A better idea?

A certain amount of skepticism is expected when somebody from out of town comes along with what they say is a better idea. In this case it’s the people from elsewhere who want to plant a Junior A hockey team in Slave Lake.

Anyone familiar with the failure of the Wolves and Winterhawks is bound to wonder about it.

Local experience has been that such operations lean heavily on community volunteers and donations. It worked well enough for a time. But the energy ran out. The community is changing. The economy is down. It would be nice, the thinking goes, but it’ll end up being just another burden.

At least one town councillor was thinking along those lines and voted against a lease agreement with the Jr. A team proponents.

But the optimists won out in this case. As mayor Warman put it, the risk is mostly with the proponents, not with the town. And that’s the way it should be. If it doesn’t work and, folds up its tents after a year, say, what’s the loss? Not that much.

Western Provinces Hockey Association reps say their model is working. So let’s see what happens here in Slave Lake. Even if the project can fly without local investors (as is claimed), it still will only work, ultimately, if it is embraced by local hockey fans. If people come out and fill seats and buy beer and companies purchase ads, things will be okay. Of course it will help very much if the team is competitive. It would also be very nice if a few local kids play for it and help make it a winner.

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