SPORTS

IceCaps owner may move team from St. John's to Thunder Bay

01/21/2014 12:25 EST | Updated 03/23/2014 05:59 EDT
The status and future of the St. John's IceCaps were unclear Tuesday, amid reports that its parent company plans to move its American Hockey League franchise to Ontario. 

An IceCaps official confirmed, but soon after retracted, a report that True North Sports and Entertainment was moving its AHL franchise to Thunder Bay. The team is managed by a company owned by former Newfoundland and Labrador premier Danny Williams. 

But True North, which owns the NHL's Winnipeg Jets, indicated that its team will eventually be playing hockey from another home base. 

"True North Sports and Entertainment and the Winnipeg Hockey Jets Club are excited about the prospect of operating our American Hockey League (AHL) franchise in Thunder Bay," said a statement given to reporters in Thunder Bay. 

"We are well aware of the community's rich hockey tradition and are confident that Thunder Bay would be a great location to develop our future prospects," the statement said. 

However, the move of the team appears to be contingent on a civic centre to be built in Thunder Bay for which financing is not yet in place. 

CBC Thunder Bay reported that the events centre is not yet a done deal. 

St. John's IceCaps officials were refusing comment on Tuesday afternoon, but were expected to make a statement. 

A team official retracted an earlier statement that said the IceCaps would play through the 2014-2015 season in St. John's before being moved. 

True North Sports and Entertainment renamed its Manitoba Moose franchise in 2011 and moved the team to St. John's, where it has since been known as the IceCaps. 

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