Monday, 28 April 2014

Hurricanes Appear Before Lethbridge City Council

The Lethbridge Hurricanes made a presentation to members of Lethbridge City Council Monday.

The presentation lasted for nearly an hour. There were plenty of questions by Councilors and far too much to transcribe for you on this blog. So I've provided two audio links. The first part being the actual presentation itself and the second audio link is a question and answer session between Council, President Brian McNaughton and WHL Commissioner Ron Robison.

This audio was provided by the Lethbridge City Council website stream.


  1. Pat, Sorry, but how does this work? Neither appears as a link. What is the trick to connecting to the audio? Thanks

    Tech-no fan

  2. Hey Tech-no

    I've tried on three computer and two smartphones and it works fine. Perhaps it's the internet browser you are using. I also see several others have accessed the audio too so it seems to be working. Let me know.

  3. I just finished watching the entire Hurricanes portion of the council meeting. I must say I am surprised they devoted that much time to this.

    I think this community is filled with passionate, loyal, driven hockey fans who love their Hurricanes. I believe the community would enthusiastically and whole-heartedly support this team. What I do not believe is that they will support this organization under the current regime. Mr. Robison incorrectly compared the hope for this team's turnaround to that of Portland, who's team was taken back by the WHL and re-sold. It should be noted that the Portland team also received some severe punishment for recruiting practices deemed against the policies and bylaws of the WHL. The biggest difference though is they cleaned house.

    I was pleased to see a few of the councilpersons question what the Hurricanes are planning to do different since it appears they have no intention to change anything. Thank you to Mr. Hyggen for closing with mention that there needs to be changes in the executive before any changes can happen further done the line.

    One thing the Mrs. pointed out was the discussion surrounding the comments that the team is under-staffed and that an Assistant to the GM was needed. Mr. President said it was a required position and that most of the other teams in the WHL had someone with that job title. You have to wonder then how someone like Rich Preston handled the job of the head coach, general manager and assistant to the general manager all by himself. To think he took the team to within 6 points of the playoffs wearing all those hats seems somewhat miraculous given that the current head coach only managed the worst finish in franchise history when he only had one job to do.

    Mr. President also stated that the front office would be doing more to get tickets sold and not just "sending a note and hoping you come back". Well it's too late for that because we got our little note in the mail this week.

    The bottom line is that this team needs to clean house. They need the executive of the board gone, the business manager gone, the sales director gone, the general manager gone and the head coach gone. If players and their families don't see a real tangible effort to make changes they will not come here. After 5 years of failure under his guidance, having Mr. President stand up there and say things will be different now because we have another plan doesn't mean ***** all to the fans and businesses of this community. We've heard that too many times from you. The ONLY thing that will make us believe things are different are if all of the above mentioned are gone.

    IF that were to happen, and the front office, hockey operations and board were replaced I am willing to bet you'd find some excitement happening. Tickets would be sold (we would certainly buy ours again) and advertising inventory would be sold because the community would have hope. Then the shareholders can proceed with selling without feeling like they have to rush the process and it can be done correctly.


  4. I asked a farmer the other day about what techniques he uses to put manure on his fields. To which he explained, "no matter how you spread it, in the end it is still manure".

    After listening to the President stumble through his presentation, I got the impression that I had heard this before, and before and before and so on.

    In the presentation part the President said, "I assure you it is not going to be another 5 year plan. We are going to focus on player development. We are not going to deviate from the PLAN of building from within. We are not going to make trades for short term results" . But he continued by saying, "We are going to make some trades to bring in older players to shore up our younger players and that should improve us enough to be in a playoff position." Wait a second, he is contradicting himself.

    I loved the way he only gave a bit of a financial picture by explaining the $110K shortfall in the "inventory". But he left out the fact that the team had to delay payroll at least once this season. Left some business without being paid for 120 days, and that they borrowed $400,000 for a line of credit and another loan of at least $300,000 from a private investor. Add them up, it equals at least a deficit of $800,000.

    Best line of the event came from councillor Liz Iwaskiw who mentioned the number of people in chambers with scowls on their faces. The President said he could not see them because his back was turned away from them. How true, the President has turned his back on the fans of this franchise on a regular basis.

    I can't believe the LEAGUE can't see through all the smoke and mirrors that they are being handled. I just wonder if......if the team gets off to a bad start, the revenues are low (especially season tickets) ......just how much time the club has before the final curtain.

    Dump'n Chase

    1. The league has stated their expectations now, so the due diligence is complete, the clock is ticking now for the league to recognize some immediate and meaningful change in management and leadership, McNaughton then comes right back and says that the manager/coach are not going anywhere and they are going to improve the young players and make trades and that it has only really been off the rails for 18 months? The fact is that the manager and coach and the entire franchise from top to bottom are off the rails, if anyone believes anything different, they are only fooling themselves, I'm predicting a league forced sale of the franchise exactly as what took place in Portland after they were unable to comply with the league's expectations and that day cannot come fast enough for me!!!

  5. If I were McNaughton, I would be hiring a seasoned WHL GM and make BR the assistant in charge of scouting and player development which is the job he is best suited for, then, hire a head coach with experience in this league and demote the current head coach to an assistant role which ironically, he is also best suited for right now! That is really the only hope that McNaughton has to become a hero out of all of this, short of that it won't be long till this franchise goes totally bankrupt and the league forces the sale to a new ownership entity the league has made that clear...unfortunately it is likely to late for that because in the current state, it is impossible as there is just no money to hire the personal that are required to pull this off, just a waiting game now, another year of losing at all levels, if the same GM/coach are running the show on the first day of training camp, it will be the same as last season with the better players leaving and demanding trades because their careers simply cannot sustain another year like the one they just had and you can take that to the bank!

  6. McNaughton will never admit to failing. His ego won't let him. As long as the leadership stays the same, nothing will change. The WHL is monitoring the finances and hockey structure on a regular basis, which I would guess is monthly as the BOD meets monthly to review all the various reports from the business and hockey managers. If there was a significant drop in season ticket sales and advertising in May and June, which will put the team behind their budgeted figures for 2014-15, then I can see the WHL saying enough is enough.

    Wishful thinking that everyone would hold off, thus forcing the WHL's hands.