Did David Murphy & Bob Kilger Kill The Cornwall River Kings? Is Benson’s an Owner of the Colts?

david murphyCORNWALL Ontario  –  Alas the River Kings, we knew them well.

That David Murphy is quite a guy.  He likes to sound like a game show host, but he also appears to be a  string puller in the background using his clout at City Hall and with the Benson Group.

As a matter of fact there’s some major buzz that it’s Mr. Murphy and Benson’s that have played a role in the demise of the River Kings.  Last owner in, David Small  just announced that they’ve given up the team back to the league after two money losing seasons.

The buzz is that Mr. Murphy’s new gig with the Colts is somehow connected to a change of ownership and that current mucky muck Ian MacInnis is headed to Kingston after this season which coincidentally is the last year of the cozy rink deal with the Civic Complex that left the River Kings no chance of breaking even.

There was some hope after owner Bernie Villeneuve was able to sell the team, but before the season had ended most of the ownership group had bailed and last owner in David Small was reduced to public begging and $5 tix to staunch the flow of $$$ and finish the season.

The irony is that Cornwall really responded to the Kings and they had strong crowds both seasons; especially after this year Valleyfield Quebec got a team creating a natural rivalry.  Rumblings of unpaid charter buses and other discombobulations led to a grumbly end to a season that never got off to a good start.

A frustrated Bernie Villeneuve talks about the problems with the City and River Kings.

The main issue is that Mayor Kilger shepherded a deal that the Colts were essentially given all the rink advertising money in spite of the knowledge that the Kings would be coming to Cornwall and actually using the rink more than the Colts.

Mr. Murphy recently left MPP Jim McDonell’s employ to join the Colt in some capacity.   He nor Marty or Gerry Benson have responded as of press time.  We will update this story as more info becomes available.

Councillor, David MurphyThe bigger question is what exactly is going on in the shadows and does Mr. Murphy’s role as councilor and supporter of Mayor Kilger somehow enter these murky dark waters that have led to a huge dollar loss and hole in the revenue created for the Civic Complex with the demise of the River Kings?   Was there a connection between the support of the Benson College and supporting a pro Colts position of the Complex, a contract worth over six figures per year?


What do you think Cornwall?  You can post your comments below.



  1. I think the River Kings were doomed from day one with the only revenue streams (I love that term) being ticket sales and sponsorships. The city was wrong to give the rink boards and in-rink advertising deal to the Colts exclusively. That, to me, was the first nail in the River Kings coffin. Whose fault was it? Probably a little bit of everyone’s. With due diligence the River Kings never should have signed the deal for here.

  2. Why am I not surprised? I am not a sports fan and can’t tell you one team from another but I can say that Cornwall could never hold on to a hockey team of any sort. As for a university in Cornwall that is a joke. If you find your taxes high now just hold on to your shorts and see what is going to happen next. You would all be going to Bare Ass and strining him up.

  3. River Kings were a waste of ice time from the beginning. If Windsor couldn’t support them then Cornwall never had a chance either.

    It is a league out of Quebec, if we can remember our history even when the Royals when in the QMJL teams never wanted to come to Cornwall. It was too far for travel.

    This hillbilly league is simply a mill town group of thugs trying to hang on to something they think they are good at.
    Cornwall would need to return to its roots and once again become a manufacturing city or mill town.

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with that, unless you count all the people who continually see issue with how it is done yet not having all the facts

  4. Author

    Hailey you’re missing a few fundamentals. One, the issue isn’t the quality of the team. The issue was whether a business in Cornwall was treated reasonably fairly, (it wasn’t) and its an economic question. The team put cash in the city’s coffers and the public chose to support it.

    People put their cash up to support this team and it was never given a break. That’s wrong at all levels.

  5. The main fundamental is hey should have never been given an opportunity.

    Demographically and economically they never had a chance Add to that the low caliber of sport, if you can call it that, and we see the same failure.

    I am sorry are to understand by your comment the issue isn’t the quality of the team is your basis for doing business of any sort?

    This caliber of hockey is goonies it reeks of what we need to remove out of the real game….Showing nonsense stuff like that is what our youth take to the ice and remove any growth in a sport that needs violence to survive

  6. Author

    Hailey if they were given even a third of the rink to advertise it’d be a huge help for the team; never mind half or a percentage based on actual metrics.

    They did draw and were successful. They played a brand of hockey that the people of Cornwall were happy to pay to come and see. End of.

  7. It’s a real shame that we are losing the team. It is a very high caliber of hockey. Most of the players played Junior A or higher and quite a few of them even had played games in the NHL. I enjoyed it and went to almost every game. It’s a sad day for hockey in Cornwall.

    The league will be back some year. Hopefully the Colts will move to the Benson Center where their small crowds won’t look as empty and open up the Civic for the big boys.

  8. Learn from the past ppl aces, comets and now river kings. No other team will survive as long as the colts r here. Sorry colts I am a fan but it’s the truth.

  9. Other teams besides the Cols can survive here. The city has to be fair to all the teams involved and NOT give the board and in-rink advertising, etc. to the Colts only. The other teams bring in cash for the city. The city has to change their attitude.

  10. With a little more thought going into the Benson Centre’s pad 1, the Colts could have had a much better venue there then at the Complex, city managers will tell you a much different story but we are used to that. The Civic Complex is a dump, the seats are an embarrassment to any one visiting here and having to sit in the filth of them is sinful. The sound system and the score clock is so far outdated, seriously!! What needs to be done or should be considered is a serious upgrade to the Complex and a marketing strategy that could promote real semi-pro hockey.

  11. @CityBS….The Benson Centre pad 1 seating is too small for CCHL. They have minimum standards and pad 1 doesn’t make the cut. But I agree the Civic Complex needs a serious upgrade. The seats are too small, leg room is non-existent, the sound system and score board are from the 80’s?

  12. Then let me ask you this, if the Kings did so well in revenue why would the city not encourage their staying?

    Your question is valid but what is it based on?

  13. The city, in their infinite wisdom, decided to sign an exclusive contract with the Colts giving them the boards and in-rink advertising income. As well, I believe they got a percentage of concession sales. For a team to survive in any locale they need more than ticket sales and sponsorships. The River Kings did not have access to the boards and in-rink advertising income. The River Kings needed a fair deal with the city and the Colts. They didn’t get that. I don’t blame the River Kings first owner and the David Small group for pulling the plug.

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