CORNWALL 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.
The 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.