John Graham of On Ice Management Group Inc. in Saskatoon
John Graham of On Ice Management Group Inc. was in Saskatoon on Wednesday to meet with Scott Ford of Credit Union Centre about the Boston Bruins and Winnipeg Jets National Hockey League exhibition game on Sept. 29 and to attend the Premier's dinner at Prairieland Park.
Graham has been bringing NHL pre-season games to Saskatoon for four years and it's been reported that he's interested in bringing a franchise to Saskatoon.
When asked if he was seeking out potential local investors for a Saskatoon based team, Graham said, "You're surmising I have interest. I've never made a statement other than we are running exhibition games. Saskatoon has been a phenomenal market since we brought the Islanders to Saskatoon in 2009."
On March 1, Bob McKenzie of TSN.ca reported that there were "expressions of interest" from parties in Saskatoon. On a March10 edition of Coach's Corner on Hockey Night in Canada, Don Cherry said Saskatoon "had a firm offer in there."
Graham responded by saying "It's nice to know (Cherry), but where the story came from and where their sources are?... Like I said my personal beliefs and thoughts on this market are put to task by me bringing and risking and investing in bringing (exhibition) games here. It's been very rewarding".
Graham continues to get a very positive vibe from Saskatoon.
"It has a phenomenal facility, it is very well managed. (Saskatoon) has an economic growth that could support the game. I'm very biased. I think its politicians are very progressive and eager to bring NHL exhibition games to the market. Since we've come here, my opinion hasn't changed on bringing NHL exhibition games to Saskatoon."
On Ice Management Group Inc. is also staging an NHL exhibition game in Regina on Sept. 27 between the New York Islanders and the Edmonton Oilers.