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  #11  
Old 08-31-2022, 03:42 PM
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Hey all,

A bunch to mention here;

1 - I am not sure if it is poor media coverage or poor communication from the team, or a change in the media landscape - but what I was trying to get across is that the fans aren't getting the basic information out of the team right now. The reason for that? No clue. As of writing this post the team has now communicated with its fan base via press releases. That may be the way this owner is planning on doing things - time will tell. Just felt like there was a lot of opportunity to get people talking about the team that was just ignored by this new ownership group.

Also - if you're going to announce a blockbuster trade you probably don't want to announce a giant trade mishap like 15 minutes later and railroad your own momentum. This is media 101 stuff.......

2 - Rod is awesome. Great guy. I haven't seen anything from him on the IceDogs since early July though. Rod has always played a unique role being the in-house announcer too though. I always admired his ability to ask really good questions on his weekend sports show in a non-aggressive manner. With Rod shows being on CKTB and the rights for IceDogs being with GiantFM that creates another media hurdle so to speak. Again, Rod over the years always finds a way - no argument he is a pro and we are lucky to have him in Niagara.

3 - I am not really sure how Matt or I "got shut out". Matt broke the Dickenson trade like 3 days ago and I have nothing to do with media currently. Matt has taken a step back from coverage the last few years due to work commitments (I don't think he would mind me saying that). In our "heyday" we were writing stories for the paper, live tweeting, and doing the tv show - that took an insane amount of time and we both had to focus on our full-time occupations and couldn't maintain it. I would still say when it comes to information gathering/breaking Matt is the best the IceDogs fans have (yes, I am inherently biased here but it is what I believe).

4 - "I think Brooks was the better of the two" - while I appreciate the compliment Matt made me better and I made him better. We have been friends since we played Little League together and our friendship and passion for sports made it a fun run together. Also, when I was active in media I am positive most of you wouldn't have been as complimentary, lol!

5 - If there is a Mod who can change my name on this from the long-defunct TV show to just my name that would be appreciated. As I have no intentions of getting back into the media game I might come on here more often

6 - I should also say that the new Ownership should be given some leeway here as a lot has happened fast.....BUT....these are some potential red flags to how fans are going to be treated when it comes to information.

For example - the London Knights have already called a press conference to announce the signing of Dickenson. The IceDogs didnt call a press release for their new coach.

DJ
Excitement about the Icedogs seems to be at an all time low. Last season didn’t help but the new ownership hasn’t done anything to improve the situation. For example there seems to be a lack of clarity as to the direction the Icedogs are headed. Are they going for it this year? Next year? Never going for it and just hoping for a .500 season every year? Rod did ask DeDobbelaer about this but he didn’t give a clear answer.

It just seems to me that this team hopes to operate in secrecy, but with the fans it’s out of sight, out of mind. I am still waiting for Gretzky to give that interview with the local media. What is Gretzky’s involvement with the team? What made him partner with a man he apparently didn’t previously know to buy a team he has no connection to? Likely we will never know and for some strange reason that’s exactly how the team seems to want it.

Last edited by 5 for fighting; 08-31-2022 at 03:47 PM.
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  #12  
Old 08-31-2022, 03:56 PM
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Excitement about the Icedogs seems to be at an all time low. Last season didn’t help but the new ownership hasn’t done anything to improve the situation. For example there seems to be a lack of clarity as to the direction the Icedogs are headed. Are they going for it this year? Next year? Never going for it and just hoping for a .500 season every year? Rod did ask DeDobbelaer about this but he didn’t give a clear answer.

It just seems to me that this team hopes to operate in secrecy, but with the fans it’s out of sight, out of mind. I am still waiting for Gretzky to give that interview with the local media. What is Gretzky’s involvement with the team? What made him partner with a man he apparently didn’t previously know to buy a team he has no connection to? Likely we will never know and for some strange reason that’s exactly how the team seems to wants it.
I am going to propose a different take on this. I believe the all-time low occurred last season and concluded with the sale of the team. Since then, it has been a slow climb back up... I am guessing many STH did not renew and the current ownership is struggling to rebuild that. They are also in the throes of a new season with a group of new people in new roles. I am not expecting much from them as they learn the day to day operations. Learn to crawl, before you walk, before you run. It would be lunacy to have a five year strategy when you don't even have a year under your belt. Us armchair GMs know exactly what we would do, until we were actually in the role and then even the best of us would forget half of the stuff we complained about from the comfort of our livingrooms.

I believe the first strategy is to get fans back in the building. Make a team, win some hockey games and keep the egg off your face while doing so. When that is on track, start to finesse some other low-hanging fruit - community involvement, media relations, goodwill, theme nights, celebrations. Already I have received an invite to a STH meet and greet, good small step.

As for Gretzky... I don't expect him to be "active" or "absent". Like the other projects he has loaned his name to, he expects a return on his investment and knows that personal appearances and support enhance that success. You'll see him this year at the Meridian Centre, maybe in the box, maybe dropping a puck, maybe more. I wouldn't expect him to be involved in operations but he may have some brand influence on the business side.

Patience grasshopper.
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  #13  
Old 08-31-2022, 05:42 PM
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Patience grasshopper.
This!

I want them to focus on hockey operations first. Marketing second.
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Old 08-31-2022, 05:56 PM
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I believe the first strategy is to get fans back in the building. Make a team, win some hockey games and keep the egg off your face while doing so. When that is on track, start to finesse some other low-hanging fruit - community involvement, media relations, goodwill, theme nights, celebrations. Already I have received an invite to a STH meet and greet, good small step.
Except the meet and greet is on a Friday from 2pm - 5pm when most people are working. Under the Burke’s, these type of events were always held later in the evening when more fans can attend. What does this signal to me? The new owner doesn’t really care about the fans. Just like the Black and White game. It’s always been in the evening. This season it was in the afternoon of a work day when most people are unable to attend. I also wonder why there is no New Years game this year. It was the most popular game on the schedule. Did the new ownership request no home game that night?

Maybe your right and they just need time to figure everything out. But I can honestly say that I have never felt more indifferent about the Icedogs as I do this season.

Last edited by 5 for fighting; 08-31-2022 at 06:01 PM.
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Old 09-01-2022, 08:58 AM
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They are also in the throes of a new season with a group of new people in new roles. I am not expecting much from them as they learn the day to day operations. Learn to crawl, before you walk, before you run. It would be lunacy to have a five year strategy when you don't even have a year under your belt. Us armchair GMs know exactly what we would do, until we were actually in the role and then even the best of us would forget half of the stuff we complained about from the comfort of our livingrooms.

If you don't have enough knowledge of the business to have a five-year plan in place then you hire an experienced GM who does. What is lunacy would be to purchase a 20 million dollar business without enough knowledge of the industry to have a 5-year plan in place.

That said, DD's trading this off-season surely seems to point towards a plan. He likes older players, and wants the team back into the top half of the standings. There are many potential reasons for this. The obvious one is bums in seats. The second and likely more important one is they need to show agents/players/families that this is a destination again - yes that much brand damage has been done behind the scenes.

Also, the idea that a business of this scale needs to focus on one area while neglecting another area is kind of baffling. That's like saying Mcdonalds' focuses on just their burgers and doesn't bother with their french fries or drinks. It is all part of the same experience.

I do agree that there has been A LOT of changeover in the last handful of months so there will be a some stumbles - so I don't think the criticisms being levied their way mean fans should walk away. Rather, lets hope the new management and staff recognize the areas of weakness currently and react to those gaps.
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Old 09-01-2022, 09:23 AM
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If you don't have enough knowledge of the business to have a five-year plan in place then you hire an experienced GM who does. What is lunacy would be to purchase a 20 million dollar business without enough knowledge of the industry to have a 5-year plan in place.
I actually think we are agreeing here. I just don't believe the plan is finite enough to say which year will be the "go for it" year right out of the blocks. The new crew need to see how the existing players interact with the new finds, under the new coaching philosophy. Too many intangibles without seeing them all on ice with a real opponent. Give them to Christmas to see what they have, what they need and how they are going to get there. I wouldn't make any kind of prediction too soon because people would then attempt to hold you to it.

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That said, DD's trading this off-season surely seems to point towards a plan. He likes older players, and wants the team back into the top half of the standings. There are many potential reasons for this. The obvious one is bums in seats. The second and likely more important one is they need to show agents/players/families that this is a destination again - yes that much brand damage has been done behind the scenes.
Dear God we have agreed twice - must be the name change! Yes, bring in some talent even that with the one or two year shelf life. The IceDogs need to show that they are a team again, not just a source of derision around the league. Win some games have a decent season and you can get your number 1-5 picks to report.

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Also, the idea that a business of this scale needs to focus on one area while neglecting another area is kind of baffling. That's like saying Mcdonalds' focuses on just their burgers and doesn't bother with their french fries or drinks. It is all part of the same experience.
Close... I was saying more like before you decorate the lobby, make sure the kitchen works - function over form. I believe they are focusing on hockey at the moment and stumbling a bit with the other side.

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I do agree that there has been A LOT of changeover in the last handful of months so there will be a some stumbles - so I don't think the criticisms being levied their way mean fans should walk away. Rather, lets hope the new management and staff recognize the areas of weakness currently and react to those gaps.
I am not walking away, I am actually looking forward to a competitive year. I recognize it was bought by the team rather than earned, but I also know we earned the basement position last year and no amount of investment was going to change that. I am cautiously optimistic - and I am the grumpy one.
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Old 09-01-2022, 09:31 AM
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Except the meet and greet is on a Friday from 2pm - 5pm when most people are working. Under the Burkeís, these type of events were always held later in the evening when more fans can attend. What does this signal to me? The new owner doesnít really care about the fans. Just like the Black and White game. Itís always been in the evening. This season it was in the afternoon of a work day when most people are unable to attend. I also wonder why there is no New Years game this year. It was the most popular game on the schedule. Did the new ownership request no home game that night?

Maybe your right and they just need time to figure everything out. But I can honestly say that I have never felt more indifferent about the Icedogs as I do this season.
Yeah, that was a miscue on their part. Niagara fans are a bit different, it probably never occurred to him to make it an evening event and generate some revenue off of a pre-pre-season game. As for the NYE game, that was disappointing to me and the missus as well. I don't see an event scheduled at the Meridian Centre, so that doesn't appear to be the cause (unless it isn't announced yet). There are 8 other games that night (only 4 teams with the night off), so it isn't an embargo on the whole night. It could just be as simple as other teams have caught on to the success of hosting an NYE game and Niagara couldn't find one willing to visit us, so they had to be the visiting team this year. I dunno, it would be a good question to ask DD!
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Old 09-01-2022, 10:13 AM
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I can't figure out the multi-quote thing.....so I will just reply this way, lol

1 - Any five year plan has to be fluid and adaptable - or you will get yourself into more trouble then you are preventing. So yeah, we agree there I think.
2 - yep.
3 - Kinda.....but if you want to be seen as a serious business do you open the door with an unfinished storefront? I hear what you are saying, but I think it is important to have all aspects of the organization functioning when you open your doors - and training camp was the hard deadline for that. The doors are open and the business is underway.
4 - Oh I know the people on this board aren't walking away - they are on this board, lol. What I am saying is we can be critical, even highly critical, of decisions, actions, or inaction, all while still supporting the team. Think of FishFan here for example - when he posts it is usually well thought out and often critical in some respects, but he still supports the team. I think some people on this board seem to believe people posting negative things is a sign that the author doesn't want the team to be successful. The only reason someone comes to this board is if they are a supporter of the team and wants to see great things for it (in my opinion anyways).

I would say this also goes for the league as a whole. We can be critical of it and still support it.
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Old 09-01-2022, 10:33 AM
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I can't figure out the multi-quote thing.....so I will just reply this way, lol

1 - Any five year plan has to be fluid and adaptable - or you will get yourself into more trouble then you are preventing. So yeah, we agree there I think.
2 - yep.
3 - Kinda.....but if you want to be seen as a serious business do you open the door with an unfinished storefront? I hear what you are saying, but I think it is important to have all aspects of the organization functioning when you open your doors - and training camp was the hard deadline for that. The doors are open and the business is underway.
4 - Oh I know the people on this board aren't walking away - they are on this board, lol. What I am saying is we can be critical, even highly critical, of decisions, actions, or inaction, all while still supporting the team. Think of FishFan here for example - when he posts it is usually well thought out and often critical in some respects, but he still supports the team. I think some people on this board seem to believe people posting negative things is a sign that the author doesn't want the team to be successful. The only reason someone comes to this board is if they are a supporter of the team and wants to see great things for it (in my opinion anyways).

I would say this also goes for the league as a whole. We can be critical of it and still support it.
Plenty of new businesses have a soft opening complete with a "pardon our mess" sign. With a wholesale change of staff there are plenty of people riding with training wheels currently. Slack has been cut by me. I think the temperament of the forum remains mixed. Some have indeed walked away, some are openly critical and perhaps even hoping for a fail, some are optimistic, some are guarded, some wait and see. This is very usual every season. I do know that the STH numbers have dropped off and that many forum participants are STH, so there could be a correlation there.

Finishing last and all the muck associated with last year was a better pill for many of the faithful to swallow, but the best possible remedy was applied. Now we wait and see what happens next. Here is the official plan for this year as related by me off the top of my head (FF51 will undoubtedly top my suggestions and I will slap my forehead wishing I'd have said whatever he did lol)
  1. Assemble staff
  2. Assemble team
  3. Win hockey games
  4. Develop a PR strategy to erase the stink (marketing out with old in with new)
  5. Make positive contributions to the community (like the Burkes did)
  6. Avoid doing stupid things
  7. Update as necessary
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Old 09-03-2022, 12:00 AM
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Article from the Brantford newspaper

DeDobbelaer “very confident” heading into first season as IceDogs owner
https://www.brantbeacon.ca/dedobbela...icedogs-owner/

“It probably won’t happen this year because the sale went through so late in the OHL, but we’re looking to create a pipeline for these athletes,” he said. “I’m the only person in Canada to own teams at the top three levels of junior hockey so I’m looking to create strong development programs at each level.

From what I have been told, he is hoping the Icedogs will help improve his Brantford 99ers. We will likely see a lot of 99ers playing for the IceDogs.
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