It’s the end of an era for the Kingston Voyageurs.
A group from Collingwood has purchased the Vees, and on Monday night, signed a tenancy deal with that city’s council to play there. It was the last hurdle the group needed to close the deal.
Kingston owner Dijana Oliver confirms that the team has conditionally been sold with the closing date March 15th and that could be extended. For all intents and purposes, though, the hockey team is Collingwood-bound. Roy “Scotty” Martin is a former Vees player, skating with the club from 1985 to 1989. He’s one of the team’s all-time leading scorers, and in fact, his last season saw him establish a club record with 62 goals.
“It wasn’t a total surprise,” Martin said of the move. “I’d heard rumours for the past couple of years that the team was for sale or potential buyers were being sought or people inquiring about it.
Martin says he has nothing but fond memories about his time with the Vees. As a kid, he says you looked up to the organization and wanted to play for it. He was fortunate to do just that, he says, with some strong players and teams.
Pat Anson is a former player and coach. He, too, is disappointed by the move.
“Hockey is a business, I don’t disagree. I think the Voyageurs for so many years were a labour of love,” Anson said. “I think of people like Roy ‘Scotty’ Martin during my years. And so many others like Doug Senior, [who] as a young guy was working bingos, being a president, being a coach, looking after so many aspects of it and we enjoyed it.”
The Kingston Voyageurs got their start in 1974, and for many like Martin and Anson, the team may be going but the memories will last for ever.
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