September 5, 2013, SASKATOON, SK – The Saskatoon Blades were pleased to introduce their new ownership group and management staff Thursday afternoon at the Credit Union Centre. They also announced today that they have re-assigned four more players as they continue to trim down their roster for the upcoming season.
New owner Mike Priestner was introduced to the media by outgoing owner Jack Brodsky.
The team sale and transfer of ownership comes following a unanimous vote by the WHL’s Board Of Governors at a meeting on Wednesday afternoon in Calgary.
A former WHL goaltender, Mr. Priestner is the owner of Go Auto, an Edmonton based automotive company which owns over 30 dealerships in Western Canada.
“Given his highly successful career in the automotive industry, we are confident Mike Priestner is capable of meeting our expectations as the new owner of the Saskatoon Blades franchise,” commented WHL Commissioner Ron Robison. “Mike is committed to doing whatever is necessary to maintain the storied tradition of the Blades in the Saskatoon community.”
New Saskatoon Blades staff members were also introduced by the team on Thursday.
Steve Hogle will take over the position of team president in Saskatoon. He departs the Edmonton Oilers to join the Blades. He took on a number of different roles with the NHL club. He was serving the role of vice-president of hockey communications, where he oversaw TV, radio and the club’s website. Along with that, his duties included game-day presentation, alumni relations and community events.
Colin Priestner will take over the role as managing partner of the Blades. Priestner carries with him a great passion for business and for hockey and is making the move from Edmonton to Saskatoon to take on an everyday role with the club. He previously served as the vice-president of Go Auto from 2006 until 2012.
The sale of the team ends a long era between the Brodsky family and the organization. The Brodsky family have owned the Saskatoon Blades franchise since 1976, with Jack Brodsky serving as both team president and governor since 1992.
The Blades also announced today that they have re-assigned four more players as they continue to trim down their roster in anticipation of their 50th anniversary season.
Left-winger Parker Smyth (’98) and defencemen Turner Ottenbreit (’97), Mackenzie Dwyer (’97) and Nolan Reid (’98) are the players re-assigned. All four of the players appeared in the Blades pre-season opening game last night in Swift Current against the Broncos.
Reid was the Blades first selection in the 2013 WHL Bantam Draft, being chosen in the second round, 41st overall. The right-handed blueliner from Deer Valley, Saskatchewan played bantam for Notre Dame this past season, registering 10 goals and 27 points in 30 games to go along with 30 PIMs.
Smyth was the Blades second selection in the draft. Like Reid, he was taken in the second round, 44th overall. He spent last year with his hometown Red Deer Rebels Black bantam-AAA team. In 31 games, he scored 16 goals to go along with 16 assists and 90 PIMs.
Dwyer was selected 233rd overall in the 2012 WHL Bantam Draft by the Blades. He posted a goal and 12 assists in 44 games last year for the Winnipeg Thrashers M-AAA team. He also added 30 PIMs.
Ottenbreit was selected 261st overall in the 2012 WHL Bantam Draft by the Blades. He scored 4 goals and added 12 assists and 51 PIMs in 42 games last year for the Yorkton Harvest M-AAA team.