|The Bentley Generals hosted the Allan Cup in 2013 |
and hope to do so again in 2017
The 2017 Allan Cup championship tournament finds itself without a host.
Both the Bentley (soon to be Lacombe) Generals and Innisfail Eagles hope to fix that.
The Kenora Thistles, who hosted the Allan Cup in 2011, were to do so again next year. That changed when the Thistles suddenly folded this month. Team President Gary Forsyth confirmed the news through a post to the Allan Cup message board.
In light of the news, Hockey Canada has issued a nation-wide call to find a replacement host for the 2017 tournament. Both the Generals and Eagles, along with Stony Plain, will be bidding to take over from Kenora.
"2013 was a huge success on and off the ice," Generals GM Jeff McInnis said in regards to the Allan Cup tournament his club hosted (and won) in Red Deer. "We feel that we would be a very safe bet, if not the safest, to be able to turn this thing around in 12 months, which is half the time it takes to plan a legit Allan Cup."
McInnis says the Generals would indeed host the 2017 tournament in Lacombe should their bid be successful.
"We are a strong team on the ice and are blessed with the fact that all of our host committee from 2013 have confirmed they would assume their role again, so I would hope that gives us a good shot at it."
Innisfail has never hosted the Allan Cup. Eagles officials sat down for a bid planning meeting Tuesday night. Town Council gave their unanimous support to the team's bid on Monday.
Meantime, Stony Plain would be hosting the tournament for a fourth time should their bid be successful. They did so previously in 1995, 1999 and 2007.
"Yes, we have full intentions and have already begun putting our bid together," the Stony Plain Eagles said via Twitter message Tuesday afternoon.
There are two dates when it comes to finding a new host...
- January 27 – “Discovery” call with all Senior Council Chairs to determine who has teams that are willing and able to host a successful Allan Cup Championship (Alberta, as we now know, has three while Ontario has at least one)
- February 3 – Call with all Senior Council Chairs to vote on the Host Branch (province) of the 2017 Allan Cup
Alberta teams aren't the only ones interested in hosting as their is a joint bid in the works by the Dundas Real McCoys and Hamilton Steelhawks. Scott Radley of the Hamilton Spectator recently shared the details. Dundas has hosted the tournament twice, most recently in 2014.
Interesting times most definitely lay ahead for Canada's national senior hockey championship.