Saskatoon Blades sold to Edmonton based Go Auto owner Priestner
By DANIEL NUGENT-BOWMAN
Brent McEwen believes the WHL will be a weaker league without Jack Brodsky and his family involved.
The WHL announced Tuesday that Brodsky has sold the Saskatoon Blades to Edmonton-based Go Auto owner and CEO Mike Priestner.
The deal — expected to be in the $9-million range — is pending the approval of two-thirds of the league’s board of governors at a meeting in Calgary next Wednesday.
For McEwen, who served as Blades general manager from 1997 to 2004, that day could be a sad one for the WHL.
“I think the league will miss them, but there’s always someone who will come along and do a good job as well and give it a different look,” McEwen said.
“If you want to work for somebody, he’s a very good person to work for,” he added. “The biggest thing is you can work on a handshake and trust that his word is very, very good. That’s not always the way things are done these days.”
McEwen said he never was never officially under contract with the Blades.
However, Brodsky didn’t have McEwen under his thumb or meddle in his affairs.
All McEwen had to do was inform Brodsky — and occasionally his brother, Bob — of the moves he was making.
Brodsky became the governor in 1992 when his brother, Rick, moved to Prince George to run the WHL’s Cougars. Bob, and their sister, Debbie, were also part of the ownership group.
“You sit down and talk and explain what you wanted to do and they really let you make your decisions,” McEwen said.
“I had no complaints at all. I thought they were really fair,” he added. “I really enjoyed working for them. I never questioned that.”
The Blades have never won a championship in their 49-year history, most of which falls under the Brodsky regime.
That fact is “unfortunate because they were very good owners,” McEwen said.