Will the Slave Lake Icedogs have – as rumoured – a rival team in High Prairie sometime soon? Here’s hoping, and the signs are certainly pointing that way. In fact, if GMHL West official Derek Prue is correct in his forecast, the pieces might all be in place by the time you read this.
Last week in a phone interview, Prue said the establishment of the High Prairie Red Wings was down to “the finishing touches.”
Coach? Stay tuned. Players? Stay tuned. Management? Ditto.
This was the team that was slated to play in Rosetown Saskatchewan.
Up until a couple of weeks ago, that was still the stated intention. Then news started to leak through about the Red Wings relocating to High Prairie.
A story to that effect appeared in last week’s South Peace News, the High Prairie paper, making it all but official. ‘Junior A hockey coming to High Prairie,’ said a sub-title. Prue was pictured at a meeting with High Prairie Mayor Brian Panasiuk, Gerald Cunningham of East Prairie and Icedogs’ owner Lauren Prue.
At about the same time (Oct. 28), a story appeared in an online publication called WestCentralOnline, entitled ‘Future in doubt for Rosetown Junior A team.’ It gave the impression nobody had been told what was going on back in Rosetown. The article cited Icedogs’ coach Brian Noad as saying things about the Red Wings relocating. The comments appeared to have been lifted from a Lakeside Leader article, but without attribution.
Prue told The Leader last week the intention all along was to locate the Red Wings in Rosetown, but the unavailability of ice until November was too much of a stumbling block. In the meantime, discussions were going on with people in High Prairie about staging a ‘showcase’ game, which led to a conversation about the possibility of having a team there.
“It met with a lot of interest,” he says. “The success of the Icedogs played a role, and High Prairie was able to accommodate dates.”
Prue figures it’ll take a week or two to get everything to the point where a team can be ready to play. The idea is to “build a foundation for next season.” The Red Wings would play “a compressed schedule,” this season, he said.