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This article was published 4/5/2015 (1790 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
He is a rising star in the Winnipeg Jets organization and the National Hockey League. And, for the record, Dan Hursh hasn’t pulled on a pair of skates for a game that meant something since the 2003-04 season.
Born in Winnipeg, raised in Calgary and a former member of the Yorkton Terriers and Princeton Tigers, the 34-year-old Hursh has been with the Jets since Year 1, leaving a law firm in Calgary to join the legal department here in 2011. Since then his career path has been pointing skyward as he was promoted to General Counsel last June and on Monday stepped into the spotlight as the new Vice President of Business Operations for the Manitoba Moose.
"Hockey is in my blood," said Hursh after the unveiling of the Moose as the Jets new American Hockey League affiliate. "It’s a fun place to work. Even though the majority of my work has been on the legal side of things, there’s a connection with the entertainment side of things and the hockey side of things."
Much of the hockey department remains intact as the Jets transfer their affiliate from St. John’s to their backyard: Keith McCambridge will remain the head coach, Mark Morrison an assistant, with Craig Heisinger still the GM. Former IceCaps assistant coach Jason King, a Newfoundland native, will remain in St. John’s as that team’s new Director of Hockey Operations.
But it’s Hursh that will be driving the Moose financial bus, and it was no coincidence that Jets boss Mark Chipman introduced him Monday to unveil the ticketing component of the franchise, while saying his background in the legal and hockey deparments means he has a ‘very, very bright future in the business of hockey.’
Hursh believes there are two key components to why the Moose will work long-term operating in the same town and building as the parent club: the price point and support the franchise had previously in its IHL/AHL days and the fact fans will be watching Jets prospects — not those of the Vancouver Canucks — they get attached to the moment they are drafted.
"The price point is significant," said Hursh. "We’re very optimistic with this market watching the support the Jets have, but also the support the Moose had in their first go-round. We feel there are a number of people that would like to see a great level of hockey that aren’t currently getting that opportunity because we have a sold-out building on the Jets end or whether it’s because of an affordability standpoint. We were very thoughtful in the price point and we really want to encourage people to come watch what is going to be a great product.
"The connection is another big part of it. That certainly helps. We hope that people will watch both, that they’ll come and watch Moose players and Jets prospects and wear their Moose jerseys and then want to watch them when they are Jets players. That’s a big selling point."
The Moose will set-up their business office at the Iceplex as part of a significant, multi-million addition that will be ready sometime in January. A permanent Moose dressing room will also be built at MTS Centre. The club will play the majority of its games with the upper bowl at the MTS Centre curtained off and a seating capacity of 8,812, although the entire building could be open for certain special-occasion games.
"The cut down on travel costs, the accessibility of players... we’re going to see a lot of improvement that way," said Hursh. "And if we can get the kind of support we’re anticipating within the community from a ticketing and corporate side, we think we can make this work economically."