A hockey staple in the South Okanagan for the past 8 a long time will not be returning for 2019.
On Thursday, the Vancouver Canucks declared that they had been putting the Younger Stars Traditional on ice this 12 months because of to a lack of taking part NHL teams. That came soon after the Winnipeg Jets declared on Wednesday they had been leaving Penticton for the Rookie Showcase in Belleville, Ont.
That lowered the Younger Stars to just one NHL group: the Canucks. When the event began in 2010, it experienced 5.
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But, one Penticton resident is hopeful the event will return.
Andrew Jakubeit was the direct organizer in Penticton for the Younger Stars Traditional. Jakubeit also runs a history retail store in Penticton — Grooveyard — and was the city’s previous mayor.
“It’s certainly disappointing it’s not getting location in 2019,” Jakubeit reported on Saturday. “We’ve experienced 8 a long time of fantastic good results and one thing to be proud of.”
The showcase’s economic effects to Penticton was approximately $2 million a 12 months. Lots of current NHLers have played in the Okanagan event such as Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, Mark Scheifele, Brock Boeser, Taylor Corridor, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Johnny Gaudreau, Dillon Dube and Elias Pettersson.
“It was really a earn-earn for everybody,” reported Jakubeit. “It was fantastic for us as a host community. It was fantastic for the teams to appraise their gamers in actual video game environments.”
From its inception in 2010 to 2013, the rookie showcase was a 5-group event. Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Anaheim and San Jose took element in the inaugural party, with Anaheim leaving in 2011 and Winnipeg getting the Ducks’ location.
From 2014 to 2017, it was a 4-group event concerning Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton and Winnipeg.
In 2018, although, the Flames and Oilers left — opting for Crimson Deer, Alta. — minimizing the event to the Canucks and Jets plus two Canadian college teams.
The Rookie Showcase in Belleville, from Sept. 6 to 9, will also feature the Ottawa Senators and Montreal Canadiens.
Searching ahead, Jakubeit is hoping the Younger Stars will rotate each and every two a long time concerning Albert and B.C., adding “we are certainly optimistic for the party to return.”
Notably, Seattle’s NHL group will begin enjoy in 2021-22. That suits properly with a Younger Stars event in 2021, although that is admittedly pure speculation from this journalist. Maybe Seattle will host its have rookie event or the Oilers and Flames host a well-liked, multi-group event in Alberta.
However, it’s tricky not to ignore the effects Seattle’s NHL group will have on southern British Columbia. For Vancouver citizens, it’s around a two-hour generate to the Emerald City. For Okanagan citizens, it’s close to 4 hours to Vancouver or 5 hours to Seattle.
But if the Penticton event is revived, getting Seattle in the combine would be wonderful for hockey fans in B.C. and Washington.
“With Seattle coming on, that would be a opportunity for a superior draw,” reported Jakubeit. “I believe Seattle would be a organic and superior rivalry for Vancouver, and that will draw a lot of desire in the Pacific Northwest.
“Hopefully in the potential, there is an option for teams to come back again to Penticton and we can carry on with the Younger Stars custom.”
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