GMHL coming to Kitimat, but not without backlash
Those in the hockey community are speaking out today after reports that a new hockey league is coming to the Northwest.
The GMHL is looking to expand to Northwest BC, adding Kitimat and possibly other teams to a BC division, which would include McKenzie and two other clubs for the time being.
The league already has teams in Alberta, and in Ontario but hasn't been able to division in BC.
In Kitimat, the Mayor believes an economic benefit to the league coming to the town.
"We regulate the use of facilities, not users, and we have ice surfaces to rent," told Kitimat Mayor Phil Germuth, "So the economic benefit, of course, the district of Kitimat and being able to rent out our ice services is a plus. Also, the economic benefit of having other teams come to Kitimat to utilize hotels and restaurants. There's no doubt that that's a great economic benefit."
The leauge is unsanctioned by hockey Canada and, in turn, BC Hockey. BC Hockey confirmed to CFTK-TV News that at no point did the league come to BC hockey to work with them.
"Every report that I've researched on shows that they don't answer to anybody. The owners are making money, and that's all they're concerned about." Said Kyle Boureault of the Kitimat Ice Demons, "So if a team's not making money, they fold it. And then what happens to all the people that put time and money into that situation?"
The Quesnel Kangaroo's also challenged their City Hall in hopes of keeping the league out of that city. Williams Lake followed suit.
The Northwest once had the Pacific Northwest Hockey League, but the leauge folded its clubs in Northwest BC from the late 1970s to the 1980s. Kitimat's club
For now, Boureault says that he's hoping to meet with the Mayor to address his concerns.
CFTK-TV News will have a full report tonight and tomorrow.