Yep, it’s true.
“The boys are back in town” boomed through the speakers as AHL T-shirts were tossed into the crowd and celebrities played ball hockey at Mile One stadium Friday morning. Danny Williams, President and CEO of the new team and Mark Chipman of True North Sports and Entertainment went all out holding an event to confirm the American Hockey League will be returning to St. John’s in the fall. Also on hand were Glenn Stanford, Chief Operating Officer; Craig Heisinger of true North; Dave Andrews, AHL President; and St. John’s mayor Dennis O’Keefe.
Support for a Newfoundland AHL team is coming from interesting places. Port aux Basques Mayor Brian Button said on VOCM Open Line that the franchise would be good for tourism and an employment generator, not just for the capital city, but for the entire province. Meanwhile, former Premier Danny Williams continues to scramble to strike the deal. Williams and former St. John’s Maple Leafs director of operations Glenn Stanford have been negotiating with True North for weeks, hoping to relocate the Manitoba Moose to St. John’s where that team would become the farm club to the new NHL team. Williams believes in the economic spinoff for St. John’s and, by extension, the province. With near half of the province’s population within reasonable driving distance to Mile One for a game, where is the Province’s helping hand this time?
Herder games may not include a pathetic Black Eyed Peas concert, but the hype isn’t any less around these parts.