Cheney Free Press -

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We deserve a National Hockey League team in our state

Crunch Time


Before moving here, I had never really liked hockey or even paid attention to it. But then I went to my first Spokane Chiefs game and I was hooked to the sport.

Now that we are in the thrills of the Stanley Cup finals, I think it is incredible that there are two teams competing for a trophy that neither franchise has won before (take note, NBA). What is even more remarkable is that one of the teams is less than a year old and is competing for the desired trophy.

Due to not having a NHL hockey team around the Pacific Northwest, I tend to follow the Nashville Predators for a couple reasons. The first one is because I love Tennessee and the second is due to the fact that the first and currently only NHL game I have gone to has been a Predators game at the Bridgestone Arena.

But even though the Predators were knocked out of the playoffs, I have still been following the finals because not a lot can beat the excitement of professional hockey in June.

Even though the Knights have struggled the last couple games, I think no matter what happens with the series, it is amazing that they even reached the finals. At one point, they were at 500-1 odds to win the championship. And even though they need to force a Game 7 to win it now, it is crazy that they still have that chance.

With the success of the Las Vegas Knights, I hope that Seattle can take notes on how to build a hockey fanbase in just the first year. I don’t really understand why we don’t have a professional hockey team in the state of Washington, with all the minor leagues we have in our area alone.

In the WHL alone, we have the Spokane Chiefs, Seattle Thunderbirds and Everett Silvertips in our state. Most of the teams have created a fanbase that follows the teams year round and has success at it.

During my following of the Chiefs, I was lucky enough to witness them win the Memorial Cup and continue watching those players like Jared Spurgeon, Dustin Tokarski and Spokane native Tyler Johnson in the NHL. Now imagine how cool it would be if we had a professional team in our area that we could follow year round too?

And it isn’t like Seattle doesn’t have the fans to follow the team. I mean look at the Seattle Sounders and the Seahawks.

I remember being surprised at how hard tickets were to find to a Seahawks game against the Los Angeles Rams last season when I wanted to watch Cooper Kupp play. And whenever you were able to find tickets, they were ridiculously expensive. But those people will fill up Centurylink stadium and cheer on their teams.

I am sure starting a NHL team sounds easier said than done, but after watching the success grow from the Las Vegas Knights, it is hard to not want the same thing for your state.

Better yet, throw in an NBA team while we are at it so we don’t have to watch the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors play in the finals again.

Grace Pohl can be reached at


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