Lakers and Trappers back for 3 more yearsWednesday, August 01, 2012 by: BayToday.ca StaffThe Nipissing Lakers, North Bay Jr. Trappers and the city of North Bay have come to another 3 year co-existence agreement.
The announcement came at a press conference Tuesday morning after city council approved the new deal on Monday night.
This is the second co-existence agreement between the 3 parties since the University Men’s Hockey Team entered CIS play in the fall of 2009. The first agreement, expired in the spring of 2012.
City Councillor Dave Mendicino represented and spoke on behalf of the city during the short press conference. He described the new contract as basically a renewal of the initial contract inked between the Lakers and Trappers back in 2009.
"The first time there were things to iron out," said city councillor Dave Mendicino about the initial negotiations more than 3 years ago which saw the then North Bay Skyhawks, at one point threaten to fold if CIS hockey came to town.
"The deal that just expired we felt went very well. I think both teams settled into a comfortable co-existence operating out of memorial gardens so certainly when the contract expired in May of 2012 the city was certainly anxious to have a new agreement signed and both teams came to the table ready to do a deal. I believe both teams have settled in very well into the facility they have a great working relationship. Together they need to coordinate a lot of things sharing the arena and they do that."
Lakers business partner Dennis Lathem, who has taken over the exclusive business partner role after Al McDonald stepped aside last season, is pleased with the new deal.
"I think it’s a big move for us to move forward because with the next 3 years, we have those years to try and improve where we have gotten to in the last 3 years,” said Lathem.
“It's indicating that we have been successful to date and just try to improve on it. The city has been very good in helping us get to where we are with everything they have provided so I think it's a major step in our existence."
Jr. Trappers Chairman of the Board, Tim Clayden is glad to see a deal is done.
“The City has been as fair as they can be in these tough economic times, we have been given a chance we hope, to break even annually and grow our program over the next 3 years into something really special here in North Bay and within the NOJHL,” stated Clayden in a team press release issued Tuesday morning.
“We realize that we are just one user group of many and not an only priority. Memorial Gardens is one of the best maintained and cleanest facilities throughout the Province and the Garden’s staff both in the arena and in the front office deserve a lot of credit for the first class manner in which the Gardens facility is consistently operated and maintained. The Trappers and our players are fortunate to have an opportunity to play junior hockey each night in Memorial Gardens and the City of North Bay.”
The Trappers, who will be hosting the Central Canadian Jr. ‘A’ Hockey Championships in April of this coming spring have been working on a new contract since the last contract expired late last season.
“We are pretty excited to be honest, our team on the ice should be very exciting and competitive again this year and our off ice team has had an excellent sponsorship season, Bruce Cazabon Consulting has been very helpful in his guidance and his management assistance has been incredibly valuable to the Trappers this summer. Our sponsors throughout the City of North Bay have been second to none,” added Clayden “We have been pleasantly surprised and very grateful for the support the City and our sponsors have afforded us this season.”