AAA hockey returning to Whitehorse

If all goes according to plan, Whitehorse hockey fans will have more to cheer about this season with the resurrection of the city's AAA hockey team, the Huskies.

If all goes according to plan, Whitehorse hockey fans will have more to cheer about this season with the resurrection of the city’s AAA hockey team, the Huskies.

While still in the initial stages of planning, the team has been accepted by Hockey Canada and, so far, has an owner, a head coach and a pair of skilled goaltenders showing interest in playing. It still needs a general manager and lines of players.

“So we’re going to go through a series of identification (tryouts) to see what kind of players are around and what kind of interest is around,” said Randy Merkel, who will be coaching the new team. “We will be leaving slots open for pick-ups, so some of the local boys playing outside (the Yukon) we like very much to see if we can get them – that caliber – and see if we can get them thinking AAA hockey.

“I’ve initiated conversations with some of them, but not all of them, and they seem pretty interested.”

Merkel admits that there would be benefits to re-starting the team in AA instead of AAA, but a possibly short road to the Allan Cup, the Canadian senior AAA championship in April, was too good to pass up.

“It’s starting to look like we might only have to beat Powell River, BC, (in a five-game series) to get to the Allan Cup,” said Merkel, who also coaches Whitehorse’s First Nations atom team, the Wolverines.

“Having said that, Powell River is a very strong team, but still, if you only have to beat one team to get there, my goodness, that’s a pretty short and direct route. It’s very attractive for us.”

Conveniently, next spring’s Allan Cup will be held in Fort St. John, BC.

Before the championships in April, the team hopes to invite outside teams, attend a tournament and even have a home-and-home series with Fort St. John’s AAA team.

The Huskies hockey team dissolved after the 1992-93 season, going out on top with the capture of the Allan Cup.

“They disappeared because the climax was the Allan Cup, after that we had different interests,” said Merkel, who played on the ‘92/‘93 champion team.

“We were all getting older anyway and the ultimate goal that we were striving for was realized and there wasn’t much more for us to do.

“It’s a shame (that the Huskies disappeared) because it really brought the calibre of hockey up in the Yukon.”

A meeting will be held for potential players at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at the Canada Games Centre in Whitehorse, followed by the first on-ice portion at noon. The following tryout will happen Tuesday evening at the same location. If interested in learning more, potential players can contact Merkel at 334-8770.

Contact Tom Patrick at

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

In a Feb. 17 statement, the City of Whitehorse announced it had adopted the what3words location technology used for emergency response. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Three words could make all the difference in an emergency

City of Whitehorse announced it had adopted the what3words location technology

Jesse Whelen, Blood Ties Four Directions harm reduction councillor, demonstrates how the organization tests for fentanyl in drugs in Whitehorse on May 12, 2020. The Yukon Coroner’s Service has confirmed three drug overdose deaths and one probable overdose death since mid-January. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Three overdose deaths caused by “varying levels of cocaine and fentanyl,” coroner says

Heather Jones says overdoses continue to take lives at an “alarming rate”

Wyatt's World for Feb. 24, 2021.

Wyatt’s World for Feb. 24, 2021.

Approximately 30 Yukoners protest for justice outside the Whitehorse courthouse on Feb. 22, while a preliminary assault hearing takes place inside. The Whitehorse rally took place after the Liard Aboriginal Women’s Society, based in Watson Lake, put out a call to action over the weekend. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Courthouse rally denounces violence against Indigenous women

The Whitehorse rally took place after the Liard Aboriginal Women’s Society put out a call to action

Then Old Crow MLA Darius Elias speak’s in the community centre in Old Crow in 2016. Elias died in Whitehorse on Feb. 17. (Maura Forrest/Yukon News file)
Condolences shared for former Vuntut Gwitchin MLA Darius Elias

Elias is remembered as a proud parent, hockey fan and politican

Susie Rogan is a veteran musher with 14 years of racing experience and Yukon Journey organizer. (Yukon Journey Facebook)
Yukon Journey mushers begin 255-mile race

Eleven mushers are participating in the race from Pelly Crossing to Whitehorse

Yukon Energy in Whitehorse on Aug. 4, 2020. A site on Robert Service Way near the Alaska Highway has been selected as the future home of Yukon Energy’s energy storage project. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Site selected for Yukon Energy battery project

Planned to be in service by the end of 2022

The Yukon government and the Yukon First Nations Chamber of Commerce have signed a letter of understanding under the territory’s new procurement policy. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
First Nation business registry planned under new procurement system

Letter of understanding signals plans to develop registry, boost procurement opportunities

US Consul General Brent Hardt during a wreath-laying ceremony at Peace Arch State Park in September 2020. Hardt said the two federal governments have been working closely on the issue of appropriate border measures during the pandemic. (John Kageorge photo)
New U.S. consul general says countries working closely on COVID-19 border

“I mean, the goal, obviously, is for both countries to get ahead of this pandemic.”

Legislative assembly on the last day of the fall sitting in Whitehorse on Nov. 22, 2018. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Start of spring sitting announced

The Yukon legislature is set to resume for the spring sitting on… Continue reading

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse City Council this week

History Hunter: Kwanlin Dün — a book of history, hardship and hope

Dǎ Kwǎndur Ghày Ghàkwadîndur: Our Story in Our Words is published by… Continue reading

(File photo)
RCMP arrest Saskatchewan murder suspect

Yukon RCMP have arrested a man suspected of attempted murder from outside… Continue reading

Most Read