Junior 'A' hockey returns to Seguin Township
SEGUIN TWP - Humphrey has a new reason to cheer.
The Humphrey Arena will be the host of a new Greater Metro Hockey League (GMHL) Junior “A” hockey team. The agreement, between the hockey club and Seguin Township, will last four years and will mean around 270 hours of practice and game time on the ice at the arena throughout the year.
David Conn, mayor of Seguin Township, said he’s excited and plans to support the team any way he can.
“It’s good for the township, and It’s good for the community. It provides an entertainment vehicle for a number of our residents,” said Conn. “I know when the (Junior A) Seguin Bruins were there it was always a popular venue for a lot of the people who live in Humphrey and the area, and I’m sure they will welcome a team back.”
The club will begin operation in the 2013-2014 season. It is planned to feature players who are both local and international.
The team will be named through a “Name your Junior Hockey Club” contest. Community members will be able to submit their ideas, and then prizes will be handed out for the best name and logo.
Conn said he hadn’t given the question of what to call the team a lot of thought.
“It has to be the Seguin something-or-others. I don’t know what I would pick. We’re the ‘Natural Place to be’ so maybe it should be the Seguin Naturals,” said Conn.
The presently unnamed team isn’t the first to call Humphrey home. The Seguin Bruins operated out of the arena for five years before folding in 2010. The team struggled to draw fans and produce sufficient income.
Michal Kolarik, president of the new team, said he’s excited to host the team in a community that is a hotbed of junior hockey.
“Our team will be much more community involved,” said Kolarik. “We plan on signing some local players as well as getting all of our players active in the community. We want to stress that we are a community-based team that wants to be successful on and off the ice.”
One holdover from the days of the Seguin Bruins is the life-size bear sculpture currently taking up a prominent position in the arena. Officials the Beacon Star spoke with said they hadn’t made a firm decision right now on what to do with the bear.
Kolarik said the program will bring a high level hockey program to the region geared towards the success of players.
“Seguin Township is a beautiful community with year-round activities and the Humphrey Arena is well maintained, and we think an excellent area to operate a junior ‘A’ hockey club, I know our European friends and players will love the area and the arena,” Kolarik said.
A spring training camp for the team will be announced in the near future, with the season opener in September.
The GMHL is a league consisting of 15 teams in places including Bracebridge, Toronto, Rama and Bradford.
Players from all countries are eligible to play in the GMHL, and it is a pay-to-play league.