Tuesday, 11 March 2014

WHL Commissioner Ron Robison Speaks

Western Hockey League Commissioner Ron Robison spent a few minutes on 94.1 CJOC Monday night to address a number of different issues regarding rumours surround the Lethbridge Hurricanes.

Fred Jack and I put a number of questions to the Commissioner and the entire interview can be listened to below. Hurricane fans though should not worry about Lethbridge losing its WHL team. Ron Robison made it very clear at the end of our chat that, "There is no question in our minds that Lethbridge is an outstanding hockey community and can support a Western Hockey League franchise. We've had no thoughts whatsoever of ever vacating the Lethbridge market. It's a very important market for us in Alberta and in our Central Division. The fans are great, but they're like all fans that want a reason to get excited about their team and to get there you need to be competitive season in and season out".


  1. Interesting conversation with the commissioner. Is it now a case of not what he said, but what he did not say? In other words, reading between the lines.
    Certainly he could not come out and say, "we are forcing the sale of the franchise" (as much as some of us would love to hear). But his comment regarding examining the franchise from a competitive point of view and business point of view, could lead one to believe that there is not much room for "fudging the facts" by the President, the Business Manager and GM of this franchise. Is this team going to be competitive next season. Well if they stop losing games 7-0,8-0,12-0 then you might say they are competitive. Is this a playoff bound team next season, not as they sit right now. Robson's use of draft picks to get a couple of top notch 19 yr olds who will be here two seasons will be a step in the right direction.
    Financially, he states the league is not involved with the team financially. I guess that means any rumored loans or lines of credit would not be guaranteed by the league. The financial equation is simple.......winning team means increased attendance, means increased sponsorships, which means breaking even (if marketed properly).
    What Robison failed to mention which would have been a clear message to the players is that the league's prime concern is to have stability in place for the next season.
    Robison did echo the "not for sale" comment. But what if there is a meeting of shareholders to examine the viability of the franchise staying as community owned? McNaughton keeps saying the franchise is not for sale. Wichers stumbles through the sentence by saying the board has not been informed by the shareholders that the team is for sale. Mixed messages? Fred's comment about a big announcement before May 1st; all sort of other rumors; another big loss to be on the books at the AGM, (borrowing money to pay off loses, is still money owed). There is too much swirling around for there not to be something concrete.

    Season ends on Saturday........does the real action begin on Sunday.

    Dump n Chase

  2. Unless Shareholders, Season Ticket Holders, and self proclaimed "fans" are prepared to drive to Medicine Hat, Calgary, or Cranbrook on WHL hockey nights, they need to continue to support the PLAYERS by renewing their tickets for next year.... THEN they need to support the players and team by communicating their dissatisfaction to the board, the GM, the business manager, the Head Coach, or all of the above. This should all make sense to rational thinking people. Doing nothing only keeps EVERYONE in place for another disastrous year. The board, the GM, and the Head Coach are only going to be moved out if the fans speak up. Lack of financial support will only reduce the likelihood of attracting the PLAYERS back next season.

    If the WHL does not continue to see strong community support, they will still force the sale, but how could they (and why would they) then insist that or even encourage the new owner to continue to operate the team in Lethbridge?

    Ron Robison and the WHL will support the team in Lethbridge ONLY as long as the community shows that it is still supporting the team. As soon as the "fans" stop their financial support (i.e. season ticket purchasing), the WHL support also ends.

    IF you believe the team should be privately owned, then support the franchise by buying your tickets, then show up at the next shareholder meeting to support a vote to sell the team. The city will benefit by an increased sale price which will go toward improving Lethbridge's facilities.

    IF you support the team being community owned, then buy your tickets for next year and show up to VOTE to remove the current Board of Disasters, and while you are at it, try to find individuals more knowledgeable and still willing and able to provide their time and leadership services on a volunteer basis.

    Pay up, then Speak up!

  3. I was told season ticket holders are not allowed a vote. Shares must be purchased in order to vote. I have spoken to 3 different individuals at the Hurricanes Office and I was told I had to buy shares on top of my tickets in order to even attend the shareholders meetings.

  4. You have to buy a share to vote at the AGM. A season ticket does not give you the opportunity to attend the AGM, that is only for a shareholder. Shares are easily bought at the Hurricanes office for a measly $100.00 plus tax.

    Just be aware, if this team is sold, that share is worthless, not worth the paper it is printed on. The new owner gets to decide their direction and shareholders get no say whatsoever. Also, the money from any sale will not go to city facilities or anything like that. It will wind up in a trust fund with some other BOD deciding how to spend the income from it.


  5. Anonymous 11:59

    You are correct. You need to have a share to attend the shareholders' meetings and vote on issues and board members. Being a season ticket holder alone does not buy you a vote.