Saturday, April 26, 2008

Blazers, Warriors swap picks

The Kamloops Blazers have traded two fourth-round picks in the 2008 bantam draft to the Moose Jaw Warriors. In exchange for the 77th and 83rd overall selections, the Blazers got third- and fifth-round picks in the 2009 draft. . . . The 2008 draft is scheduled for Thursday in Calgary.


The Brandon Wheat Kings have increased the price of an adult season ticket by $49 but still have the cheapest ticket prices in the WHL. The Wheat Kings have sold season-tickets for $250 for the last couple of seasons, which has helped them move their season-ticket base from 1,700 to 2,752. For 2008-09, a season-ticket will sell for $299 (the Swift Current Broncos also have a $299 ticket), a price that works out to $8.30 a game. . . . “We’re offering major junior hockey for $8.30 a night and I think those are prices that people have to appreciate in Brandon that these prices just don’t happen other places,” Kelly McCrimmon, the Wheat Kings’ owner, head coach and general manager, told the Brandon Sun. A youth season-ticket (18-and-under) will cost $149, up from $125. Single-game tickets will range from $6 for children to $15 for adults, which is unchanged. . . . “Two years ago when we looked at trying to do something to shock the market, we took the risk of lowering our ticket prices to $250,” McCrimmon told The Sun. “I think that we’re reasonably encouraged, we have had our season-ticket base grow substantially. Not the gains probably in Year 2 that we maybe hoped for, but I think heading into what looks to be an exciting year, we’re hoping to get that number up over 3,000 this year.”


The Western Conference entry in the WHL’s championship final for the Ed Chynoweth Cup has yet to be decided, and the dates for the first two games have yet to be announced. But Games 3 and 4 will be played in Lethbridge on May 6 and 7. . . . After some discussion, the Lethbridge Hurricanes chose not to raise ticket prices for the final. Adults will pay $24 a ticket, with students paying $19 and youths $10.50. There had been a thought to simply make all tickets $26 should the Hurricanes reach the final. “We felt that our fans have been so good to us throughout this run and to freeze the pricing at the previous round’s rates was something our board and organization were very adamant about,” Doug Campbell, the Hurricanes director of business operations, told the Lethbridge Herald’s Trevor Kenney. “For us, more than anything, it was more about how we wanted to reward our fans. To have it being sold out here for most nights and definitely it¹s
been 11 years laying in wait, so we certainly wanted to make sure everybody was rewarded in any which way we can.” . . . The Hurricanes definitely are making money in these playoffs. Kenney points out that most of the profit will go into a $2.5 million upgrade of the Enmax Centre. . . .


Cory Wolfe of the Saskatoon StarPhoenix reports that the WHL has entered into a pilot project with the Saskatchewan Hockey Association, Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League and Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey League that may help alleviate a shortage of referees. With some leagues, including the WHL, using two referees in a lot of games, there is a shortage of men in stripes. Next season, the midget AAA league will continue to have three on-ice officials, but two will be referees with the third a solitary linesman. “We double the number of referees getting trained and we’re not putting any more strain on the system,” said Kevin Muench, the WHL’s director of officiating, told Wolfe.

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