Mike Priestner takes over as Saskatoon Blades owner
SASKATOON – It’s the end of an era for outgoing Saskatoon Blades Owner Jack Brodsky, a man who has been an integral part of the franchise since 1976.
Brodsky has now handed over the keys to the organization to Mike Priestner, the CEO of GoAuto. The process of selling the team has dragged on over the summer, and Brodsky is glad it’s finally a done deal.
“It’s actually a sweet day, it’s something I’ve been looking forward to for the last few months.” said Brodsky on Thursday.
“I think the club is in good hands, and I’m looking forward to coming here and being a fan.”
The torch has been handed to Mike Priestner, a man who has wanted to own a Western Hockey League team for quite some time.
In 2007 Priestner put in an unsuccessful bid to buy the Kamloops Blazers. Six years later, Priestner’s dream of owning a WHL franchise has now become a reality.
“It’s extremely exciting, but we have a huge obligation here to do a good job, and that’s what we’re going to do.” said Priestner after his first press conference as the owner of the Saskatoon Blades.
Mike Priestner has also brought in a couple of people to help restructure the organization.
His son, Colin Priestner, will become a managing partner, and Steve Hogle will fill the role of president & alternate governor.
Both have moved from Edmonton to Saskatoon to take on a more “hand on” approach within the hockey club.
The new ownership group will try to quickly establish a solid working relationship with the Blades staff, as the start of the regular season is only two weeks away.
Priestner knows the impending rebuild is going to come with it’s fair share of challenges, but he feels that Blades General Manager Lorne Molleken is well suited to help right the ship.
“Lorne is going to be great, but he has to be on the same wavelength on how to do a rebuild. We haven’t had a chance to talk about specifics, so that is what we’ll be into for the next two or three days. In general, he certainly feels the same way.”
The Blades will open up the regular season at home on Friday, September 20th, against the Prince Albert Raiders.