No hard feelings in 'Peg

ADAM WAZNY -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:40 AM ET

Hockey Canada president Bob Nicholson will be in town this morning, but don't count on an apology regarding Winnipeg and its role in the 2008 IIHF World Hockey Championships debacle.

Don't expect our city to look for one, either. These days, Hockey Canada and Winnipeg are a match made in heaven and any apparent quarrel between the two is met with flowers, perhaps a dinner, and most important, an assuring wink.

You're with us, Winny.

Yes, this town was just a decoy when it came to the Quebec City fiasco that is otherwise known as the 2008 World Hockey Championships. The co-hosts (splitting games with Halifax) were given the ultimatum of shaping up or Hockey Canada would ship the event out west to Winnipeg. Before this news broke, Hockey Canada visited with True North Sports and Entertainment officials, giving them a heads-up on the ruse.

Quebec City responded by securing the proper funding and devising a confident strategy to make the tournament work. As of last night, Hockey Canada had not officially given the green light to La Belle Organizers, but its a fait accompli. Winnipeg's acting performance Oscar-worthy.

Some might think Nicholson used our city by teasing it with a chance to see an event full of NHL stars playing for their countries. The reality is, this move only solidified the silent understanding between the two sides. Winnipeg is in the loop, on the ground floor to what future events Hockey Canada has coming.

And not only is Hockey Canada and its international events a perfect fit for a one-off town like this one, but Winnipeg is even a better partner for Hockey Canada. A state of the art, 15,000-seat arena ready to go on short notice. Check. A solid volunteer base with battle-tested organizers who know what a deadline means. Check. And best of all, a major Canadian hockey-mad city with no NHL team to compete against for attention. Go ahead and check that box, too.

This city has bent over backwards for Hockey Canada and they need us just as much as we enjoy them. Will it result in a future world junior tournament coming our way? Probably, but that's not repayment and there's no need to apologize if outsiders think it is. That's just smart business for both sides.

Officially, the Hockey Canada boss is here today to pump up the tires of the 2007 World Women's Hockey Championships. Though ticket package sales aren't dismal for the event, they certainly aren't at the levels everyone had hoped for and organizers could certainly use a little air in that department.

There are 62 days before the puck drops in Winnipeg and Selkirk.


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