Lots of work to do for Blackfalds Bulldogs ahead of 2021-22 AJHL season

Jersey for the new club will be released in the coming weeks

Even if they finally have a name, the work has just begun for the Blackfalds Bulldogs.

Set to play their inaugural game in the Alberta Junior Hockey League almost 18 months from now, nearly every day from here, a piece of the puzzle will come together.

The main architect behind the project is the longtime coach of the Red Deer Midget AAA Optimist Chiefs and prominent local business owner Doug Quinn. He was able to buy and relocate the struggling Calgary Junior A Mustangs in October of 2019.

Just last week the new club decided on the moniker Bulldogs, based on its connection to local minor hockey. They plan on releasing their jersey in the next few weeks.

“We were excited to get the name out there and get started. We’re still pretty preliminary,” said Quinn.

Quinn explained most of the work these days is developing a business model for the franchise in terms of their brand, as well as meeting with architects to finalize plans for the new rink, including the team’s dressing room and training facility.

The new rink, which will have seating for more than 1,200 people, will be a second ice surface at the Blackfalds Multiplex and is a major part of the $20-million facility.

Another key piece of the franchise puzzle is putting together a staff, which includes director of hockey operations Al Parada and a few others from the Optimist Chiefs’ staff.

“A lot of the group that worked with me the last number of years with the Midget team. We’ve all been part of the hockey industry, so we all have networks. We’re going to tap into those and already have had a number of people want to be apart of the team,” said Quinn, who added that he’ll be behind the bench as head coach, at least in the beginning.

“There’s lots of people who want to be a part of it, but what’s our message? What kind of player are we looking for and who do we want involved? Who are the kind of people that are going to be representing our product?”

The focus will shift early next season to players, where they will have a tall task ahead. Building a roster from the ground up isn’t easy, but with some connections around the hockey world and in Central Alberta, he figures they’ll be able to put together a competitive group.

As for the type of player, Quinn said they’ll need a mixture of everything on the ice, but in reality, the players need to be a part of the community as well.

“What we can do is create opportunities for the kids that they feel will benefit them,” Quinn said.

“For us, what I’ve always said when I’ve coached, we’re never always looking for the 20 most talented kids. We’re always trying to put together the best team. We’re going to looking for all kinds of players to fit certain roles. To me, we’ve had success with that model and it’s something we’re going to continue to do.”

Quinn also explained what has been driving the project in the early days is the enthusiasm from everyone around Central Alberta and particularly the excitement in Blackfalds. He said he hopes in turn, he can deliver them a product and organization they’ll be proud of.

“We’re always trying to do the best we can and certainly (winning), will be our goal. Build the most competitive team. I think the thing that’s exciting for this whole project is the excitement within the community, working with the Town of Blackfalds and the excitement within the community,” Quinn said.

I feel really positive about what they’re doing and giving us the opportunity to build something and hopefully, we can build it into a top program.”

Fans of the new franchise can check on their social channels for their new jersey in the coming weeks.



Email sports tips to Byron Hackett

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, reported 323 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday. (File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson)
‘We’re in a danger zone,’ says Hinshaw

The province’s top doctor says “we’re in a danger zone” when it… Continue reading

Mayor Tara Veer pleads with the premier Tuesday to review the decision to move to a consolidated EMS dispatch system, which will be moved to three centres across the province. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)
‘Issue of life and death’: mayors plead with government to halt consolidated EMS dispatch

Red Deer Mayor Tara Veer calls on premier to overturn consolidated EMS dispatch decision

A $2.3-billion expansion of Alberta’s natural gas transportation system has been approved. “This should provide significant benefits — and we need every little bit of economic boost we can get,” says Reg Warkentin, policy adviser for the Red Deer & District Chamber of Commerce. (Flickr photo)
Red Deer-area to benefit from $2.3 billion gas pipeline expansion project

Project will add 344 km of new pipeline between RMH and Grande Prairie

Dustin Snider was elected the new board president for Red Deer & District Chamber of Commerce. (Photo by SUSAN ZIELINSKI/Advocate staff)
Earl’s Restaurant manager re-elected Red Deer & District Chamber of Commerce president

Dustin Snider has been re-elected president of the Red Deer & Distict… Continue reading

Red Deer singer Kayla Williams hopes listeners fed up with the pandemic are comforted by her new song, Stealing from My Youth, which is digitally available for streaming on Friday. (Contributed photo).
Red Deer singer summarizes universal pandemic feelings in a new single

Kayla Williams releases ‘Stealing From My Youth’ on Friday

Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw warms up before Game 1 of the baseball World Series against the Tampa Bay Rays Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2020, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Kershaw, LA stars shine, Dodgers top Rays 8-3 in WS opener

Kershaw, LA stars shine, Dodgers top Rays 8-3 in WS opener

Manchester United's Marcus Rashford leaps over a challenge by PSG's Presnel Kimpembe during the Champions League group H soccer match between Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester United at the Parc des Princes in Paris, France, Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2020. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)
Man United wins again at PSG; Messi scores in Barca rout

Man United wins again at PSG; Messi scores in Barca rout

Hamilton Forge coach Bobby Smyrniotis, right, hugs captain Kyle Bekker following their victory in the Canadian Premier League soccer final against the Calgary Cavalry in Calgary, Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019. Under Smyrniotis, Forge FC has been the class of the Canadian Premier League. The two-time champions from Hamilton look to mark their internationally this week as they open CONCACAF League play in El Salvador. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Forge FC coach Bobby Smyrniotis’ influence on Canadian soccer continues to grow

Forge FC coach Bobby Smyrniotis’ influence on Canadian soccer continues to grow

Players' sticks are shown during a World Hockey Championships game in Moscow, Russia on Thursday, May 12, 2016. A senior hockey team in a small city in southern Manitoba has changed its name following a push against the use of Indigenous names and caricatures as mascots. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Ivan Sekretarev
Manitoba senior hockey team changes Indigenous name to Bombers

Manitoba senior hockey team changes Indigenous name to Bombers

Jason Kokrak tees off during the final round of the CJ Cup golf tournament at Shadow Creek Golf Course Sunday, Oct. 18, 2020, in North Las Vegas. (AP Photo/David Becker)
Long drive champ Berkshire looking to compete in tournaments

Long drive champ Berkshire looking to compete in tournaments

The Los Angeles Dodgers line up during during the national anthem and a fly over before Game 1 of the baseball World Series against the Tampa Bay Rays Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2020, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Pandemic World Series draws smallest crowd in over century

Pandemic World Series draws smallest crowd in over century

Keegan Messing performs in the Gala at the 2020 Canadian Tire National Skating Championships in Mississauga, Ont., on Sunday, Jan. 19, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Messing dedicating his Skate America performance to grounded Canadian teammates

Messing dedicating his Skate America performance to grounded Canadian teammates

Most Read