Interview: Mark Rummukainen from the Canberra Knights

Just over a week ago, the Canberra Knights were preparing for the 2014 Australian Ice Hockey League Season. Suddenly a rug was pulled out from underneath them. 

stars-v-knights-12-may-13-066-e1368421674928 The players and coaches were preparing for another season of AIHL action when word came through the owner John Raut was folding the team and that they would not be participating in the season.

The news came as big a shock for the Knights’ players as anyone else, who were deep in preparations for the upcoming season.

The players immediately rallied to save the club. Led by captain Mark Rummukainen, a donation fund was established, aiming at raising $50,000.

The players were given a chance to present their proposal for running the club to Rob Bannerman and Alex Lata from the AIHL Commission on Monday night.

Rummukainen spoke with Hewitt Sports today, and said about the meeting with the league.

“We think our proposal was pretty good, we’ve got a great group of people on board off the ice behind the scenes.

“They bought up their major issue was the player depth, we addressed that we think we can overcome that”.

He stressed that the meeting was very positive and that the league gave and will give due consideration to the proposal.

On the chances of the bid getting up, Rummukainen was confident, but not overly so as he knows the league will need all the boxes ticked to give its approval for a team from Canberra to play in its 2014 competition.

“We are pretty confident but we don’t want to get ahead of ourselves”.

On the burning issue of player depth, it has been widely reported that clubs have offered players to Canberra to assist. This does not appear to be the case.

“There’s young players in this country, pretty much from any city, there could be players that can’t make the Mustangs, the Ice, Adelaide, Perth. If we can strike up a deal to get those players on board with us, we wouldn’t say no.

“We haven’t signed anybody yet. Once we get that tick of approval we will cross that bridge when we come to it”.

If this proposal does go ahead, the team will be well placed to take advantage of the support, as Rummukainen said

“If it does go ahead we want to capitalise on the support that we’ve had”.

The team is continuing to train in the hopes that they will be on the rink come April 12, when they are fixtured to host the Newcastle North Stars. The core group of players and the coaches are in place and ready to go.

“We have been yes, mostly off ice. The guys are acting as if we’ve got a season coming up.” Rummukainen said

All that is needed is the approval of the teams and the league.

Just when that will happen is the subject of some conjecture. Some say it may happen as early as tonight.

Rummukainen says it could be Thursday but more likely Friday at this stage.

The hockey world waits with baited breath.

You can donate to the Canberra Knight’s Cause HERE


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Chris Meister

Chris Meister

Editor at large - Hockey
Chris is a mad fan of almost any sport and a number of sporting teams, too many to mention. With an American father, Chris’s love of traditional North American sports was developed at a young age, receiving weekly newspaper clippings on all the Philadelphia teams from his grandfather (how times have changed!!). In the latter half of the 2011 AIHL season, Chris started writing for and has since written for Hewitt Sports Network covering AIHL and ABL and The Armchair Selector. In the limited spare time that Chris has, he enjoys going to watch his favourite teams play (whatever the code) and also spending time with his young family.
Chris Meister
Chris Meister

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