By Fred Wallace
Hi, this is Fred Wallace with " Off the Wire ".
To use the cliche nautical term, the Wiarton Schooners sunk last weekend.
It's somewhat unclear whether the Schooners requested a leave of absence or were told to take a year of absence, but the bottom line is for a second straight year a Greater Metro Junior Hockey League franchise in Wiarton has ceased operations.
A year ago, the Wiarton Rock hit rock bottom.
Amazingly, the Schooners didn't get as far as the Rock.
To almost everyone, this isn't a huge surprise, many felt Wiarton was doomed before they started.
In my view they didn't get much help when 13 of their first 16 contests in their expansion season where on the road against established franchises.
There were other issues of course, not the least of which was the player quality.
Having said that, I watched Wiarton last Thursday at Meaford and there were 2 players and the netminder who were of GMHL calibre.
Plus, while it means nothing, I liked the logo and jersey.
But in the end, the Schooners have run aground and from my viewpoint, I don't expect them to set sail in the future.
I'm Fred Wallace