Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Young Outlook for Team; Struggling Club Gets New Direction

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Young Outlook for Team; Struggling Club Gets New Direction

Article excerpt

Byline: Jeff Walker, Times-Union sports writer

The Jacksonville Barracudas have struggled on and off the ice in their inaugural season in the Atlantic Coast Hockey League.

Coach Kurt Wickenheiser has made frequent roster changes to try and change the on-ice success. And new owner David Waronker is dedicated to making changes to bring off-ice success.

Enter Peter Young.

Young is the Barracudas director of hockey operations. He holds the same title with the Orlando Seals, also of the ACHL and also owned by Waronker. He takes over the day-to-day operations previously run by Bryan Wells, who resigned as general manager three weeks ago.

While Young is in charge of running the day-to-day operations in dual cities, he said his primary focus will be in Jacksonville.

"[Orlando's] operations are pretty solid. It's Jacksonville that needs direction and that needs cleaning up," Young said. "Orlando has a larger office staff, they've got people who were either with the Solar Bears [Orlando's defunct International Hockey League team] or have previous professional experience. . . . Apparently the previous owners ran things a certain way, they wanted to run things on a shoestring budget but it's been proven that way doesn't work."

Part of the reason Wells left, according to co-owner Larry Laviolette, was because Wells couldn't sell enough shares of the team as his part of the ownership group. Laviolette said it was a mutual agreement for Wells to resign, which prompted the sale of Wells' shares to Waronker.

Young, meanwhile, has spent his career in sports broadcasting and marketing. He worked for 20 years doing commentary for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Canada's primary hockey network for radio and television; spent time with ESPN in the early '80s; served as a consultant for various minor-league franchises and worked in production with the Toronto Blue Jays and a television network based in Pittsburgh.

Through his vast experiences in sports, he has grasped the formula needed to help market and promote a franchise. He and Waronker plan to use that formula in Jacksonville.

The Barracudas have only averaged 1,725 fans through 15 home games this season. …

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