The team is still a few weeks from its pre-season debut, but the members of the Western Hockey League’s newly-minted Winnipeg Ice are looking forward to facing off in their new home.
The team, which relocated from British Columbia earlier this year, is entering a crowded hockey market, with fans supporting the NHL’s Winnipeg Jets, the Manitoba Moose of the AHL, as well as a host of minor league teams.
For one of the team’s star players, however, Winnipeg’s status as a hockey hotbed is one of the most thrilling parts of the move.
“It’s gonna be exciting,” Ice centre Peyton Krebs told 680 CJOB.
“There’s a lot of hype going into it with the big move, and I’m really looking forward to doing this.
“I’ve heard some amazing things. It’s exciting times, for sure. I’m really looking forward to the opportunity to play in a big hockey market.”
Krebs — a first-round NHL draft pick of the Vegas Golden Knights (17th overall) — may have to wait a little bit longer than some of his teammates before getting that chance.
An injury during an on-ice training session sidelined the Ice’s leading scorer, although he had successful surgery earlier this summer in Calgary, and is expected to make a full recovery.
“Each and every day, it’s healing up better, so I’m just trying to get healthy and get back on the ice,” he said.
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The Ice kick off both their pre-season and regular season with a pair of games against Manitoba’s only other WHL team, the Brandon Wheat Kings, and the two teams are expected to generate a rivalry that Krebs says he’s looking forward to.
“Any time you play a team a lot, it seems you get some hatred in there,” he said.
“Nothing’s started yet, but I’m sure there’s gonna be some heated battles. They’re a great team over there, so it’s going to be a lot of fun.”
Starting this hockey season, all Winnipeg Ice games will stream on CJOB.com. Additionally, almost all Saturday and Sunday games will be broadcast live on 680 CJOB.