Thursday, September 22, 2011

WHL Looking Forward To Mosaic Place Opener

WHL Commissioner Rob Robison was in town Wednesday for the Moose Jaw Warriors annual season ticket holder BBQ.

The league used the event to officially launch the 2011-2012 regular season, but Robison was also in town to take part in the opening night festivities at Mosaic Place.

He spoke to fans says this is the start of a new chapter for the city. "It's just going to showcase the city in such a way, it's going to elevate everything. Not only from the Warriors hockey club improving them on a solid footing on long term, but it's going to attract a number of events."

Robison announced that tickets are now on sale for the Western Canada Under 16 Challenge Cup, which runs in Moose Jaw October 27-30. Just over two weeks later, the Friendly City will welcome the best of the WHL when they take on Russia in the final game of the Subway Super Series.

Looking further into the future, Robison says that it's not far fetched for Moose Jaw to be considered a possible site for the Mastercard Memorial Cup.

"There are some challenges here and challenges with that. Having said that, anything is possible. Never under estimate people from Moose Jaw obviously when you look what's been created here," said Robison.

"The people of Saskatchewan have ability to host Grey Cups, and have other major events that have been held in venues that they never could have dreamed have been there. I'm never going to rule that out but there are some challenges associated with that."

Robison spoke to the crowd in the shadow of Mosaic Place, and told them that he's proud of what they've accomplished.

"I don't know if I've ever sensed a community that's prouder than this community on what they've accomplished. I often comment that I don't believe that there's any centre in the world, a community of 35,000 people I use the Saskatchewan example of Moose Jaw all the time. It just shows the passion that people have for their community."

The Commissioner also commented on the WHL's new initiatives and rule changes to reduce head shots and concussions.

"We believe the WHL's Seven Point Plan will serve to reduce concussions and provide an overall safer environment. With these changes, the top junior hockey players in the world will have even more opportunity to showcase their skills during what promises to be another very competitive WHL regular season."

It was also announced yesterday that the league has dedicated this season to the memories of Brad McCrimmon, Rick Rypien, Wade Belak, and Derek Boogaard. The four former WHL players past away over the summer.

Robison will join several local dignitaries on ice level tonight in the Warriors regular season opener against the Brandon Wheat Kings.

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