Sunday, March 18, 2007

North Bay wins the 2007 title of Kraft Hockeyville

The folks at the CBC and Kraft are rather smart, with the list of possible sites down to five in their Kraft Hockeyville contest, they called in Gary Bettman to name the winning town in this years competition.

Leaving Bettman to be the bearer of bad news to four communities, forever to be remembered as the guy that didn’t call their name. You don’t see Don Cherry or Ron McLean running the risk of the hate mail to come, best to leave it to the guy that is already on so many naughty lists as it is across Canada. Now we're not sure who is advising Mr. Bettman, but next year he might wish to delegate the responsibility. Being the grim reaper of hockey dreams doesn't do much for your overall image.

North Bay claimed the title, beating out a strong final four that included the likes of Smithers, BC, Cornwall, Ontario, Noelville, Ontario and Warner, Alberta.

In addition to the coveted Kraft Hockeyville 2007 title and the trophy, North Bay, Ontario wins the once-in-a-lifetime prize of hosting a NHL pre-season game between the New York Islanders and the Atlanta Thrashers on September 17, 2007. North Bay will also receive $50,000 to be used for upgrades to the publicly-owned arena that the winning community endorses.

The Hockeyville project is a popular competition across the country, as town and city alike foster some great community spirit and develop creative ways to showcase their community as perhaps Canada’s most passionate hockey community.

This year the folks in North Bay were voted to be the town with the most passion for the sport, welcoming the Commissioner’s announcement made on Hockey Night in Canada on Saturday night. Here's the Video submitted by North Bay as part of their competition application.

For those that came up just a little short, the last thing they’ll remember is the sound of Mr. Bettman awarding a city other than their own with the much sought after title. Gary mght be a valued visitor to North Bay, but perhaps he would be wise not to make any other small town Canada travel plans in the near future.

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