March 5, 2012 - 3:44pmUpdated: March 5, 2012 - 10:46pm
Hockey Night in Canada's Don Cherry says there WILL be a Saskatoon NHL team, and before Quebec City. Jeff Vinnick/Canadian Press
Saskatoon will get an NHL team in the end, according to hockey icon Don Cherry.
He said it was the NHL itself that leaked information about a pitch being made for the new prairie team Saturday night on Coach's Corner, but did not have time to go into details.
He ripped through all of them Monday however, on News Talk Radio's Richard Brown Show, confirming with no lack of confidence the NHL will indeed be coming to Saskatoon, and that the Bridge City would have no trouble keeping a stadium arena sold out for home games.
"I really believe they're going to get it. Quebec's going to get one too, there's no doubt about that," Cherry said.
"If you can get 16,000 people to squeeze in around in there in boxes and the whole deal, well Winnipeg is doing it so why couldn't Saskatoon do it?"
He said Saskatoon's will come first, as the fact that Saskatoon has a rink ready to go is a big benefit which won't go overlooked.
"You've got a beautiful building there...everything's going for you, I'll tell you that," he added, pointing to Saskatoon's recent economic booms and status as one of the fastest growing cities in North America.
"When you've got a firm offer they'd better sit up and take notice."
Last week TSN's Bob McKenzie wrote about an unnamed group pitching a team for Saskatoon; media reports suggest it's the same group that's been bringing exhibition games to the city.
MLA confirms rumoured interested group
Saskatoon-Silver Springs MLA Ken Cheveldayoff has confirmed a group looking to bring the NHL to Saskatoon has contacted him, but they weren't asking for anything in particular yet.
"They've given us their information, and we've said Saskatchewan is a place where it's a hockey hot bed -- obviously," he said.
"We encourage them to do well, but it's much too early [to say for certain]."
Cheveldayoff echoed the premier's weekend comments, saying he too believes that if Winnipeg can do it, Saskatchewan can too.
He joked that it might be just the thing to bring home his brother, who is the general manager of the Winnipeg Jets.
Edited by News Talk Radio's Jared Knoll, with files from Richard Brown, David Kirton and Justin Blackwell.