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StarPhoenix article (Brodsky sets eyes on future)

May 30 2012 at 7:00 AM
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Response to Vancouver Province article (Samuelsson's stock on the rise)

 
Brodsky sets eyes on future

By Daniel Nugent-Bowman, The StarPhoenix

May 30, 2012

Saskatoon Blades owner Jack Brodsky hoped he was gazing into the future Sunday night as he watched the 2012 MasterCard Memorial Cup come to an end.

Shawinigan's Centre Bionest was filled to the brim with those cheering on the host Cataractes during the championship game, and the masses didn't go home disappointed either.

Cataractes winger Anton Zlobin netted the winner 17: 51 into overtime, capping off a 2-1 victory over the London Knights, sending the packed house into a frenzy.

A similar scene would represent the dream scenario for Brodsky and the Blades when they host the Memorial Cup next May.

"We have every intention of getting the same type of excitement here as they had in Shawinigan," said Brodsky, who is also the host committee co-chair for next year's event. "It was a joy to be a part of. We know that we're going to do the same thing here."

Brodsky left for Shawinigan on May 17 and stayed until last Tuesday.

He then gave way to 2012 Memorial Cup co-chair Tim Gitzel, event manager Cheri Hamilton, Saskatoon Sports Tourism board chair Steve Chisholm, Saskatoon Silver Springs MLA Ken Cheveldayoff and his son, John, the Blades director of business operations.

"They came back so jacked about the tournament and so excited about the way things went there," said Brodsky, who viewed the remainder of the tournament on television. "The quality of the hockey, the level of the entertainment, the buzz and the energy inside the building were just great."

Brodsky has attended every WHL-based Memorial Cup since the Blades last hosted the championship in 1989 when they lost the final in overtime to the Swift Current Broncos.

However, he had never been to Quebec for the tournament. Aside from the language and abundance of poutine, he said there wasn't much difference.

Now it's time to starting picking out the best parts.

"I like some of the things they did, without question," Brodsky said, noting it is too early to get into specifics.

"There's some experience there that we can and will draw on that will help with our decision-making process moving forward."

While Brodsky is spearheading the local off-ice direction for the tournament, Blades management has been busy shaping the team's roster for the coming season.

Head coach and general manager Lorne Molleken has added Brenden Walker, Shane McColgan and Jessey Astles upfront since the 2011-12 season ended, removing Ryan Olsen, Locke Muller and Kyle Haas in the process.

The 2012 tournament is still 12 months away, but Brodsky believes his team is on the right track to copy what the Cataractes did.

"The Blades are in this tournament and we're not just in it to host," said Brodsky. "We're in it and we want to win it. That's our goal."

dnugent-bowman @thestarphoenix.com Twitter.com/DNBsports

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