No plans for IceCaps to play games in Winnipeg if NHL lockout occurs: Stanford

Brendan McCarthy
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Glenn Stanford

The man who heads up the operations of the St. John’s IceCaps says there are no plans for the American Hockey League team to play games in Winnipeg in the event of a National Hockey League lockout.

“First I heard of it,” said Glenn Stanford, when asked about a short, speculative piece carried in the online edition of the Winnipeg Sun and topped by the headline ‘IceCaps coming home in case of lockout? We’ll see.’

True North Sports and Entertainment owns both the NHL’s Winnipeg Jets and the AHL franchise in St. John’s, although the operations of the farm club are leased to Danny Williams, who heads up the IceCaps. True North and the IceCaps recently announced the extension of that affiliation agreement through the 2014-15 season.

“We have an agreement and that agreement is for us to play all of our games out of Mile One (Centre) and nowhere else,” said Stanford, the IceCaps’ chief operating officer.

The IceCaps sold out all of their regular-season and playoff games at Mile One in 2011-12, their inaugural campaign after a franchise shift from Winnipeg, where the team had been known as the Manitoba Moose. The IceCaps expect to sell out all of their games this season as well, with the vast majority of the tickets pre-sold in season ticket packages.

The American Hockey League has yet to release its 2012-13 regular-season schedule, although that should happen in a week or so, meaning  all that’s left is last-minute tweaking. Tweaking wouldn’t describe what would have to be done to accommodate IceCaps games in Winnipeg, even if there were plans to do so,

The piece in the Sun also spoke about the possibility of IceCaps exhibition games being played in Winnipeg in the event of a lockout. However, Stanford says the Jets and IceCaps “have never discussed that” either. For a second year in a row, the IceCaps will play their exhibition games in this province. The dates, locations and opponents for that pre-season schedule also should be announced shortly.

NHL president Gary Bettman has said the league will lock out its players should the two sides not reach a deal on a new collective bargaining agreement by Sept. 15, the date the current CBA expires.

“We as an organization are going to function (as) if there were not going to be an NHL lockout. We’re going to be business as usual until we’re sure it’s not going to be business as usual,” Jets’ spokesman Scott Brown told the Sun.

bmcc@thetelegram.com

Twitter@telybrendan

Organizations: IceCaps, National Hockey League, American Hockey League Winnipeg Jets Winnipeg Sun Manitoba Moose CBA

Geographic location: Winnipeg

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Recent comments

  • what a fool
    August 13, 2012 - 20:54

    all this gold , or should i say fools gold has no idea what will happen when the canadian dollar starts sliding and it will be sooner then you think. jim is right, winnipeg/manitoba can't afford to pay for millionare hockey players. first of all: the mts centre is too small, that will keep ticket, booze, and other merchantise prices very high, plus the high price for parking. it already showing in signing some of these players. taxes/userfees are killing us thanks to the NDP. fans only have so much money to spend. fans have put themselves in debt to purchase tickets. only way the jets can't compete with the higher canadian and united states teams is to increase ticket prices and it will happen. as for the honeymoon being over, its beginning to show on the streets and in the stores.

  • Mike
    August 13, 2012 - 19:48

    The last time there was a lockout, St. John's was well aware of the increased level of hockey in the AHL. We still had the Leafs.

  • Anon
    August 13, 2012 - 16:01

    Wahhhhhh the big sooky NHL players can only make a few million dollars this year. I guess they'll have to buy their own private peninsula's instead of their own private island and a solid silver toilet instead of a solid gold one. No sympathy from me.

  • jim
    August 13, 2012 - 13:17

    as a newfoundlander and now living in winnipeg i have to say that winnipeg and the province of manitoba, can't afford the jets. the prices @ the mts centre and local bars in and around the mts centre are very high. its only a matter of time before the canadian dollar goes down and just watch and see whats happens to ticket prices and so on . prices will skyrocket to pay for these millionare hockey players. people only have so much money to go around with our high taxes thanks to the NDP who have us a billion in debt and growing. the honeymoon for the jets will soon be over.

    • allthisgold
      August 13, 2012 - 14:23

      The honeymoon for the Jets in Winnipeg is not even close to being over. People are still falling all over themselves to get tickets. There is a lot more money in Winnipeg than JIM thinks. Anyway, glad to hear that all of the IceCaps games are going to sell out again. Great hockey market. The people of St. John's will be in for a treat if there is an NHL lockout. The last time there was a lockout Winnipeg still had the Moose and the level of hockey that year was higher than normal because players that would have just made the NHL remained in the AHL for an extra year. Peace.

    • Trouty
      August 14, 2012 - 02:03

      People in St.John's are well aware of the level of ahl hockey juring last lock out,allthisgold,cause if you recall we still had the St.John's Maple Leafs juring that time,and the Moose eliminated the Leas that was the lockout year