Talking Points: Winterhawks future

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What's the buzz from the world of sports? Here are some items that will have people talking:

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When the Western Hockey League dropped the hammer on the Portland Winterhawks for what commissioner Ron Robison determined were serious rules infractions, it seemed to be sending a clear message that those infractions (which the league has never explained) damaged the integrity of the league.

In the process, though, the commissioner might have severely damaged the league's chances of keeping a franchise in Portland.

The Portland City Council this week delayed until sometime in 2013 a vote on a major renovation of the Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

The proposed $31 million project has been in the planning stages for several years. Portland mayor Sam Adams, who leaves office at the end of the year, has been a strong proponent of improving the Rose Quarter and has supported the plan for the coliseum.

Winterhawks owner Bill Gallacher has pledged $10 million toward the project. If he sticks to that, then the renovation is probably still worthwhile.

The WHL is great entertainment. But you can't blame Portland for hitting the brakes and questioning if the junior hockey league is a partner worthy of this kind of major investment.

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