IceCaps’ extension contention

Robin Short
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Why only one year?

Great to see the Winnipeg Jets and St. John’s IceCaps extend their current three-year deal to a fourth season, but inquiring minds want to know: why only one year?

When the new NHL team in Winnipeg officially announced last summer the American Hockey League’s Manitoba Moose was relocating to St. John’s to become the IceCaps, the initial term was for three years, up to and including the 2013-14 hockey season.

With the extension, the IceCaps are good until at least 2014-15.

The one-year add-on to the current contract shouldn’t come as a surprise, especially since Jets’ boss Mark Chipman said back in late January at the AHL’s All-Star Classic in Atlantic City, N.J. that he didn’t see any reason why Winnipeg wouldn’t go beyond the three years.

“I don’t know why we wouldn’t extend,” Chipman told me then. “I really don't.”

Chipman also said, however, the Moose, which operated in the American league for years until the Jets arrived, “lived on five-year agreements,” much the same as the contracts Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment had in place when St. John’s housed the Toronto Maple Leafs’ farm club.

So getting back to the extension. It’s my understanding three plus one equals ... four.

Why not re-up an additional three seasons, making it five years St. John’s will remain the farm club of the Winnipeg Jets?

You know, just wondering.

Nobody asked me, but ...

If Garth Murray opts to take a year off next season, as he has alluded to with The Telegram’s Brendan McCarthy, the biggest factor the IceCaps will miss without Murray in the lineup — moreso than his overall toughness — is a veteran presence in the locker room which demands accountability. … So, just how old is the Royal St. John’s Regatta: 193 years, which the Royal St. John’s Regatta Committee maintains, or 160 years which the astute Regatta historian Jack Fitzgerald argues? … And keeping with the Regatta, here’s hoping Roebothan, McKay, Marshall emerges as the women’s champions Wednesday, especially following a pair of tough losses during last year’s Regatta Day. You couldn’t have blamed the girls if they’d said to hell with it, and walked away from the pond …

Hear the latest one floating around the Twitter universe about Joe Paterno? Penn State officials should have left the statue in place, only turned it the other way. Now, we shouldn’t be laughing at what transpired at the fabled United States university. What the subhuman Jerry Sandusky did to those children on Penn State’s campus is, well, can the word abhorrent even do it justice? So I get where the NCAA is coming from. But I’m not certain if going after Nittany Lions’ football — reduction in scholarships, a four-year bowl ban, as well as a $60-million fine, which effectively grounds the program — is the right avenue to take. This is, after all, not a football tragedy, but an entire Penn State plight. Why wasn’t the women’s volleyball program punished? Or the baseball team? Or the chess club? The drama club? The marching band? We all know, I suppose, the football program — as with most major U.S. universities — funds the entire athletic program, and, in some circumstances, other faculties on campus. In many universities, the football program is bigger than, well, the university. So in stabbing Penn State football through the heart, it’s punishing the entire university. The NCAA, for one, must ensure this does not happen again, and if another Sandusky should emerge elsewhere, those who know of his depravity will not turn the other cheek. But punishing the football program does not quite seem fair to the current players and staff and fans of the Nittany Lions, not to mention the hundreds of innocents who make their living in some way, shape or form off Saturday afternoon Penn State football …

I’m a baseball guy, perhaps moreso a fan of the game than hockey or football. But it kills me every time I see the big leaguers come up lame with the most mundane of injuries, or in most cases, boo-boos. The latest example these eyes witnessed came at a Tampa Bay Rays-New York Yankees game when the Rays’ Hideki Matsui — before he was cut from the roster, which occurred this week — took himself from the lineup when his hamstring tightened during an at-bat. And last year, at the same Tropicana Field, Kevin Youkilis, then of the Red Sox, came up lame on a swing and was pulled. And then you consider hockey players, who take pucks to the chops, miss a few shifts, get sewn up, and are back on the ice. … The city of St. John’s is planning an outdoor skating rink as part of big plans for Bannerman Park, and I wonder how city workers, given our unpredictable climate, will keep the ice? … With the Olympic opening ceremonies last night, it reminds me of the opening for the 2010 Vancouver Olympics when Wayne Gretzky left B.C. Place and rode off in the back of a pickup with the torch. How Canadian is that? …

Robin Short is The Telegram’s Sports Editor.

He can be reached by email at

Organizations: IceCaps, Winnipeg Jets, American Hockey League NHL Maple Leafs Sports Toronto Maple Leafs NCAA The Telegram Regatta Committee United States university Tampa Bay Rays-New York Yankees Red Sox

Geographic location: Winnipeg, Penn, Atlantic City U.S. Bannerman Park

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Recent comments

  • David
    July 29, 2012 - 14:31

    AHL 101: Introduction to Small Market Pro Sports Larceny. Find a desparate town with an empty (preferably new) rink...if possible, line up some local 'Bon Vivant' as the official face of your scam....enter into egregiously, even pathetically favourable lease arrangement....pander to local sports wags' dreams of career advancement for breathlessly favourable coverage, sit back and watch clueless, mesmorized rubes buy jerseys, season's tickets, beer........pack up van, rinse and repeat. BTW, this stop was one for the record books.

  • Richard
    July 28, 2012 - 11:03

    Probably just a one year extension because Thunder Bay's new arena has been delayed. Couldn't use federal infrsatructure money, so they had to go back to the drawing books.

  • Christopher Chafe
    July 28, 2012 - 08:32

    I am hoping the 1 year extension was given to allow Danny the extra year to see if he can come up with a plan and design for his own multi million dollar state of the art Arena out in "Danny-Land".

    • Saucy Face
      July 29, 2012 - 07:46

      Well Chris, you obviously must sleep in one of our bedroom communities. BUT you seem to forget that when it came to building Mile One, the city of St. John's asked all its surrounding bedroom communities to help pay for it and make it a regional arena and even suggested building it on Kenmount Road. But all our bedroom communities laughed and scoffed at the idea, so it was built downtown so the business community and the city of St. John's can reap the financial rewards for the cost of building it. Now the parking issue will soon be solved and more money will be made from it. Being that I am a taxpayer of St. John's, I love the location of Mile One and every time I hear someone like you complain I smirk in satisfaction . All of you outside the city were offered an opportunity to have a say on its location, but you refused to contribute so suck it up buttercup!

    • Reverse Skating
      July 30, 2012 - 16:01

      Saucy Face, you know full well that Sin Jawns had no intention of building 'Mile Goose Egg' anywhere else but in it's current location. Southside hills and Kenmount road were floated as possibilities, but the decision was made early on. I remember it was Andy Wells who was vehemently against 'Mile Goose Egg', but Andy eventually reversed skating on that one and endorsed it, could have been a wink wink nudge nudge there involving Andy and you know who (oops don't sue me). It's like everything with Sin Jawns, they want the folks in outlying areas to chip in, but don't expect to be co-benefactors.