Brent Sutter informed the Western Hockey League Tuesday that he still harbours every interest in hosting the 2016 Memorial Cup tournament.
The Red Deer Rebels GM/head coach, however, was quick to point out that his submission to the league was strictly an unofficial notice, not a formal bid.
Sutter, who has twice come up short in bidding for the national major junior championship event, is still waiting for more input from league governors concerning whether they will go for the almighty dollar in determining the WHL host city for the 2016 tourney.
That turned out to be the case three years ago when the governors chose Saskatoon over Red Deer and Kelowna, with the Blades’ larger facility promising bigger bucks and ultimately a larger share of the tournament proceeds. The Vancouver Giants have already indicated they will bid for the tournament.
“At the end of the day, we still need to know what they’re doing from a league standpoint,” Sutter said Wednesday. “We don’t want to go through the exercise that we did last time, with the hard work and the commitment and dollars that were put in . . . when it’s almost automatic that someone else is getting it.
“There’s still some research that needs to be done from the league’s perspective, but we’ve thrown our name in the hat and we’ll see where it goes from there.”
Sutter is confident that in two years he’ll have a team strong enough to host the Memorial Cup. He’s also hoping that league governors realize that Alberta is long overdue as a tournament host, being that the last Memorial Cup held in the province was in 1974 at Calgary.
“This would be a major event in our city and Central Alberta as a whole,” he said.
The Rebels boss still has time to decide if he will submit a formal bid. The WHL host of the 2016 Memorial Cup tournament will be decided during a governors meeting in late October.