With Brian Rogers officially starting work this week, it’s obvious the St. John’s IceCaps will be broadcasting games this season and it appears the veteran play-by-play man will be busy during the upcoming American Hockey League campaign.
“We’ll be broadcasting all of our games — home and away — on radio,” says Glenn Stanford, the AHL team’s vice-president of operations.
Stanford wouldn’t identify the station in question, only saying negotiations on a radio deal are ongoing with a local company. However, sources tell The Telegram it will be Radio Newfoundland AM, one of the four stations operated by Steele Communications and one which carried the games of the AHL’s St. John’s Maple Leafs before the franchise moved to Toronto in 2005. Rogers was the Leafs’ broadcaster for a decade.
Also expect to see a goodly number of the IceCaps’ 38 home games at Mile One Centre to be televised locally, with the exact total still to be determined.
“We’re going to look at our schedule, which we’re finalizing right now,” said Stanford. “Ideally, we’d like to brand it, to market it on a particular night if those nights add up to a fair number. If it’s Friday, it could be 15 games and we could have, for example, (that night) as the ‘St. John’s IceCaps on The AHL Tonight.’”
Rogers Television, which had a long association as the AHL Leafs’ local cable broadcaster, will be televising the IceCaps’ contest. Work is expected to begin soon on a control/operations room for Rogers Television inside Mile One to replace the cable company’s mobile operations van, which is no longer available.
It is also possible the IceCaps will get some national television exposure. Last season, CBC carried 10 AHL games involving Canadian-based teams and may do so again this season.
“The league is still negotiating with CBC, but we’ve already indicated we would want one of those games (broadcast from St. John’s) if that package is completed,” said Stanford.
All the IceCaps’ games will also be available online, either in audio-only through the local broadcasters’ website or via streaming video on AHL Live, an online subscription/pay service ... Stanford, who admits there have been plenty of inquiries about a team mascot, says a decision has been made and an outfit ordered, but wouldn’t reveal the choice. However, those of you hoping for a return of Buddy The Puffin, the longtime AHL Leafs’ mascot, may not be disappointed. “It is fair to say we like to hire former employess,” said Stanford with a laugh ... Speaking of former employees, the familiar face of Shannon ‘Shaq’ Coady can be found around Mile One these days. Coady, a member of the AHL Maple Leafs’ training staff for the entirety of the team’s stay in St. John’s, will be working with IceCaps’ equipment manager Ian Cox. Coady had been the equipment manager for both the AHL Leafs and QMJHL’s Fog Devils ... You can add the names of ECHL defenceman Tyler Bushee, CIS goalie Steve Christie and Central league forward Eric Lizon as players who have been invited to the IceCaps’ training camp on tryouts. St. John’s fans might remember Lizon from the 2005-06 season, when he was a tough guy for the QMJHL’s Victoriaville Tigres.