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North American League expands to Fort McMurray

North American LeagueA Fort McMurray (Alberta) team is now part of the independent North American League, but the team won’t play next year except perhaps as a road team.

Your primer on Fort McMurray: it’s in northeastern Alberta and is in the middle of oil country. The population isn’t large — just some 76,797 residents, according to provincial figures, and smaller than both Red Deer and Lethbridge in Alberta — and it’s decidedly remote.

Westpro Productions, led by Craig Tkachuk, bought the rights to an NAL team from the owners of the defunct Victoria Seals. The team will play at MacDonald Island Park, which doesn’t meet pro standards now; there is a plan to upgrade the facility, but that won’t be done in time for the 2012 season. At a press conference yesterdayTkachuk held out the possibility would play as a road team in 2012 and schedule games at some neutral sites.

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