CFN – Bernie Villeneuve was looking forward to the new Valleyfield team in his hockey league starting this season in what would be the perfect rivalry. Sadly however his future as team owner has become one hot mess as the owner has vowed to stay in front of City Hall until Monday’s Council meeting after being frustrated at his handling at the hands of Mayor Bob Kilger and City Hall.
I spoke with Bernie and Rick Lapierre outside of City Hall today among a crowd of supporters. Ironically City Hall was void of the Mayor or CAO Norm Levac. Not they, nor anyone from Economic Development have responded to emails or phone calls regarding the River Kings from CFN.
There’s been a Kilgerian history where certain “local” businesses are leaned on or attacked until the owner sells to someone more “acceptable” at City Hall and then the issues seem to disappear. This is a city that has the mayor tagging along patio inspections after an applicant dropped their advertising with CFN and helped expedite the process. This is after all a mayor how has sat in on waterfront condo meetings this year as well.
Cornwall, like many towns likes its hockey rough and tumble. Old school Don Cherry hockey. Hockey like from the movie Goon. The River Kings are a great bit of local entertainment that drew on average around 2500 people per night for a 22 game home schedule in an arena that’s mostly empty.
While the Colts play their Junior game and people love the kids; they love the wider more open style of hockey the River Kings offered.
Could the city simply be leaning on Bernie just to get rid of the owner and then have one of their own benefit from the seeds planted? It certainly wouldn’t be the first time this has happened in Cornwall and probably is why it’s so hard to start small business with any success in the River City.
After being asked to “prove” themselves Mr. Villeneuve’s team clearly showed they were an attraction yet the Mayor signed a new 3 year deal with Colts clearly knowing that the River Kings would need a share of advertising to survive?
Will Ian McInnis and Bob Kilger be the guys that go down for killing a popular city team?
Many are linking the trouble to Mitch Gagne losing influence over the team and his mysterious control of ice time at City owned rinks?
You Tube River King Video Which Pulled in Over 1M Page Views!
Hockey fan Brock Kirkman also spoke about the River Kings;
What do you think dear viewers of CFN? Can the River Kings be saved?
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