Thursday, 6 February 2014

Large Crowd Attends Canes Shareholders Meeting

Lots of questions at Thursday night's Mid-Season Hurricanes Shareholders Information Meeting.

A crowd, much bigger than the one at last fall's Annual General Meeting gathered upstairs in the lounge at the ENMAX Centre to hear President Brian McNaughton, Business Manager Terry Huisman, GM Brad Robson, and Head Coach Drake Berehowsky speak about this current WHL season.

As expected shareholders wanted answers to a number of things ranging from the current state of finances to the coaching staff. Brian McNaughton stated, "This is not a re-build, but a re-set of our organization. This has been tough on the board, but for the most part our board has stuck together and we're confident we have the right people in place." He said restructuring of the Hurricanes lease with the ENMAX Centre will likely be done in 3-4 weeks. Regarding finances, McNaughton said the team secured a line of credit with Servus Credit Union. "We are not over budget. We are just short cash." He said the team's current total operating debt is at $100,000, but feels they can't get close to break even by the end of the season. "I feel extremely confident we're going in the right direction. I feel as good about the team now as I have in the last 5 years." You can listen to the full media scrum with Brian McNaughton below.

Business Manager Terry Huisman said attendance at Hurricanes games this year is down 12%, but the club has made up revenue in other areas like in merchandise sales and cutting down on expenses. He says the Hurricanes are trending an average of 660 fans less per game from last season. "That impacts our bottom line significantly. We have run into cash flow issues. Working with banks to secure that. Our debt has not increased."

General Manager Brad Robson had plenty say as well. He talked about the direction the club is heading in and about some of the things which have gone on this season. "This has been frustrating. It hasn't been easy. There's been a lot of sleepless nights. We're doing our best." Robson was also asked about why Assistant Coach Brad Lukowich hasn't been around. He said Lukowich is not sick and is fine. But that it was a "personnel matter" and would not be discussing it in the public. You can here more of the media's interview with Robson below.

Head Coach Drake Berehowsky spoke passionately about the kind of year it's been. "We've begun changing the character. I know it's been frustrating. It's a process that takes time."

Some shareholders brought up the fact that perhaps it was time to consider selling the club. McNaughton stated: "There's never been a (purchase) offer presented to the board of the Lethbridge Hurricanes." He also mentioned that Kris Versteeg never approached the Board of Directors. McNaughton also said the WHL picks its owners and locations for it teams.



  1. The ER room must have been full to overflowing with a number of dislocations. By the time the board was finished patting themselves on the back for losing in excess of a million dollars in the last while, they were probably already planning their annual golf trip down to Whitefish where there is another 12-15K of our profits being spent. If we had the money in the bank from contracts we have paid out when firing somebody, and the huge sums of money we have paid out in employee "settlements" there would be no discussions on how we are broke and how we have to cut corners to break even. The Hurricanes are "broken" and nobody on the board seems to want to fix them. It would almost be better to sell the team and even have them move and then get an expansion franchise and start over. The league would not let the Enmax center sit empty for long.

    Two for Highsticking

    1. Now why would you think that the WHL is even looking towards expansion. Attendance is down anywhere from 10 to 20% across the league. Secondly why would the league look at putting another franchise in this city. Loosing the Canes would be the second franchise that is lost here. Remember the Broncos. If this team moves we are not getting another one!

      A View from Above

  2. anyone hear the rumor that the hurricanes will be moved to somMcewhere in the states and then the ICE will be moving here. I have been hearing that just wondering if anyone else has too. I find it very interesting the last comment that McNaughton said. "WHL picks it owers and location for its teams" food for thought. if we cant build a winnig team at least we can buy one.


    1. from your mouth to god's ears...bob

  3. Buy one? Heck this franchise can't afford to pay its creditors without borrowing money. How can they expect to buy a winning team?
    Lots of rumors swirling around. It would not surprise me one bit that the WHL will step in at the end of the Hurricanes regular season and tell the Hurricanes shareholders that the franchise is being taken from them and will be sold to private interests that have very deep pockets. One such possibility is the Winnipeg Jets who have made it know they want to buy a franchise.

    Dump'n Chase

  4. Just to brighten up your otherwise gloomy day check out the Feb.7 plays of the week and also the Feb.6 goals of the week. There is still a little spark of life there .

  5. Coach Berehowsky said that he was changing character... I thought the character was the one thing that didn't need changing. The Hurricanes had extreme character last year and at the beginning of the year. Losing last year and not making the playoffs - those players showed up with character every game and played their hearts out. Now most of our character players are gone. Is that how you change character you just get rid of the ones that don't agree with the Coach!!!!! The only character change we need is a new coach. One that doesn't drive his whole team away including assistant coaches. Part of team unity is players respecting their coach and wanting to play for HIM! I don't see this in the Hurricanes - especially when the assistant coach jumps ship too. Enough with all the sugar coating -this team is headed in no direction and why the BOD thinks they can continue to say whatever they want and not be accountable is beyond me. I hope the WHL steps in and takes over. This BOD has proven again that they know absolutely nothing about hockey and more so about running a successful business. I feel sorry for any drafted players coming into the Hurricane organization. Unless things are fixed as I agree with one post "this team is broken" there will be no success. It amazes me how if the team wins 1-2 games that Berehowsky is all over the wins and how they headed into the right direction. Then they go to lose 2 again by a huge goal margin. Now what is Berehowsky going to say - the players did not follow my system. I guess Lukowich could not follow his system either. Obviously it is a my way or the highway style of coaching. Good luck Hurricanes - you are going to need it to sell season tickets after this year!