The Town of Deer Lake, through a bid proposal submitted by Pinksen as the town’s recreation director, was successful in its attempt to have the Hodder Memorial Recreation Complex as the new home for the Western Kings of the provincial major midget hockey league.
The team will operate out of Deer Lake for the next three seasons with all home games played at the Hodder with the exception of a few games that may be affected by the town playing host to the 2018 Newfoundland and Labrador Winter Games.
The Town of Deer Lake beat out three proposals from groups who wanted to keep the team in Corner Brook. The unsuccessful bidders included a group headed up Kevin McCarthy, who served as the general manager and governor of the Kings before his three-year term expired at the end of this season.
The Kings have operated out of Corner Brook, under several different governors, since the major midget hockey program was born in 1987.
Pinksen said he doesn’t have any idea what the other groups had in their proposal so he couldn’t hazard a guess as to why Deer Lake was able to win the bidding war. He figures that’s a question for league officials to answer if they wish.
His focus is on making sure the team has a great place to call home for the next three years.
Pinksen said his interest in having the Kings play out of the airport town was peaked four years ago when the franchise was up for grabs. He had several parents express interest in having the team play out of Deer Lake at the time, but most of those parents ended up moving on with their son graduating from the ranks so it never materialized.
It didn’t happen back then but Pinksen got a better understanding of what it would take to run the team and he figured it would be a great fit for his town, a community known for its passion and support for hockey, and the timing was right with senior hockey leaving town a couple of years ago.
“This is such a long standing, viable product and it’s a good product so I thought the Town of Deer Lake would benefit from having it in our community,” Pinksen said.