It’s difficult to do the necessary preliminary work, such as securing a roster, to begin a new hockey season. It is even harder when you don’t have a coach.
Couple that with uncertainties about ownership and you have the current situation that the 2012/2013 Kent Cup champions now find themselves in.
The Summerside Western Capitals are just a week away from training camp. And, as that camp fast approaches, there’s a dark cloud hanging over the team, well, actually two.
First, is the lack of a head coach.
Bill McGuigan, with the team for two very successful seasons, has left the position vacant, having left for an assistant coach’s position with the Regina Pats of the Western Hockey League.
His departure leaves a huge void, which, for the time being, assistant coaches Thomas Waugh and Tim Schurman must fill in the interim.
A head coach is integral to any team. But holding up filling that position is the second dark cloud hanging over the Caps — its ownership.
It’s no secret that current owner George Roberts has been looking to unload the team. Earlier this year, as contract negotiations with the City of Summerside had the team close to leaving the city, it was confirmed Roberts hoped to sell the team before the start of the 2013/2014 season.
Rumours have been swirling about who that new owner would be. And, late last week, general manager Pat McIver finally confirmed that he is part of a group working on a deal to buy the team.
But a deal has yet to be reached.
“It’s still an ongoing process,” said McIver. “It’s taking a little longer than I had hoped, but we’re still plugging away at it.”
When it comes down to ownership, the issue holding up the sale of the team isn’t between Roberts and the group. It appears to be within the group itself, who, at this point, is short on investors.
Well, with training camp in a week and the preseason to beginning soon, time is ticking away.
So, we, the fans and the rest of the city, must wait.
After a turbulent spring, where the Caps’ ownership and management, in the media, played out a battle with the city over its contract, having a secure ownership team in place, one that can foot the bills necessary to ice the team and keep them on the ice for the season, is a must.
So, let’s hope that this new group gets its ducks in a row and the money in place to get this deal done and the season off on the right foot, not only for the players but the fans and the city as well.
There’s a hockey season that will start no matter what happens and a championship to win.