Men’s hockey could be back at Red Deer College as early as next winter.
“If things go according to plan, we could be fielding a team in less than a year,” said RDC president Joel Ward.
The college is in the process of applying to the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference for league status for the defunct Kings.
In late March, the college launched an Athletic Leadership Fund to help in part bring the men back to the ice. The fund will be used to help alleviate the financial pressures on student athletes allowing the college to hire more athletic staff.
The fund also works as an permanent endowment designed to eventually increase the athletics department budget by at least $3,000 a year.
Since that time, the college has created promotional videos with Kings alumni and NHL coach Mike Babcock and three-time Olympic gold medalist Melody Davidson to raise money for the fund.
Doug Quinn, head coach of the Red Deer Optimist Midget AAA Rebels, donated $250,000 to the endowment when it was launched.
“We’ve been able to raise some money already and we hope we can raise more to make that a reality,” said Ward.
More donations are expected to be announced later this fall. The Red Deer Kings dropped out of the league following its 2003-2004 season because of financial woes.