By Jeffrey Graber
KWCH 12 Eyewitness Sports
1:13 PM EST, January 24, 2013
The Central Hockey League announced an agreement with the town of Brampton, Ontatio in Canada to have a team playing in the CHL starting next season (2013-14).
Brampton is located approximately 30 miles outside of Toronto. It is more than 1,100 miles from Wichita. By bus, the trip would take more than 17 hours. Brampton will also be the only team located in the eastern time zone.
While a Letter of Intent has been signed, details for the Wichita Thunder are still sketchy at best.
"It's a long drive," said Thunder General Manager Joel T. Lomurno. "I look forward to seeing more details about the organization and find out how often we'll be going out there to play."
For now, the team does not know how they'll travel to and from Canada.
"I have to look at the best way to get there, whether that be by bus or plane. I image we'll go out and play multiple games."
The Thunder traditionally use a charter bus for all games, but Lomurno said the team has flown in the past.
"It's hard to buy plane tickets when the roster may be changing a week later".
A press release regarding the announcement is below:
The Central Hockey League announced today that it has signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) with a group that will bring a Central Hockey League expansion franchise to Brampton, Ontario for the 2013-14 season.
The Brampton franchise would mark the 12th team slated to play in the League in the 2013-14 season joining the St. Charles Chill as expansion clubs.
“It is very exciting to make this announcement,” said Duane Lewis, Central Hockey League Commissioner. “I grew up in this area and know firsthand what a positive addition this market will be to our current roster of teams. Our hope is to expand further in the future in the Southern Ontario area.”
The Brampton Franchise will be in strong hands both from a hockey and business perspective.
The team will be led by Kingston entrepreneur, owner of Kimco Steel, and former owner of the Kingston Voyageurs, Gregg Rosen, who will be Owner of the Team; and Cary Kaplan, president of the sports marketing firm, Cosmos Sports and former president of the Hamilton Bulldogs, who will assume the role of President & Governor of the team.
"I am very excited and honored to be working with the Central Hockey League, to bring professional hockey to the City and the people of Brampton; as the first Canadian team in league history,” said Rosen. “We believe that Brampton is a great hockey market. Cary and I are committed to providing great entertainment, winning hockey and community leadership to the City and being a successful and vibrant Central Hockey League franchise for many years."
Both the Central Hockey League and the potential ownership group have been working towards finalizing the agreement and completing all legal documents. The team name, the ownership group and other important team details will be announced in the near future.
“As you can imagine, there is much that has to be completed and finalized to make this historic step to Canada for the Central Hockey League,” said Lewis. “We have been working diligently to complete everything and the LOI is the next step to putting the new franchise on the Central Hockey League map.”