Lloydminster Meridian Booster
(Story that appeared in the May 22,2002
issue of the Lloydminster
Meridian Booster on their Allan Cup 2004
bid loss to the St-Georges Garaga)
by Sean Rooney
Lloydminster Meridian Booster Staff
Call it a case of Eastern-centrism.
Debate the future of senior hockey. Call
it what you will, but this past Monday's vote to give St. Georges, Que. the
right to host the 2004 Allan Cup was the biggest loss to the Lloydminster
Border Kings this year.
"We were happy with our presentation, everything went really well," said
Kings president Brent Dallyn after returning from the Canadian Hockey
Association (CHA) general meetings in Toronto this past Tuesday. "We don't
exactly know what happened. The talking we had done while we were there, we
actually thought we were going to get it."
They almost did. After securing a spot in the final vote alongside the
reigning senior AAA champions from St. Georges, the 13 members of the CHA's
senior council gave Quebec the right to host the 2004 Allan Cup by a narrow
7-6 vote. Though he knew it was close, Dallyn was still surprised.
"When we found out the final vote, it was very disappointing," he said. "We
think something happened from maybe one or two provinces in the west as
well, but we don't know what that is."
The big difference may have been in the bid presentations themselves. Dallyn
conceded that the St. Georges' bid had more polish than Lloydminster's,
which could have been the difference.
"I just think at the end of the day, St. Georges just had a little more
oomph to their package than we did," said Dallyn. "We were very proud of the
document and presentation that we took there. It's probably the best our
team and our city can provide."
So if Lloydminster's best isn't enough, what is it going to take to bring
Canada's top senior hockey tournament back to the Border City?
"Basically what it comes down to is the CHA has to decide whether they want
to make the Allan Cup an amateur event or a professional event," said
Dallyn. "If they're going to leave the Allan Cup play as basically a
professional deal, then maybe they have to bring back the Hardy Cup and AA
"Of the five cities that were there presenting, St. Georges was the only one
that could do that."
Dallyn figured the Quebec team ran on a $1 million budget, compared to the
Border Kings' annual tare of $60,000 to $70,000. He knows it's hard to
compete with those kind of resources, especially when politics come into
"It really looks to us too that the east is starting to dominate what is
happening," he said. "It's the same way hockey goes in any level, it's going
in circles. Five years ago you couldn't get anybody to compete from the
east, now they want to build teams and compete for the Allan Cup."
Other bidding cities were Stony Plain, Drayton Valley, and Warroad, Minn.
Lloydminster lost the 2003 bid to Dundas, Ont. and were bolstered by the
presence of Ottawa Senators defenceman Wade Redden.