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Financial difficulties are focus at Red Wing AGM

Plan for 2011-12 season

Financial difficulties was addressed by the Weyburn Red Wing Association at their annual general meeting, after reporting a loss of $23,483 for the 2010-11 season. Factors which contributed to this loss was that the hockey club was recovering from financial loss from their previous season, they only had one round of playoffs, and renovations at Crescent Point Place.

"We continue to work hard to make this team more financially stable, and I believe we are moving in the right direction," said Ryan Williams, president of the Association.

One of the difficulties for the hockey club was they were restricted in sales to ice cream and souvenirs, and their 50/50 and Nevada tickets because of the renovations at Crescent Point Place. "We are in the neighbourhood of $14,000 that we were short because of renovations," explained Williams.

He noted that the Red Wings had an outstanding ice bill with the City of Weyburn that was "about that amount"

"I wasn't asking for the entire ice bill to be forgiven," said Williams, referring to a recent request by the Red Wings that was discussed by City Council during their May 30 meeting.

"I am very proud of our working relationship with the city, and don't want to see that go downhill, but I am disappointed that we couldn't compromise on this issue," added Williams.

Additional concerns at Crescent Point Place were addressed by those attending the general meeting, such as the fact that the Red Wings team and memorabilia photos won't be going back up on the walls, and there was a leaky roof over the souvenir booth that kept it closed.

It was also noted that there is a benefit to the city from having a SJHL team, as other teams do spend money in the community when they come here to play.

"We have a great relationship with the rink staff, and they make the dressing rooms available so that the other teams can come and stay here because they have a place to keep their equipment," noted Williams.

Ron Rumball, general manager of the Red Wings, talked about the hockey operations. There will be a return of seven defenceman and seven forwards for the 2011-12 season, and it is hoped Mitch Kilgore will be back in the net, in addition to two other goaltenders to provide relief during the season.

"Looking at the time the returning players spent on the ice in the last season, they will all be valuable this season," said Rumball. "There is leadership shown in the returning players, and it is an encouraging sign of maturity. We expect excellent results, and will strive to be consistent, persistent and resilient."

For recruitment, the Red Wings had 80 participants during their spring training camp, and are currently looking at "top-notch players" to join the team for the season.

The Red Wings currently lead the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League (SJHL) in providing entertainment value at their games, especially after the installation of TV screens that show on-ice action, and the light show provided before home games, and during intermissions.

The SJHL held its annual general meeting on June 3-5 in Nipawin, where the new league president Bill Chow was introduced. The league discussed moving its annual general meeting and holding it in conjunction with the Saskatchewan Hockey Association. There are also talks of combining both head offices in one location that will allow both entities to improve hockey operations in the province.

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