Winnipeg hockey organizers say they're ready to suit up if Hockey Canada benches Quebec City over lacklustre efforts to organize the 2008 world hockey championships.
"Our organization is certainly ready to take on that task, and I think we've indicated that to Hockey Canada," Jim Ludlow, president of True North Sports and Entertainment, said Wednesday.
"We're there, and available to them as a solution, respecting the process in Quebec City that they need to go through."
Hockey Canada confirmed Tuesday that they have already spoken to Winnipeg and Hamilton about possibly taking over Quebec's duties in hosting the 2008 International Ice Hockey Federation's world championships.
Meanwhile, officials with the national hockey authority gave Quebec City until Jan. 30 to show it has concrete plans for the tournament, which it is co-hosting with Halifax.
The two cities were awarded the hosting duties in 2003. It will mark the first time the IIHF event is hosted in Canada. The event usually takes place in Europe.
Hockey Canada president Bob Nicholson has said Quebec City has failed to show proof it can organize a successful tournament. It hasn't even named a leader or organizing committee to run the event, he said.
As a result, Hockey Canada worries Quebec City may not be able to sell enough tickets or attract enough volunteers.
Stuart Murray, who led Winnipeg's organizing committee that brought in the 1998 world junior tournament, said Manitoba is known for hosting large hockey tournaments that appeal to spectators as well as players.
"I believe very strongly that the Europeans understand that we know how to host these events," Murray said.
"We know how ... not only from a player's standpoint, but we know how to make it into an event for the spectators and everybody involved."
Quebec City organizers admitted they're late with planning the tournament, saying they're waiting for support from Mayor Andrée Boucher.
On Monday, Boucher received a letter from Hockey Canada saying the organization has seldom seen a host city behave in such a lax fashion.
Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Boucher said she's enlisted the help of the provincial and federal governments to help assure Hockey Canada it can host the major tournament.