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Alberta

Alberta Juniors Choose Positive Path

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Alberta Juniors Choose Positive Path

Everywhere there is gloom. Well, almost everywhere.

A welcome exception is the 15-team Alberta Junior Hockey League, which lost much of its gate revenue due to the coronavirus pandemic arrival at playoff time, and now waits for permission from Hockey Canada and Alberta Health Services to go ahead with its 2000-2001 season.

President Ryan Bartoshyk confirmed on Monday that his league is “in the process of drawing up our schedule right now. We’re aiming (to have teams on the ice) by Sept. 1 and we hope to get the season started by Sept. 18.” Any and all final decisions must meet with at least two levels of official approval, of course, but operators have expressed their confidence by agreeing to put in the work, recognizing that later starts (or no start) are still possibilities.

To an outsider, the clearest declaration of league independence is this: the schedule, with various possible opening dates pencilled in, is being drawn up for all 15 teams. This is most impressive when it is known that several franchises – no names provided by president Bartoshyk or any team spokesman – have expressed serious concern about the cost of business in the coming season.

We have lost at least one league camp for tryouts,” said a spokesman. “We know we’re going to lose more.”

Not included are the Blackfalds Bulldogs, who will replace the former Calgary Mustangs at the start of the 2021/2002 season. Bartoshyk was pleased to say “work on the new arena for Blackfalds is due to start this month.”

Among the established teams reported to have mentioned their problems outside of league meetings are the Canmore Eagles, but the team’s two captains and a pair of assistants have already been named for the coming season. At least a couple of promising signings have also been announced. As a result, pessimism has shrunk a great deal.

Also optimistic about the coming season are the Olds Grizzlys, whose attendance averaged well over 1,500 a game when they dominated Junior A ranks several years ago but dropped to about 600 a game last year. “This is a great sports community, a great place to be,” said club governor and vice-president executive Trent Wilhauk. “We know the fans will come back; they love their Grizzlys.”

Population of the community is slightly more than 10,000. “It’s a happening place when the team is going good.”

After wiping out last year’s playoffs and destroying some of the regular post-season increases at the gate, COVID-19 has continued to harm the AJHL, just as it has damaged so many other areas of the economy. “We have lost at least one league camp for tryouts,” said a spokesman. “We know we’re going to lose more.”

Those financial setbacks may have been dwarfed by the loss of some appealing playoff matchups. “Some of the teams that drew above-average numbers for us (Okotoks Oilers, Brooks Bandits, Sherwood Park Crusaders) didn’t have a playoff game before we had to stop,” Bartoshyk said. “They all had byes in the first round.”

Other teams with relative season-long success at the gate also missed money-raising opportunities. “It’s obvious that our league relies on corporate sponsorship and support at the gate,” Bartoshyk added, mentioning a handful of promising pending post-season clashes — Drayton Valley and Sherwood Park, the Whitehorse Wolverines and the Spruce Grove Saints, Camrose Kodiaks and Drumheller Dragons – that could not take place.

At this point, the day’s general feeling that the AJHL future remains bright surfaced again.

Said Bartoshyk: “We’re ready. We’ll do what is necessary.”

https://www.todayville.com/edmonton/hundreds-of-young-athletes-grow-more-anxious-by-the-day-acac-season-a-series-of-options/

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Alberta

Stantec buying Cardno's North American and Asia Pacific engineering business

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EDMONTON — Stantec Inc. has signed a deal to buy Cardno Ltd.’s North American and Asia Pacific engineering and consulting business for US$500 million.

The Edmonton-based company says the deal helps grow its environmental services business.

Cardno’s Latin American operations and international development business are not included in the deal.

The acquisition will add about 2,750 professionals to Stantec, nearly doubling its position in Australia to 2,500 employees and increasing its presence in the United States.

Stantec CEO Gord Johnston says the company has worked closely with Cardno for many years.

He says Cardno’s key strengths in ecosystem restoration, health sciences, infrastructure, water, and government services are complementary to his company’s own offerings in the United States and Australia.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 21, 2021.

Companies in this story: (TSX:STN)

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Alberta

Precision Drilling Q3 revenue up more than 50% from year ago as drilling ramps up

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CALGARY — Precision Drilling Corp. says it lost $38 million in its latest quarter as drilling ramped up and revenue rose more than 50 per cent compared with a year ago.

The Calgary-based company says the loss amounted to $2.86 per diluted share for the year ended Sept. 30, compared with a loss of $28.5 million or $2.08 per diluted share in the same quarter last year.

Revenue totalled $253.8 million in the company’s third quarter, up from $164.8 million a year earlier.

Precision, which is the largest drilling rig contractor in the country, says on average it had 51 active drilling rigs in Canada in the quarter, up from 18 in the same quarter last year.

In the U.S., the company had on average 41 active drilling rigs in the quarter, up from 21 a year earlier, while its international drilling business averaged six rigs, the same as a year ago.

In its outlook, Precision says that at current commodity prices it expects higher demand for its services and improved fleet utilization as customers look to maintain and replenish production levels.

“We believe current industry fundamentals are providing the most promising backdrop for our business that we have experienced in almost a decade,” Precision CEO Kevin Neveu said in a statement.

“Strong oil and natural gas prices, a significantly improved Canadian market structure and rapidly declining drilled but uncompleted well inventories all point to higher drilling activity in our core markets. Although we are likely in the early innings, our firm bookings and current customer inquiries indicate substantially stronger demand for our services and improved fleet utilization as this rebound continues.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 21, 2021.

Companies in this story: (TSX:PD)

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