UPDATE: IceCaps ink one-year extension

Robin Short rshort@thetelegram.com
Published on September 3, 2014
IceCaps

St. John’s IceCaps president and CEO Danny Williams confirmed at a news conference Wednesday afternoon the team has inked a one-year extension to its current contract with the Winnipeg Jets.

The news was first broken on www.thetelegram.com

This means the Jets will house their American Hockey League players in St. John’s for the 2014-15 season, and 2015-16.

“This is a proud day for the St. John’s IceCaps, and I believe it epitomizes the never-say-die attitude our organization has exuded since Day 1,” Williams said.

“I’d like to thank the Winnipeg Jets organization for extending our relationship which has proven to be one of the most successful in the league, and sees us on the road to breaking the AHL record for consecutive sold out games this season.”

The IceCaps have currently have sold out 114 regular season games. The current record is 144 straight sellouts, by the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. If the IceCaps continue to fill Mile One Centre, the record would be broken on March 13 against the Manchester Monarchs.

The Jets announced in early January this season would be the final one for their farm club in St. John’s. Winnipeg and the City of Thunder Bay announced a consortium that includes True North Sports and Entertainment, owner of the Jets; former NHL coach Gary Green, a director of Stadium Consultants International and BBB Architects; and Lakehead University had been chosen as the event partner for construction of a $106 million facility that would include a 5,700-seat arena.

As part of the deal, Winnipeg would move its AHL team to Thunder Bay.

However, ground has not yet been broken on the Thunder Bay rink, and some reports have indicated funding for the project is not even finalized.

“In three short years,” AHL president Dave Andrews said in a statement, “the St. John’s IceCaps have become one of the highest-performing franchises in the American Hockey League, both on and off the ice.

“This extension between the IceCaps and the Jets is great news for the AHL and our great fans in Newfoundland and Labrador.”

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Earlier:

The St. John’s IceCaps have an imminent news conference at 2:30 p.m. at which time the team and the parent Winnipeg Jets have an announcement planned.

If I’m a betting man, expect the Jets to announce they will remain in St. John’s for at least one more American Hockey League season beyond 2014-15.

The Jets announced in early January this season would be the final one for their farm club in St. John’s. Winnipeg and the City of Thunder Bay announced a consortium that includes True North Sports and Entertainment, owner of the Jets; former NHL coach Gary Green, a director of Stadium Consultants International and BBB Architects; and Lakehead University had been chosen as the event partner for construction of a $106 million facility that would include a 5,700-seat arena.

As part of the deal, Winnipeg would move its AHL team to Thunder Bay.

However, ground has not yet been broken on the Thunder Bay rink, and some reports have indicated funding for the project is not even finalized.

As a result, look for the Jets to remain in St. John’s this 2014-15 season, and 2015-16.