The Calgary Mustangs and Calgary Canucks are both eyeing a move to Strathmore. The March 6 town council meeting revealed that should the Mustangs move and be approved by the Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL) board, they would become the Strathmore Mustangs.
Mayor Pat Fule stressed that the idea of bringing the teams to Strathmore was not motivated by the council.
“We did not drive this. I received and the council received inquiries from both the Calgary Mustangs and the Calgary Canucks,” he said.
“At that time the Calgary Canucks chose to go the political route in, that they met for lunch with Deputy Mayor Bauer. They made their presentation,” said Fule. The Mustangs met before hand with community stakeholders and the Strathmore Minor Hockey Board.
Strathmore has hosted two teams, the former AAA CFR Chemical Bisons, which moved back to Airdrie in 2017, and the Heritage Junior Hockey League’s Junior B Strathmore Wheatland Kings.
Mike Cartney, president of the Calgary Mustangs said they want to move the Junior A team to Strathmore in time for the upcoming 2019-2020 season.
He explained that the team plays in the Vittera South Division of the AJHL.
“Throughout the last few years we have worked at building a culture of engagement, dedication and support. We strive to give young men every opportunity to succeed and persue their educational aspirations through the love of sport,” he said.
He spoke of a letter to Mayor Fule that had a proposal outlined in it, it also spoke to some of the team’s requirements, if they did move to Strathmore. All 23 players on the team would live in Strathmore and participate in billeting.
Mayor Fule explained that the town’s role in the issue is that the Mustangs would require letters of support from them, and minor hockey.
“What we do need is the support of the town, minor hockey, and the user groups of Strathmore to present to the AJHL” Cartney.
“The Mustangs have been in Calgary for 40 years now in different entities, under the Royals, the Mustangs, the Calgary Spurs, and the Red Devils. Taking the movement of our franchise from Calgary to Strathmore is a big undertaking for us that we take seriously,” said Cartney.
Some of the requirements include a designated facility, with a dressing room, coaches area, and the use of the ice.
Practices would be run during the day before minor hockey and ringette take place.
The AJHL and the Calgary Mustangs game schedule will be predominantly for weekend ice, with games on Friday, Saturday, and Sundays.
Cartney said that their intent was not to take up ice time.
“But to augment that by having our group help with Strathmore Minor Hockey player development, ringette and skating development. To be part of that community and not be an absentee owner,” said Cartney.
“We believe that with the ice that we will rent, the extra rentals that will be required from dressing rooms and other items, we could bring in a potential of $50,000 of revenue into the town,” said Cartney.