Saturday, May 30, 2009

Rampage rivals skating on thin ice

In the short history of the Prince Rupert's return to competitive Senior Men's hockey, one of the key rivalries established has been between the Rupert Rampage and Terrace River King teams of the CIHL.

However, if things don't get sorted out in short order, that rivalry may be in peril, as the Terrace team suddenly finds itself in a state of limbo.

The Terrace Standard outlines the suddenly changing landscape for the River Kings, an owner who has left town for parts unknown, with more than a few debts unpaid.

Burny Carlsen, has apparently relocated to somewhere in Vancouver having put the team up for sale, but so far with few interested buyers ready to step up and provide the financing to keep the team in operation for this fall.

Carlsen was but one of two private owners of CIHL teams, most others including the Rupert one are community owned efforts, making things a little easier to work with in regards to financing and arena leases and such.

It's a model that many in Terrace hope to follow, though time may be running out on getting all the ducks in a row for a fall start to the CIHL season, of primary concern is the ability to gain ice time in Terrace, as the city has a policy of not providing ice time for those with unpaid bills from the previous season. The River Kings also are required to make a payment to the BC Amateur Hockey Association for registration and insurance purposes. Those two main concerns are but a number of the problems facing the River Kings without an identifiable ownership situation in place.

Unless the community gets the call out quickly and finds a way to not only provide support, but settle up on past debts, it could be that that Terrace will be faced with having the local team shut down its operations for the year that Terrace celebrates its status as Hockeyville.

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