Cornwall River Kings to Skate at Cornwall Civic Complex
A new chapter in Cornwall’s rich hockey history is about to be written with the arrival of the Cornwall River Kings of the Ligue Nord Américaine de Hockey (LNAH).
Officials of the new Cornwall hockey franchise unveiled the team name and team colours during a media conference on Thursday, May 31st at the Cornwall Civic Complex. A large crowd of City officials, media and community supporters were on hand for the announcement.
The River Kings’ will take to the ice in blue, red and cream white jerseys with stars on the upper chest, a look and colour scheme that pays tribute to the Cornwall Royals. Team officials plan to hold a community contest to come up with a logo that fits with the vintage-style jerseys.
During the media conference, team officials also unveiled their planned first round draft pick, 26-year-old defenceman Sasha Pokulok. A Washington Capitals draft pick in 2005, Pokulok’s resume includes stints in the AHL and ECHL.
The new team will play out of the Cornwall Civic Complex this coming hockey season, with home games being played mainly on Saturday nights.
The LNAH is a minor professional hockey league based in Quebec. Other teams are located in Rivière-du-Loup, Saguenay, Saint-Georges, Sorel-Tracy, Thetford Mines and Trois-Rivières. Teams play a 40-game regular season schedule.
In welcoming the new team to Cornwall, City Councillor David Murphy said the River Kings and the Jr. A Colts have an opportunity to build a strong partnership that will benefit all local hockey fans.
“I have no doubt that Cornwall has the hockey base to support both teams,” said Councillor Murphy. “Now we've got the best of both worlds. Let’s embrace it.”
The River Kings are owned by Bernard Villeneuve, while Mitch Gagne is serving as Director of Hockey Operations and Nicolas Pelletier is serving as Governor and Director of Communications. Wayne Veary has joined the franchise as Assistant Manager.
Mr. Veary is a familiar name in Quebec hockey circles, and there will also be some familiar names behind the bench, with former Royal and Colts coach Al Wagar serving as River Kings’ head coach and Mike Ruest serving as assistant coach.
Mr. Wagar said the River Kings will be a hardworking team that battles every night.
“We’re going to try to win them all,” he added.
LNAH Commissioner Michel Godin was on hand for the media conference, and he said it was a great day for both the league and for Cornwall. The Cornwall entry marks the first time that the LNAH expands outside of Quebec, and Mr. Godin said that will create an opportunity for Cornwall to build some unique rivalries with the other teams.
According to Mr. Gagne, season tickets will go on sale Monday at a cost of $220 for adults and $185 for students and seniors. Single-game tickets will sell for $13 for adults and $10 for students and seniors.