Canucks to hold training camp, pre-season game in Victoria

The Vancouver Canucks will cross the strait to conduct their 2019 NHL pre-season camp at Save-on-Foods Memorial Centre in Victoria Sept. 13 to 15.

The camp will culminate with an exhibition game against the Calgary Flames at the Memorial Centre on Sept. 16.

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All practice sessions will be open to the public for an admission fee of $5, with proceeds going to a charity yet to be announced.

Tickets for the exhibition game against the Flames go on sale Aug. 7. Ticket prices will be announced prior to that date.

It will be a split-squad game with players from the Canucks and Flames also playing in Calgary that same evening. The Victoria game will be televised, so expect most of name-recognition regular Canucks players to be playing here.

“There are a lot of Canucks fans on the Island and they deserve this. Greater Victoria is a big market in B.C. that is Canucks-oriented,” said Dave Dakers, president of RG Sports and Entertainment, which operates the City of Victoria-owned Memorial Centre.

“These high-profile events are great for not only local hockey fans, but local businesses as well,” he added. “It shows Victoria is open for business.”

This will be the second major-league pro sports training camp held on the Island in two years. The Toronto Raptors of the NBA held their 2017 training camp in the CARSA gym on the University of Victoria campus.

The Canucks will depart the Island following the Flames game, hosting the Edmonton Oilers the following night at Rogers Arena in Vancouver.

The Canucks will also play the Ottawa Senators in Abbotsford on Sept 23. Other Vancouver pre-season games include visiting Edmonton on Sept. 19, meeting the Los Angeles Kings in Salt Lake City on Sept. 21, and playing the Senators and Arizona Coyotes at Rogers Arena on Sept. 25 and Sept. 26, respectively.

Ticket information, and times, for training camp sessions in Victoria will be released at a later date.

The Canucks held rookie camps at Shawnigan Lake School in 2015 and 2016. The club last held their training camp on the Island in 2007 at The Q Centre in Colwood, with an intra-squad game played in Victoria at the Memorial Centre.

“That blue-white Canucks game sold out in minutes,” Dakers said.

Last year’s training camp was held in Whistler, with an exhibition game played in Kelowna.

“These things take a reasonable amount of compromise and the Canucks camp had to fit in with the Royals schedule,” said Dakers, referring to the Victoria Royals of the Western Hockey League.

Royals training camp is expected to open in late August. The Royals, who have played WHL pre-season games at home from 2011 to 2016, have not hosted a WHL exhibition game since and have none scheduled at the Memorial Centre this year.

cdheensaw@timescolonist.com

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