Moose in the hunt for Memo­rial Cup

Scream­ing Ea­gles still mulling over idea

Cape Breton Post - - SPORTS - BY GREG MACVICAR

SYD­NEY — An an­nounce­ment by Hal­i­fax Moose­heads owner and gov­er­nor Bobby Smith on Tues­day that his team will bid to host the 2012 Memo­rial Cup isn’t faz­ing Cape Bre­ton Scream­ing Ea­gles brass.

“I don’t think that changes any­thing,” said Scream­ing Ea­gles pres­i­dent Paul MacDon­ald, when in­formed of the an­nounce­ment early Tues­day evening. “I think we’re mov­ing for­ward and we’d like to ex­plore the pos­si­bil­ity of bid­ding our­selves.” MacDon­ald sug­gested to the

Cape Bre­ton Post as far back as Au­gust of 2008 that the Scream­ing Ea­gles might look at putting in a bid to host the 2012 Memo­rial Cup. And last fall, he said team brass would likely know by Novem­ber of 2009 whether or not they’d be sub­mit­ting a bid. But he still wouldn’t com­mit ei­ther way, Tues­day.

“ We’re in the process of talk­ing to the var­i­ous groups and peo­ple we need to talk to,” he said, re­fer­ring to Scream­ing Ea­gles of­fi­cials, po­ten­tial fund­ing part­ners and vol­un­teers.

“ It’s all-im­por­tant to make sure they be­lieve in the project. We’re go­ing to put all our ducks in a row first. We want to make sure it makes sense for us and makes sense for the area.”

Smith pulled no punches in a let­ter sent Tues­day to Moose­heads sea­son-ticket hold­ers an­nounc­ing his team’s in­ten­tions to make a bid.

“ We will be bid­ding ag­gres­sively to bring this event to Hal­i­fax” said Smith. “ With the team, the Metro Cen­tre, the City of Hal­i­fax, and our tremendous fan base, we feel we have a great chance at host­ing ju­nior hockey’s big­gest tour­na­ment in 2012.”

The Moose­heads hosted the event in 2000. Cape Bre­ton has never hosted a Memo­rial Cup.

MacDon­ald said Cape Bre­ton is also equal to the task.

“ You can’t worry about what other cities are go­ing to do,” he said. “If you look at the events that have been held here in Cape Bre­ton over the last 20 years, it’s stag­ger­ing. Per­son­ally, I think we’d do a tremendous job as a host. But that’s not my de­ci­sion alone.”

Shaw­ini­gan Cataractes of­fi­cials have con­firmed they’ll be putting in a bid for the 2012 tour­ney, and Saint John Sea Dogs brass are said to be in­ter­ested as well.

“Some­time in the spring,” said MacDon­ald, when asked how late the Scream­ing Ea­gles would leave mak­ing an an­nounce­ment ei­ther way, adding it could be ear­lier. “I don’t want to put a timeline on it. There’s no ur­gency right now.”

The Que­bec Ma­jor Ju­nior Hockey League hasn’t even de­cided on a dead­line for sub­mit­ting a bid and won’t for sev­eral months, ac­cord­ing to league com­mis­sioner Gilles Courteau.

“ We’ll talk about it in June and we’ll make dif­fer­ent pro­pos­als,” Courteau said Tues­day of nail­ing down a bid dead­line. “It’s go­ing to be on the ta­ble for vote in Au­gust and as soon as it’s done we’ll make the an­nounce­ment.”

He added that the 2012 Memo­rial Cup host team will be an­nounced in April of 2011.

The Memo­rial Cup in­volves the cham­pi­ons of the QMJHL, the West­ern Hockey League (WHL), and the On­tario Hockey League (OHL), along with a host club, com­pet­ing in a roundrobin se­ries, with the two top teams play­ing off in a sud­den­death game for the cham­pi­onship

The 2010 Mastercard Memo­rial Cup is be­ing held in Bran­don, Man., May 14-23.

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