Markham arena vote set for tonight


Markham city councilors are expected to vote tonight on whether to continue with plans to build a 20,000-seat arena that would see the Toronto suburb take out a $325-million to fund construction of the NHL-caliber rink.

Under the controversial proposal, billionaire developer Rudy Bratty (fronted by former Bauer CEO Graeme Roustan) would pay back half the $325 million of the debt, plus interest. The other half would come from residential developers via a levy on new homes.

Should the plan go ahead, there’s no guarantee an NHL team will follow. And that has councilor Valerie Burke concerned.

“It is a big vision,” Burke told the National Post. “But, fundamentally, we were elected by the residents. And we all said in our campaigns that we were going to listen to the residents. And it’s very, very clear that the residents are extremely worried that we could be facing the fallout and a white elephant.

“That’s why we’re there: To listen to the residents. And I don’t have any trouble with this, because I can tell you as a Markham resident myself, it does really worry me that we could be faced with a financial disaster.”

Meanwhile, in Glendale…

Flames release Ryan Wilson from PTO

Ryan Wilson, Sidney Crosby
Leave a comment

The Calgary Flames have released Ryan Wilson from his professional tryout.

The 28-year-old was trying to make a comeback after missing 79 games with a shoulder injury last season.

Even with T.J. Brodie sidelined because of a broken hand, Wilson still faced long odds to make the final roster.

The veteran will be hard-pressed to find NHL work with another team.

He hasn’t suited up in more than 12 regular season games since 2011-12.

The Stockton Heat, Calgary’s AHL affiliate, also made some news on Sunday.

The club announced that they’ve signed Colton Orr to an AHL contract.

The 33-year-old tough guy suited up in just one game for the Toronto Maple Leafs last season. He has 12 seasons of NHL experience under his belt.

‘Yotes return Dylan Strome to OHL

Dylan Strome, Nikita Nikitin

The Arizona Coyotes have returned Dylan Strome to the Erie Otters of the OHL.

Strome, 18, was the third overall pick in the 2015 NHL draft.

The 6’3, 185 pounder was hoping to stick with the Coyotes this season, but the team decided to take the conservative approach with their top prospect.

Strome will look to build off an incredible junior season that saw him score 45 goals and 129 points in 68 games.

Strome seems to be taking the demotion in stride.

The team also announced that they’ve assigned goaltender Louis Domingue and forward Matthias Plachta to their AHL affiliate in Springfield.

Domingue, 23, had a 1-2-1 record with a 2.73 goals-against-average and a .911 save percentage in seven games last season.

Plachta, a free agent signing, will begin his first pro season in North America. The 24-year-old had 14 goals and 35 points in the German League last season.