Friday, April 2, 2010

A place in the sun

CHL assumes control of Sundogs' franchise

The Central Hockey League assumed control of the Arizona Sundogs' franchise Friday, citing a breach in the licensing agreement with previous ownership, CHL Director of Operations Bob Hoffman announced.

"Every CHL franchise is given a license agreement," Hoffman said. "There are specifications, there are operational protocols that need to be handled by within that license agreement, and it's up to that ownership group to adhere to that. This ownership group was in violation of that license agreement."

Consolidated Sports, a division of The Monarch Corporation owned by Bill Yuill, bought the Sundogs in December of 2008. Calls to the ownership group Friday were not immediately returned.

The CHL will oversee operation of the Sundogs and assume the lease at Tim's Toyota Center until the transfer to a new ownership group can be completed.

Despite the ownership change, both Hoffman and Sundogs' director of Public Relations Shane Ferraro called hockey operations within the club "business as usual."

"It's a surprise to us, but the thing we want our fans to know is that as a front office staff, as a hockey staff, it's business as usual for us," Ferraro said. "We're still preparing to celebrate our fifth season with our fans. It's important for our fans to know it's business as usual."

Hoffman added that the ownership change wouldn't hinder the team's ability to sign free agents and get ready for the 2010-2011 season

The Sundogs are heading into their fifth season in the CHL this fall and are just two seasons removed from winning the Ray Miron President's Cup (2008).

This past season, the team finished seventh in the Southern Conference with a 24-34-6 record. Arizona finished 14 points out of playoff contention.

Story by Justin Rains/The Daily Courier, Prescott, AZ

Photo Credit: Robert Keith

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