink sink

Notes on our athletes/teams of interest from The 613 ...


Golden Gaels:
Queen's is still standing in the OUA playoff race. Ottawa dropped a 3-1 decision to Carleton Tuesday, on the very same day our own Andrew Bucholtz confirmed that confirmed "the dream of a new hockey arena on Main Campus was all but dead."

That is a downer, although there have been rumblings about this for more than a year that any new arena at Queen's would be built on its west campus. Among we Queenies, West Campus is universally loathed because it lacks the buffer the Queen's bubble and the great unwashed. (It is like, a 20-minute walk from the corner of University and Union.)

It is understood that the Queen's admin is about as aware the school has hockey teams as Rogers is that it owns a baseball team. The Gaels' being plucky underdogs fighting the current will always be endearing, but a university of 15,000 students without a readily accessible rink is unfathomable. It could also reflect shifting priorities; perhaps not as many students arrive on campus with skates, sticks and hockey gear.

Anyway, Ottawa's loss means the scenario remains the same. The Gee-Gees need three points from their final homestand (No. 10 McGill Saturday, also-ran Ryerson Sunday) or a Queen's loss to Ryerson on Friday. Queen's gets in if they win and Ottawa has a regulation-time loss in either game.

Gee-Gees: Scheduling has altered the playoff race, but please bear in mind that, as far as we know, everyone signed off on an unbalanced scheduled to save money.

Ottawa (10-11-5) will end up playing 16 of its 28 games within the deep Far East division, whose other four teams have all clinched playoff berths. They might end up being bumped out by Queen's, which has not beaten a Far East team in regulation time this season (they beat Ottawa in a shootout, and Carleton and Trois-Rivieres in overtime).

The Gee-Gees played just four times outside the conference, none against the loaded OUA Far West, which has had at least three teams ranked every week this season.

Ottawa's record, broken down by division:
vs. Far East: 5-7-3
vs. Mid East: 3-2-2
vs. Mid West: 2-2-0
vs. Far West: Didn't play 'em
And for Queen's:
vs. Far East: 3-6-1 (all three wins in extra time)
vs. Mid East: 6-1-1
vs. Mid West: 2-1-1
vs. Far West: 0-5-0
One can see why there's some impetus for change. Ottawa played more games against the best teams in the East, but had the misfortune to be beset by injuries in January when it had a four-game stretch against the mediocre Mid West division, which kept them from getting the job done. Queen's has made a virtue out of averageness on the ice at times this season, but for the most part beat the times it was supposed to defeat. Replace those five games vs. Far West with Ryerson, RMC and Toronto and they would probably have a better record.

It figures that Ottawa and Queen's two head-to-head matchups this season would have each gone to shootouts, that's how tight it's been.


kinger said...

It's a bit bigger of a story now. The city is trying to get Queen's to partner with them on the renovation of the Memorial Centre, so as to make that the permanent home of Queen's Hockey.

So in essence we have a choice between building an arena nobody will go to, and renovating an arena nobody will go to. It's gotten to the point where I'm close to just believing the school should abolish the program if it's not going to be serious about supporting it.

Of course don't expect any critical analysis on campus about the fact that the Queen's Centre is still overbudget despite a huge chunk of the project (the arena) not actually getting built. The Journal already printed quotes from the project manager about how they're "just" moving the arena, which will apparently not affect anything, and didn't seem to pick up on the colossal stupidity of it.

Andrew Bucholtz said...

Arena's still getting built, Tyler, at least according to the budget (but it might not be any time soon). Also, we didn't say that wouldn't affect anything; we ran an article a while back saying that the plan would save around $20 million, which I linked to in my blog post.Of course the Queen's Centre is facing budget issues; that's the given rationale behind this move, so it would be silly to not talk about them. I hardly think we're ignoring the budget problems though; we've run several stories on those recently and I'm sure there's more to come.

Andrew Bucholtz said...

Also, on the Mem Centre; I like that idea, but it's been shot down by pretty much everyone I've talked to on the Queen's side, so I don't see it happening.

kinger said...

I'm talking about the sheer stupidity of them assuming there's no functional difference between an arena on west campus and an arena on main campus. One on main campus might actually draw people. One on west campus will be the death knell for the program's already fledgling popularity.

Big V said...

It sucks for intermural hockey too... who really wants to carry their equipment that far anyways...

I have a prof who is on the senate at Queens and the decision was made early first semester on moving the arena to West campus.

The idea now is to build a new stadium and arena complex overtop of the existing parking lots...

If I win the lottery tomorrow i'd put a proposal to re-vamp tindale and put 8000 seats around it...
THey F***ed that one up, I bet they would have gotten the funding for a new stadium right away if they built a new stadium there... afterall, from the alumni that I have spoken to, thats what they all want...

kinger said...

That's the other problem - the new west campus arena is supposed to be integrated with the new football arena as well, which they don't have the money for.

I sure hope alumni aren't stupid enough to pay for another west campus dead end.