Wishing you and yours a happy Thanksgiving! Sure, it’s in the review mirror now but the leftovers and things to be thankful for will carry on.
This week, let’s look at what each team has to be thankful for.
Before we start, it should be said that having great community support, fans, billets and coaches/boards that care very much, go without saying.
Now, to the Thanksgiving inspired Takes
Take 1: Dauphin Kings – Ukranian Night. The Kings and their fans should be thankful for the unique and fantastic idea that has become Ukranian night. I think it’s something everyone around the town and organization really looks forward to. The businesses love it, the players and families love it and it’s just a fantastic idea that has really taken off.
Take 2: Neepawa Titans – The name change. Everyone is thankful for the name change. When it was first announced it would be happening for this season, I’m sure some were apprehensive as to what it might be, but Titans is a homerun. The jersey design is prime. The colors are mint. It turned out tremendous and fans from Neepawa and across the league are thankful for that.
Take 3: OCN Blizzard – Getting to play in the Roy H. Johnson Arena. Not taking anything away from the Gordon Lathlin Memorial Centre but the Roy H. Johnson just seems like a better fit. I’ve heard good things from teams playing there. Fans will miss being right on top of the visiting bench and the air horn that sounds off at random times, but having the fans closer to the ice service is something they can really get on board with.
Take 4: Portage Terriers – Hosting the Centennial Cup next year. Having had it taken away must have been hard. A lot of preparation goes into something like that. From the arena to accommodations and that’s not mentioning the work building a team that cannot just compete but can win the whole thing. The Terriers will get to host and fans/businesses have a chance to experience a really special event.
Take 5: Selkirk Steelers – The volunteers. The Steelers have a really great, dedicated group of people behind the scenes that make game days happen. All teams do, but the people around the Steelers are tasked with all kinds of odd-jobs and they do them without complaint because they love the team.
Take 6: Steinbach Pistons – The new area. Finally, the city of Steinbach will be getting a new arena. To say it’s long overdue is an understatement. A lot of hard work and money has gone into this dream and having it become reality is both amazing and relieving.
Take 7: Swan Valley Stampeders – The restaurants in town. We did a survey with coaches around the league and most talked about Swan having the best post-game food. There are a couple gems around that I’m sure the players and fans love hitting up. The 50/50 has also been pretty good there at times. Who doesn’t love a chance at winning money!?
Take 8: Virden Oil Capitals – Their current arena. They have a really great rink there. It’s just a top-notch facility. From the in-area experience to the food to everything else, it’s a great time that fans across the league need to see. Just watch out when walking around the track, there are metal posts that can pop out of know where and people have been known to run into them. Also, Digger is a treat for the kids.
Take 9: Waywayseecappo Wolverines – The years of hard work paying off. It’s been a long time coming but the Wolverines have been trending in the right direction for a while. They’ve worked really hard with the program over the years and it’s great to see the hard work paying off. The online presence, the community work that’s shared, and players wanting to go be a part of it. More winning is in their future and more positive things to come.
Take 10: Winkler Flyers – The intermission games. They are so much from. From the little tractor races to the slingshot at inflatable bowling pins, it just seems like great times for all ages. Winkler’s working really hard to make it a family event and seeing the ‘Kids Zone’ with kids singing along and yelling players names, shows they’re doing things right.
Take 11: Winnipeg Blues – Betting on their own players and winning. It’s not always been easy for the Blues but the current group seems to have really bought in and even with big pieces leaving, they continue to win. Here’s hoping the more success they have; the more fans will come and fill out the very nice facility.
Take 12: Winnipeg Freeze – That first win. I wonder what it was like in that locker room after that game. What a feeling that must have been. Congrats to the Freeze and hope that Harry Mahesh got that game puck and has it somewhere as a proud showing to what he’s done so far and what he will continue to do with that program.
Bonus: Niverville – Eventually, this will be 13 Takes when the Niverville (insert generic animal or creature here…maybe they go Clippers) come into the league. Obviously, getting the franchise is the big thing to be thankful for. But the support from other teams around the league will also be something to watch. Lots of fans will travel to Niverville as it’s pretty close to most around to what now is being called the East Division. Can’t wait for some things to be announced and hope it’s soon.