Big test awaits Wild in Que­bec

Maple Leaf Curl­ing club host­ing new­com­ers open house

Journal Pioneer - - SPORTS - Joe McIn­tyre Joe MacIn­tyre is a lo­cal life in­sur­ance bro­ker. His col­umn ap­pears ev­ery Satur­day. Com­ments and sug­ges­tions can be sent to joemac­in­[email protected]

Just how good is the Kens­ing­ton Mon­a­han Farms Wild ma­jor mid­get Hockey team?

They are the hottest team in At­lantic Canada, and when one con­sid­ers that en­ter­ing Fri­day’s game in Char­lot­te­town that their last loss was al­most two months ago on Oct. 4, they are as hot as any mid­get team in the coun­try. The Wild went into Fri­day’s ac­tion an im­pres­sive 16-0-1 (won-lost-tied) in their last 17 games.

The Wild is ex­pected to face its stiffest test of the sea­son next week as they take part in the 2018 CCM Mid­get AAA Chal­lenge tour­na­ment in Chicoutimi, Que., be­gin­ning on Wed­nes­day. Teams from our re­gion, Que­bec and the United States will give the Wild a supreme chal­lenge, and help make a very good team even bet­ter with the ex­pe­ri­ence of play­ing in an elite tour­na­ment.

The tour­na­ment will also serve as a build­ing block for what is the ul­ti­mate goal for this Wild team, which is to win the At­lantic cham­pi­onship next spring in Char­lot­te­town and rep­re­sent our re­gion at this year’s Telus Cup na­tional cham­pi­onship. Good luck to the Wild in Que­bec.

At­ten­dance com­par­isons

The Summerside D. Alex MacDon­ald Ford West­ern Cap­i­tals of the MHL (Mar­itime Ju­nior Hockey League) and the Wild, mem­bers of the New Brunswick/ P.E.I. Ma­jor Mid­get Hockey League, are the top draws for hockey fans in our area. There are nu­mer­ous times this win­ter that both play at home on the same night.

It was in­ter­est­ing to note that back on Nov. 10 both teams were sched­uled to play, but the Wild game was post­poned. The Caps drew 1,604 fans that night, just 20 short of their sea­son-high open­ing-day crowd of 1,624.

Last Satur­day, they both played – the Caps hosted Grand Falls while the Wild met Monc­ton in a first-place show­down. The Caps had less than half the fans they had on Nov. 10 – a sparse crowd of 788. As has been said here be­fore, play­ing on the same night hurts both teams, but I think it hurts the Caps more – or at least the num­bers seem to say so.

New­com­ers open house

The Maple Leaf Curl­ing Club in O’Leary will host a new­com­ers open house at the club on Mon­day, Dec. 17, from 7 to 9 p.m. The P.E.I. New­com­ers As­so­ci­a­tion, O’Leary’s Recre­ation Depart­ment, Go West and the Com­mu­nity Sports Cen­ter are tak­ing part.

There will be an in­tro­duc­tion to tra­di­tional curl­ing as well as stick curl­ing, and also let­ting all who at­tend know what recre­ational of­fer­ings there are in West Prince in the win­ter time. Paul Strang, Tammy Rix-Cham­ber and Judy McIsaac are among the hosts for what prom­ises to be a fun and in­for­ma­tive evening.

All equip­ment will be sup­plied, mak­ing it very easy for those wish­ing to take part.

NHL

It comes as a bit of a sur­prise over the last six weeks to see who are the hottest teams in the NHL. Since Oct. 28, the Tampa Bay Light­ning is the hottest NHL team, gar­ner­ing 30 points dur­ing that span. That is no sur­prise, but the Cal­gary Flames hav­ing 27 points since is. Toronto and Buf­falo, with 25 points each, are next, fol­lowed by the Detroit Red Wings, who have 24 points. Not many would think Buf­falo and, es­pe­cially, Detroit, but both teams have some very good young tal­ent that’s blos­som­ing. The Chicago Black­hawks have been the worst team in that six-week span

with only eight points.

Val­ues

Forbes Mag­a­zine re­leased the val­ues of NHL teams, rev­enues they take in and who are the topearn­ing play­ers. When the NHL an­nounced they were putting a team in Ve­gas, many thought it was a bad idea. We all know what they did on the ice go­ing right to the Stan­ley Cup Fi­nal in their first year, and the num­bers tell us they did well off the ice as well. The Golden Knights took in $180 mil­lion in rev­enue – 10th in the NHL. They took in $53 mil­lion in op­er­at­ing in­come – fifth in the league. It cost $500 mil­lion for the league en­try fee, and the team is now val­ued at $575 mil­lion, which is a 15 per cent in­crease in value in one year. They are now the 12th most valu­able team out of the 31.

Forbes also lists the top five play­ers in terms of earn­ings as be­ing Con­nor McDavid at $19.5 mil­lion, fol­lowed by John Tavares $17.3 mil­lion, Carey Price $15.6 mil­lion, Alex Ovechkin $14.5 mil­lion and Sid­ney Crosby has to try and get by on $13.8 mil­lion an­nu­ally.

Have a great week.

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