Friday, March 6, 2009

NAHL in Dawson Creek... Possibly

The talk theses days continues to surround the Encana Events Centre and when or if a hockey team will be brought in to fill the arena.

From what I'm hearing an ownership group is already in place and it appears as though the NAHL has or is close to accepting a Dawson Creek franchise. Take this from the blog of Scott Montesano, the Director of Communications for the North Iowa Outlaws (NAHL):

Considering the NAHL has been as stable as far as membership goes as the foundation of a sandcastle the past number of seasons, to expect the current make-up of the league’s 19 teams to remain the same is foolhardy. Its like wearing shorts on a sunny February day believing the 40-degree temps will be more than enough to compensate for the increase in unprotected skin.

I can’t comment on which teams will return, which teams will move and which teams will simply take their ball and go home. However, what I can do is discuss some of those lucrative markets that are out there yearning for a team and whether its the NAHL or another league that decides to step into the batters box remains to be seen. The NAHL has had more teams and franchises the past few seasons than that California woman has babies, so there will be addition next season.

The NAHL is likely to have teams in Janesville, WI and Dawson Creek, BC…the latter almost entirely surrounded by snow and polar bears and accessible by pretty much just dog sled. The Janesville group will make a final decision in a few weeks, while Dawson Creek is pretty much a go after convincing league owners that the fact the community is a day and a half drive from Seattle and Anchorage is just a small hurdle to over come. Considering that the British Columbia League voted against Dawson Creek because of travel logistics, its a little surprising the NAHL is taking them in but its sure to make the likes of Joey and Pacey happy.

I will be speaking with NAHL commissioner Mark Frankenfeld in the coming days about this and you can have a listen in on our conversation Monday night on Sportsline.

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