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Friday, February 16, 2007

Fargo Update

Well, I hate to say it (do I?), but I pretty much called it... As the trickle of information continues out of Fargo, this morning’s story from the Fargo Forum confirms that indeed, all the ducks are NOT in a row. Not to rain on the parade, but the ducks in question, especially financing, are fairly significant ones at that. Also, maybe I missed something, or the figures quoted now are more-inclusive than in the past, but is the overall cost going up? I’m seeing different figures for different items in different articles. Originally it was $30M, now we’re up to $34M, $42 including the land. Of course, there is no cost certainty when the financing is not yet secured and there’s no ink on the contracts (with cost over-runs, that’s still not a certainty).

Next up on the trickle parade is the Dean Blais side of the story. Nevermind this belated and recycled story from College Hockey News, the more interesting story details the evolution of Blais’ involvement in this operation. With quotes in this story such as "Please keep confidential and deny ANY knowledge of Dean. We need this marketing push and Dean has certain things that need to happen in a timely manner to make this happen properly for him..." and "With rumors out there, etc. It is very important that we stay in denial to the press and public," I have to wonder just what in the heck is going on up there...

The Blais article also mentions that there is an expansion application on file with the USHL, and Sioux City owner Dan Carey (previously associated with the Ice Sharks) may be a part of the ownership group.

Once again... maybe it’s just me... but with all this information oozing out over the last week, and another week to go, explain to me again why we’re having a press conference Thursday to announce everything? I mean, the website is already up for the Urban Plains Center providing probably 95% of the information anyone from the general public would want to know. The front page also makes an apparent certainty of the fact they "...will be home to the newest USHL team with Dean Blais as head coach." Glad we cleared that up...

Look, I’m not trying to be overly critical or unsympathetic - maybe this is all intended... Controlled releases of information like this are sometimes used as a strategy to generate increasing interest in a project. It’s just that from my perspective it seems awfully uncoordinated... a project development equivalent of the "Fog of War," if you will...

Anyway, enough of that...

USHL honcho Gino Gasparini reminds everyone of the USHL's new playoff format...

MJHL joins the list of leagues creating scholarship funds. If you want to see Canada's direct response to the growth and improvement in American Tier I (yes, USHL) hockey, this is it...

Barrie Colts name assistant coach Gregg Carrigan their new General Manager...

And finally...

Someone might want to tell this Edmond Community College (excuse me, UCO) journalist that the team he's looking for is the CSHL Chicago FORCE, not Forests. YEESH!!! The only thing worse than having a tree for your hockey team's logo would be to make it a pylon...

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Comments on "Fargo Update"


Blogger GB Puck Fan said ... (8:12 AM, February 16, 2007) : 

Seems the website has already been removed... a "coming soon" appears

but maybe they just want to deny it exists


Blogger GB Puck Fan said ... (8:35 AM, February 16, 2007) : 

One other comment... Seems to me Gino rarely shows up or comments on things until they are set.

I agree there are lots of questions, and maybe he'll give a "if you build it we will come" speech ... but just based on past experience I gotta think if he's there it's more than wishful thinking.

Oh - and gotta love the open records law!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (2:16 PM, February 16, 2007) : 

No reason USHL wouldn't want to be in Fargo -- key is the new arena. USHL has been in Fargo twice with no success.

My guess is they ride Dean Blais as an investment in the future -- I bet he doesn't coach a game for that franchise if it goes live. He'll be back in college before that new rink can drop a puck.


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