Assistant captain Jordie Gavin and goalkeeper Nick Eckhardt of the Canberra Knights. Photo: Melissa Adams
- Knights 'not dead and buried yet'
- Players vow to fight on despite owners' withdrawal
- Canberra Knights on thin ice after 33 years
Canberra Knights management is demanding compensation if the team's name is to be used in the Australian Ice Hockey League by a consortium led by players.
More than $13,000 has been raised to help resurrect the Knights for the upcoming AIHL season.
Phillip Swimming and Ice Skating Centre manager John Raut. Photo: Rohan Thomson
Their goal is to raise $50,000 through a combination of donations and selling 200 memberships at $250 each.
Players have until 8pm on Monday to meet a deadline imposed by the AIHL to show they can satisfy three key requirements - that they are financially viable, they can field a competitive team and that they have an agreement to train and play at a rink.
Phillip Swimming and Ice Skating Centre manager John Raut, who ran the team and left on Wednesday after 32 years of involvement, said a new team would have to find a different name.
''We're happy to work with a new group, [but] they won't be the Canberra Knights because we reserve the right to have a Canberra Knights team some time in the future,'' he said. ''The owners would retain that name because we've developed the brand and it's something that attracts money.
''We've invested heavily into that over the years and we would want some compensation for it.''
Raut said the main reason for withdrawing the team was because of a lack of players and his belief they would be ''smashed again like we did last year''. While an agreement is yet to be reached, Raut said ice time for practice would cost $330 an hour and that other venues around the league split gate revenue 50-50 with the club.
Raut claimed the Knights had lost between $10,000 and $20,000 per year for the past few seasons.
However, Knights captain Mark Rummukainen says the team can break even financially if it adopts a more professional attitude.
''We have put all the costs together, had a quick look at what money we can get in and financially we think we can get it done,'' he told Canberra radio station 2CC.
''We want to get a committee together to run the club more like a business, run it efficiently and make it as financially viable as we possibly can.
''The overwhelming support we have from local supporters has been fantastic.''
The Knights are likely to retain $29,000 of ACT government funding provided they meet benchmarks set out for national sporting teams.
Raut doubted the team would be competitive. ''They might pull a few old crocks out of the cupboard who played here a few years ago,'' he said.
Donations to the Knights can be made at https://www.mycause.com.au/page/canberraaihlteam