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Bench Talk / Off The Wire

The Ghost of Michael McNiven


By Fred Wallace


Hi, this is Fred Wallace with " Off the Wire ".

And so it begins.....

Tonight, Game 1 of the Ontario Hockey League Western Conference Quarterfinal between the Owen Sound Attack & the London Knights, 7 pm at the Harry Lumley-Bayshore Community Centre.

It's been fun this week in the city and region where almost every conversation starts, ends or certainly includes the Attack-Knights series as a topic of discussion.

Naturally, the good people in this region, be they rabid fans or neutral-but-knowledgeable observers, are picking the Attack to win the series..... We'll see.

What I find remarkable is there is an almost common lament from our neighbourhood along the lines of......" if ONLY the dimwits that run the Montreal Canadiens had of left Michael McNiven in Owen Sound. "

I get that, but to be fair, what about the opposition ?

What if the dimwits that run the Montreal Canadiens had of left Victor Mete in Junior ?
What if Vancouver didn't send Olli Juolevi back to Finland ?
What if Janne Kuokkanen stayed in London while eligible instead of heading to the AHL ?
& What if Jesper Bratt went to the Knights and not the New Jersey Devils ?


What if London stayed the course this season and didn't deal Robert Thomas to Hamilton, Sam Miletic to Niagara plus Max Jones & Cliff Pu to Kingston ?

And finally, what if Brady Tkachuk followed his brother, Matthew, and took the path to London ( and he still might sometime in the future ) rather than to Boston University ?

For Attack fans, the ghost of Michael McNiven will be present for this series, but the scenario on the London side might be more haunting.

See you tonight.

I'm Fred Wallace


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