The WHL announced the winning bid to host the 2013 Memorial Cup during its board of governors meetings last week, and Saskatoon received the honor.
Three cities were bidding to host the Memorial Cup: Saskatoon, Kelowna and Red Deer. Unlike the bidding for the 2010 Memorial Cup, which was a fo
regone conclusion that Brandon would receive the nod, this time around all three cities had a legitimate shot.
But Saskatoon’s presentation won over the board.
“The difference from the point of view of the league was that Saskatoon has had a track record of hosting major national and international events, most recently the 2010 World Junior Championships,” WHL commissioner Ron Robison told the Saskatoon StarPhoenix.
“They have an established organizing committee and good leadership in Jack Brodsky and corporate involvement in the community, combined with the city of Saskatoon and province of Saskatchewan,” Robison added. “Everyone was lined up to support the event. That’s what it takes to host an event of this magnitude.”
The fact that Saskatoon plays in the 15,000-seat Credit Union Centre, by far the largest venue among the three cities, played a large role in the decision.
This is the second time Saskatoon will host the Memorial Cup. The Blades also served as hosts in 1989.
“We think it’s a big day for our city,” Brodsky, the team’s owner, told the StarPhoenix. “It’s a big day for our province. It’s an opportunity for everyone across the province to see some championship hockey once again.”
As the host team, Saskatoon receives an automatic bid to participate in the Memorial Cup, which pits the champions of the WHL, Ontario Hockey League and the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.
Around the WHL
It was a busy two days on the trade front beginning Sunday. … Lethbridge made three separate trades on Sunday in the wake of an eight-game losing streak. First the Hurricanes sent 19-year-old defenseman Derek Ryckman to Tri-City in exchange for a fourth-round pick in the 2012 bantam draft. Then they sent 19-year-old starting goalie Brandon Anderson to Brandon along with third and sixth rounders in 2012 in exchange for 18-year-old goalie Liam Liston and 18-year-old defenseman Spencer Galbraith. They concluded the day by acquiring 19-year-old forward Nick Buonassisi from Prince George for 18-year-old defenseman Reid Jackson and a fifth rounder in 2012. … Brandon was involved in one other trade Sunday, picking up overage forward Darian Dziurzynski from Saskatoon for second-round picks in 2012 and 2013 and a third rounder in 2014. … Then on Monday 19-year-old former Everett forward Campbell Elynuik, who was traded to Regina during the preseason, was flipped to Prince George for a conditional sixth rounder in 2012. … That was followed when Vancovuer sent 19-year-old forward Teal Burns and 19-year-old defenseman Tyler Hart to Prince Albert for 19-year-old forward Austin Connor and prospect defenseman Arvin Atwal. … Portland’s Sven Bartschi was named the WHL Player of the Week. The 19-year-old forward had three goals and four assists as the Winterhawks went 1-1.
League leaders (through Sunday)
Points — Emerson Etem (Medicine Hat), Adam Hughesman (Tri-City), Mark Stone (Brandon), Kevin Sundher (Victoria) 21; goals — Etem 13; assists — Sundher 17; penalty minutes — Adam Lowry (Swift Current) 34; wins — Matt Hewitt (Regina) 7; goals against average — Nathan Lieuwen (Kootenay) 1.26; save percentage — Lieuwen .952.
Check out Nick Patterson’s Silvertips blog at http://www.heraldnet.com/silvertipsblog, and follow him on Twitter at NickHPatterson.