Some interesting news concerning Western New York came out of the Professional Hockey Writer's Association meeting this morning. It looks like Buffalo could be among the leading candidates to host the 2011 World Junior Championships, which were awarded to the United States.
USA Hockey chief Dave Ogrean spoke at the meeting and acknowledged Buffalo is on the radar for the WJC. A final decision isn't going to be made for another 18 months or so after they review all the proposals. There was talk about it last year, but things seemed to quiet down.
At risk of coming off like a homer, Buffalo would be an ideal site for the WJC, which is the biggest 20-under hockey tournament on the planet.
Our proximity to Canada makes for a natural fit. Canadians take days off from work just to watch the game on television when they're held overseas. They would be coming down by the busload, and bringing some money with them.
This isn't exactly news, but Buffalo is a true, blue hockey town. You know what it's like around town when the Sabres are playing well, but it extends well beyond the NHL. Youth hockey was already big, and it continues to grow. News reporter Tom Borrelli wrote a great story recently about the 30-something locals playing Division I hockey.
Another thing that helps Buffalo is that Rochester and Jamestown are within a two-hour drive, so certain games also could be played there. They could keep the big games involving the United States and Canada in HSBC Arena.
Hey, how about having the finals at the Ralph?
People can say what they want about WNY, but the region definitely knows how to handle big events. Buffalo received high marks for the NCAA basketball tournament, the Frozen Four and the NHL draft, among others.
--- Bucky Gleason