WESTVILLE ROAD, N.S. – Scott Burden, who has agreed to buy the Junior A Crushers along with fellow co-owner Bruce Ryan, agreed to a telephone interview Sunday, one day after the Maritime Hockey League formally announced the ownership change (it takes effect April 1).
Part of the following was assembled from email exchanges with Burden.
On the future of the Junior A Crushers in Pictou County:
Scott Burden: There’s a zero per cent chance that we’ll be moving this team, so I hope the community gets on board. (The) community truly has the most important role because it is really the community that decides if they want to come to the rink. I couldn’t ask for a better hockey town. I went to the game against Yarmouth (a 3-2 Crushers’ victory over the Mariners on Jan. 10). It was a real ‘event’ – biggest crowd of the year I believe. Everyone on the edge of their seats, an overtime win... awesome. I hope to see a lot more games like this.”
On the status of the current coaching staff, as well as general manager Chad McDavid:
Scott Burden: “We won’t know until the season’s over – we don’t even know if they want to come back – (but head coach Doug Doull) is a well-respected coach in this league and our plan right now is to have everything the same next year.
“(McDavid) is the guy with the knowledge of the players, the league, and he’s the guy I’ve leaned on the most since I got involved in this.”
On what role he and Ryan played leading up to the Jan. 10 trade deadline:
Scott Burden: “As part of our agreement to buy the team, the current owners allowed us to work with the organization after we reached the buy/sell agreement. Ultimately the team took the best advice it received in relation to the team’s performance for this year and next. The decisions that were made at the trade deadline were made under current ownership but we were allowed to provide some input. We would not have been happy if deals were made that didn’t help the team this year and moving forward.”
On the future of the current Weeks Hockey Organization board members:
Scott Burden: “We don’t own the team yet. We will buy the team from the current owners. The current Board represents that company (but) the Board will no longer have any stake in the team, except that we will probably lean on its members for advice from time to time. We have received a lot of advice from (Weeks Hockey Organization president) Wade Sullivan. And Wade, loving the team as he does, will be an important adviser in the future, we hope.”
• Both owners have sons who play on the Crushers. Burden is the father of Andrew Burden and Bruce Ryan’s son is Brayden Ryan, who is currently out with injury. Ryan was drafted by the Crushers two years ago, and Burden was acquired early in the season from the Edmundston Blizzard.
It is not believed that the status of both players had anything to do with the sale of the team. “We had no idea (the trade for Burden) was coming, so that was a pleasant surprise,” said Scott Burden.
• The Pictou County Weeks Major Midgets are not part of the sale. The current Weeks board is expected to continue to direct the Major Midget program.