It was reported yesterday that Mike Heika reported rumors that members of the Dallas Stars were in Prince Edward Island recently about having a part of the training camp in the Provincial capital of Charlottentown, Prince Edward Island (PEI).
Report from Charlottentown Guardian: www.theguardian.pe.ca/index.cfm?sid=344021&sc=98
Well today, the Charlottentown Guardian Newspaper is reporting that the Stars and the city of Charlottentown are close to a deal that would have the start of training camp at the Charlottentown Civic Center which is home to the PEI Rockets of the QMJHL.
If this is true, this would be only the 2nd time in team history that the Stars would have training camp out of town as the Stars have had a handful of training camps up in Vail, Colorado for a number of years earlier in the last decade.
I could understand why some teams want to get away from the fans, the media hype and to focus on getting back to the playoffs as this team has failed to make the postseason the last 2 years.
But for an area like Dallas where hockey isn't the main thing, it's important to mark the return of hockey in the area and a first chance to see new players and get a chance to see the team after the long hot summer here in Texas.
So to me its important to have the Stars Training Camp in Dallas, but I can understand having the NHL in new and in a growing number of areas around the world (Look at the NHL European Opening Weekends in recent years).
For fans in PEI, this would be huge as the NHL has never been in the Atlantic Region of Canada with the closest team being in Montreal. NHL Teams (Not even the Canadian Teams) have had many training camps or preseason games in this part of the country that isn't that populated, even the regions largest city is Halifax, Nova Scotia is about 370,000. For the city of Charlottentown, they population is just over 35,000. So it's natural that PEI would never be in the running for a NHL or even something like an AHL Team. This would also give fans from places like nearby New Brunswick a rare chance to see NHL Players in action.
For Dallas Stars players , this would be a chance to show off their skills in their home Provence as Steve Ott is from Summerside and Brad Richards is from Murray Harbour would be interesting to see if they had any part in this as the team was considering this.
So I will be following this, but from what it sounds like in the article that they are close to making this deal done. They hoping that they can get more NHL Activity in the future not just for PEI but for the rest of the region which includes cities like Halifax, Nova Scotia; St. John & Moncton in New Brunswick; and St. John's Newfoundland.
Do you think having the Dallas Stars Training Camp outside of Dallas would be an interesting idea?
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