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Plenty of talk about IceCaps and Jets adding one more year to their franchise agreement

Could the partnership between the Winnipeg Jets and St. John’s IceCaps go a little longer than expected?

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If you’re an IceCaps’ follower, you’ve known the story for months: The Jets, who own the American Hockey League franchise in St. John’s, have announced they plan to move their minor-league operations further west, closer to Winnipeg at the conclusion of the 2014-15 AHL season.

The Jets initially indicated the AHL team will wind up in Thunder Bay, Ont., but that’s contingent on construction of a new arena, and that project seems to be a long ways off from completion, if ever.

That would mean the Jets would have to find another — at least temporary — location for relocation.

Winnipeg itself has been suggested and there certainly have been moire than a few instances of an NHL team and its AHL affiliate in the same city, the Toronto Maple Leafs and Toronto Marlies being a current example.

However, the whisper in the wind is that the Jets may seek to buy some time by staying put in St. John’s for another season with an extension of their current agreement with the Danny Williams-headed IceCaps, a deal that expires at the end of the upcoming season.

That would also give Williams, Glenn Stanford and the IceCaps extra time to find another franchise and affiliation to replace the Jets, whenever they leave.

For now, this all falls in the rumour category, although a query about the situation to the IceCaps elicited a response that, while far from an affirmation, wasn’t a denial either.

“The IceCaps are working diligently with an aim to keeping an American Hockey League team in St. John’s,” said Dave Salter, the IceCaps’ director of communications.

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Recent comments

  • ICEMAN
    August 31, 2014 - 04:39

    Not sure why True North would want to move their AHL team, given that the IceCaps play in a sold out building. I doubt very much that Thunder Bay, Ontario would draw more than 2,500 to 3,000 a game. I'd prefer the team to stay put but if they were to move, it would make more sense for the Jets to have their farm team just a few hours away, in Grand Forks, North Dakota, which has a great facility ready to go....

  • guy incognito
    August 28, 2014 - 13:20

    Delaying the inevitable.....after the Ice Caps are done, King Danny will bring in another team for a few years....shampoo, rinse, and repeat ad nauseam...... Trying to keep tickets sales up....

  • M
    August 28, 2014 - 12:39

    The announcement will give the Icecaps some ammo as they attempt to negotiate a better deal with Mile One for the next two seasons. They will seek concessions in rent and revenue sharing as a condition of the team staying.

  • Steve
    August 28, 2014 - 09:09

    I've supported the caps from day 1 up until the end of last season. I've opted out on my season tickets for this year because of the teams imminent move. I've enjoyed all the ups and downs associated with the team but i'm not committing my time, and money to a team that's not committed to staying here. I think this rumor of them staying longer is a ploy to boost ticket sales and or fan morale. The jets have no intention for the caps to stay in the province.

  • Bryan Dunne
    August 28, 2014 - 07:48

    CBC story Jan.21, Mark Chipman quoted as saying "...the earliest that the Jets farm team would move to Ontario would be during the 2016-2017 season." That in itself doesn't guarantee that The Ice Caps will be affiliated with Winnipeg for another 2 seasons, but makes it seem likely, despite no 5th. year being added to the current contract between St John's & Winnipeg (yet). It's all left a bad taste with me, regardless, and I had 4 season seats, all of which I let lapse this year. My advice to St John's: get another deal lined up with a different club and kiss Winnipeg goodbye.

  • SaucyFace
    August 27, 2014 - 20:28

    They have no place to go after next year and because of that they may grace the suckers here with another year of hockey? Uh, huh ...

  • Saywhat
    August 27, 2014 - 19:53

    Of course they are not going to say anything. They don't want a repeat of ten years ago when the St.John's Maple Leafs were a lame duck franchise and fans turned their backs on them as attendance for games dropped off. So to keep the suckers in the seats, Winnipeg won't make the same mistake Toronto made and that is to announce the new location of the farm team one year in advance. The trial and tribulations of "The Last Hurrah."