SAINT JOHN – Rogers Hometown Hockey will be paying a visit to Saint John next month.
The television program, which highlights local hockey stories from across Canada, will be in the city on Oct. 22 and Oct. 23 at Long Wharf.
The weekend-long event will feature free live music and entertainment and will conclude Sunday evening with host Ron McLean doing a live broadcast from the city during the Vancouver-Anaheim game.
Saint John will be Hometown Hockey’s second stop during its Canada-wide tour and the only stop in the province.
“With hockey being such a treasure an valuable sport to our citizens, Rogers Hometown Hockey is a natural fit in our city,” said Saint John mayor Don Darling at the announcement Wednesday morning. “We feel extremely proud to be selected to host this event which will be free of charge to all of our citizens. It’s guaranteed to offer an memorable experience to everyone.”
Saint John has been home to a number hockey success stories. In 1972 the Saint John Mooseheads claimed the Hardy Cup. In 1992, the Saint John Vito’s claimed the top spot for Canadian AAA hockey with the Allan Cup. In 2001 the Saint John Flames won the Calder Cup and in 2011 the Saint John Sea Dogs won the Memorial Cup.
Another local hockey success story is that of Randy Jones, a Saint John native who, after a successful NHL career, came home to coach the Saint John Vito’s, a midget league team.
“It’s a great opportunity for us to share stories from a very rich hockey community with a lot of caring people here. It’s a big reason why I came back to reside and to help out as much as I can and take over the midget program, just doing everything I can to give back,” Jones said at the announcement.
“They have always supported me throughout my entire hockey career and I was always privileged and very honoured by that.”
Discover Saint John says the event is expected to have about a $1 million in economic spinoff for the city, particularly in the hotels, food and beverage sectors.