Off-ice conduct costs Caps 2011 RBC Cup

Nancy MacPhee
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SUMMERSIDE, P.E.I. - The Summerside Western Capitals' conduct at May's RBC Cup in Victoria has put the city out of the running to host the 2011 national junior A hockey championship.
The news came as a shock to city and Maritime Junior A Hockey League officials who felt Summerside was a shoe-in to host.
City event development officer J.P. Desrosiers sat on the bid committee with chief administrative officer Terry Murphy, Capitals' owner George Roberts and general manager Gabe Keough, and MJAHL president Derryl Smith.
"We were still very confident that it would be awarded to us. When they gave us a conference call on Tuesday and gave us the news, it was definitely shocking," Desrosiers said Friday. "We're very disappointed."
The Capitals, who posted a 1-3 record in Victoria and failed to reach the semifinals, were sent home early by Hockey Canada amid controversy and rumours of the team's poor off-ice behaviour.
After the team's return, Keough confirmed there had been an incident involving a damaged television at the resort where the Capitals were staying.
"There were alcohol incidents and obviously the TV incident and being disrespectful to the whole RBC," Smith said Friday.
Hockey Canada cited that conduct as the reason Summerside's bid was rejected.
"We understand their reasoning. They have a brand to protect," said Desrosiers. "We're definitely not mad at them in any way."
The bid process for the 2011 RBC Cup has reopened. Thunder Bay, Ont., the only other city left in the running to host the event, also had its bid dismissed.
The city and the Capitals have decided not re-enter the bid process.
"They said they were very impressed by our bid and it was one of the better bids they've seen in a while," said Desrosiers.
"They understand Summerside is a great hosting centre and are looking very much forward to Summerside hosting the (2009 world junior A hockey challenge) here."
Smith said if not for the conduct of the team in Victoria, Summerside could be preparing to host the 2011 RBC Cup.
"I can't guarantee that but I would be of a strong feeling that, yes, we would have been hosting it," Smith said. "I thought it (the bid) was very solid and well done."
Hosting the tournament would have meant hundreds of thousands of dollars in economic spin-offs to the city.
Hockey Canada has told the bid committee it would reimburse its $5,000 deposit.
Desrosiers said the city is now looking to bid for the 2012 RBC Cup, adding the incident won't "strain" its relationship with the Capitals.

Organizations: RBC, Capitals, Maritime Junior A Hockey League

Geographic location: Summerside Western, Victoria, P.E.I. Thunder Bay

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