News » Whistler

team canada

comment
Team Canada’s stay in Whistler was brief but the impact will be felt for some time to come. "We’re still tallying up the pieces, but it looks like the net proceeds from the silent auction, the barbecue, the gate at each practice and a portion of the souvenir sales will be about $20,000," said Tony Tyler of the Whistler Minor Hockey Association. "Team Canada left a lot of good will, smiling faces and about a million autographs," Tyler added. Organizers are expecting about 225 kids in Whistler Minor Hockey this season. Just how they will spend the $20,000 has yet to be decided. An autographed Team Canada jersey garnered $4,000 at an auction and party Saturday in Pemberton to raise money for a new ice arena. "In my opinion, $4,000 is a fraction of what that’s worth on the open sports collectors market," said Dave Crowther. The jersey was purchased by a Pembertonian who "got auction fever," Crowther said. As well, the Blackcomb Ski Club made money by selling pancakes to the hundreds of people who lined up each morning to get in to the practices at Meadow Park. The Whistler Skating Club also made some money by selling raffle tickets to Saturday’s Team Canada barbecue on Whistler Mountain. But the long-term impacts for Whistler of the four-day training camp are harder to measure. The official Team Canada photo, which will be sold at World Cup hockey games, has Whistler Mountain in the background. Media interest in the training camp was international, with reporters filing stories to Swedish newspapers and CNN. One of the most direct impacts may be from NHL teams holding mini-retreats at Whistler during West Coast road trips during the hockey season. "Neil Smith (New York Rangers general manager) was blown away," said Parks and Recreation Director Bill Barratt. "I was driving him back to the hotel just as the sun was going down over the mountains, he couldn’t believe how beautiful it was." The Rangers spent four days in Vail last season. Unfortunately their schedule doesn’t allow them to spend time in Whistler this hockey season. However, officials from at least six NHL teams are travelling with Team Canada and have now seen the Meadow Park facility and know it’s open for retreats during the season. "The players all have to say the right things, but I talked to the trainers and others and they all praised the camp, the organization and the facilities," said Barratt. He added that Wayne Gretzky and Mark Messier were mobbed virtually everywhere they went, but many of the other players enjoyed being able to walk through the village without being recognized.

Add a comment