Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Former players look to buy Blazers

Move over Harley Hotchkiss, Doc Seaman and Murray Edwards, here comes Jarome Iginla.

The Flames captain wants to become a co-owner, but it's his old junior club, the Kamloops Blazers, he's eyeballing. Iginla and fellow NHLers/Blazers alums Darryl Sydor, Mark Recchi and Shane Doan are part of the River City Hockey Inc. group that is looking to purchase the Western Hockey League club from a not-for-profit organization known as Kamloops Blazers Sports Society.
This would be a great move for Kamloops and its team, which has struggled in recent years with front-office scandal and poor performance on the ice. The community-owned, not-for-profit arrangement worked well for a long, long time, but junior hockey's turning more and more into big business, and it'd be nice to see more money invested in putting a winning team on the ice.

I'm always shocked when I go back home and see empty seats at the Riverside Coliseum; that just wasn't possible five or six years ago, even with a building that seats close to 6,000 in a city as small as the 'loops. Here's a place in the Canadian hinterland that soldout world junior games between Latvia and Slovakia.

Recchi's from Kamloops, but it's good to see Sydor, Doan and Iginla keeping their ties with the community. I know the locals will always refer to them as "their boys."

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At 6:18 p.m., July 24, 2007, Blogger Jes Gőlbez said...

How can the Blazers not sell out every night? What else is there to do up there, other than get drunk on cheap beer?

At 7:31 p.m., July 24, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great to see those guys still remember Kamloops. It's sad to hear the RC isn't selling out anymore.

At 10:19 a.m., July 25, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Since when is 90,000 people considered a small city?

At 11:22 a.m., July 25, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Was Colin Day ever charged in the embezzlement scandal? The timing of his resignation, and the fact that he simply dropped out of sight, stunk to high heaven, as did the fact that he and the convicted business manager shared signing authority for five years.

Sadly, stories like this aren't unique to not-for-profit organizations. It happens with alarming frequency, in fact. Due to the fact that they are largely staffed by volunteers, but may still have large cash flows, there is ample opportunity in not-for-profits for dishonest people to dip into the cookie jar for years without anyone knowing. The Ottawa District Minor Hockey Association is still dealing with the fallout from a similar scandal where the treasurer helped himself to hundreds of thousands of dollars. The fallout is awful, because for years afterward people are spooked -- outsiders don't trust the organization any longer, and those in the organization eye each other warily, wondering who knew what.

Perhaps the only thing that can really make the Blazers the Blazers again would be this -- a group of former players putting their names to the ownership group. I hope this works out well!


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