Caps GM remains confident heading into camp
© Nancy MacPhee/Journal Pioneer
Summerside Western Capitals general manager Pat McIver hoisted the Kent Cup last season as the MHL champions. This year, the team will be taking a step back, but still expects to remain competitive.
SUMMERSIDE – With training camp right around the corner, a couple of dark clouds still hang over the Summerside Western Capitals.
For one the sale of the team from current owner George Roberts, to a group of investors has yet to be finalized.
Another issue, the team has yet to name a head coach.
However, there’s no need to worry just yet, said general manager Pat McIver.
“I’m not really hitting any sort of a panic button right now,” he told the Journal Pioneer on Friday.
McIver, who is also a prospective buyer involved in the investors group, said the sale isn’t going as smoothly as he initially envisioned.
“It’s still an ongoing process,” he said. “It’s taking a little longer than I had hoped, but we’re still plugging away at it.”
The issue is not between Roberts and the group, but within the group itself.
“We’re just short some investors right now,” he said. “Until money changes hands, nothing is set in stone. And that’s kind of what’s been happening. Some people have had some second thoughts and have opted to get out of the group.”
While he wouldn’t go into specifics on the members of the group, all are local and the number of investors varies from day-to-day.
As for the vacant coaching job, McIver said he trusts the two returning assistant coaches to guide the ship at this point.
The position opened up late last month when Billy McGuigan took an assistant coaching job with the Regina Pats of the Western Hockey League, after spending two seasons behind the Caps bench.
I’m not really hitting any sort of a panic button right now Pat McIver, Summerside Western Capitals GM
Staying behind are assistant coaches Thomas Waugh and Tim Schurman.
“(Hiring a new coach) is something I was wanting to wait until the ownership situation settled itself,” McIver said. “I still feel we’re in good hands with Timmy and Thomas.”
The Caps will open training camp with registration on Aug. 24 and off-ice fitness testing on the 25th, before hitting the ice at Slemon Park the following day.
The team won’t be able to use Credit Union Place for their camp, as the rink is undergoing maintenance.
“We understand what they’re doing to the CUP is needed,” McIver said. “It is an inconvenience for us, but we’re willing to do it in order for them to make things better.”
McIver expects the team to take a step back from last year’s RBC Cup-contending squad, but anticipates a strong team with more Island talent than last year.
After trading for forward Bruce Hornbrook and Freetown-native Isaac Jay, it won’t be a typical ‘start-from-the-bottom’ rebuild for the Caps.
“If you say taking a step backwards from last year’s team is a rebuild, then yeah it’s a rebuild,” McIver said. “But we fully expect to be competitive and put a good product on the ice.”