LAKESIDE LEADER - Junior ‘A’ league optimistic about Slave Lake in 2019

By Joe McWilliams

AS SEEN ON: Lakeside Leader, January 22, 2019

The Western Provinces Hockey Association (WPHA), it appears, is still  gung-ho about setting up a Junior ‘A’ franchise in Slave Lake. Last  year’s effort did not bear fruit; they are back at it, and a league  official last week issued a release making it sound all but certain for  Slave Lake in 2019.

“Head of International Expansion, Derek  Prue, is excited to announce that Slave Lake will also be considered for  a team….” it said, in part.

In a follow-up email to The Leader, Prue said, “‘conditionally approved’ is perhaps a better term than ‘considered.’”

 Prue also said, “there is already an investor in place for the Slave  Lake team,” adding there is “still room for some local ownership if  there is interest.”

Prue’s release said negotiations on a lease  agreement with the Town of Slave Lake are underway. The town confirmed  that a conversation is going on, but could provide no details.

Things may pick up steam when WSHL (the parent league to the WPHA)  Commissioner Ron White visits Slave Lake on Jan. 30. Prue says White  will be making stops at all four of the sites earmarked for new teams.  Besides Slave Lake, they are Jasper, Fort Saskatchewan and Vegreville.  Edson and Hinton are in the league this year and are “both true success  stories,” Prue says. Cold Lake and Meadow Lake round out the WPHA this  season.