The Saskatchewan government confirms that it has been approached by a group that wants to bring NHL hockey to Saskatoon.

Ken Cheveldayoff, a senior cabinet minister from Saskatoon, said some people are involved in efforts to have an NHL team relocate to the Bridge City. However, he would not say who is leading that group.


The New York Islanders and Calgary Flames play a pre-season NHL game in Saskatoon on Sept. 29, 2010. (Steve Hiscock/Canadian Press)

Cheveldayoff said the government is happy to listen and answer questions from the group, but he stressed that the private sector must take the lead in this matter.

"Do they have a facility that would be NHL-ready? Well, that's debatable and that's not for me to answer," he told reporters Monday.

"But I think the eyes of North America are on us, and it's up to us to provide the information that they're looking for."

Cheveldayoff said it's too soon to say what, if anything, the provincial government might be asked to contribute.

"We have to have a building that's NHL-ready, we have to have a business community that's ready to support this initiative, we have to have individuals that are willing to buy season tickets for the long term, and the NHL has to want it to happen," he said.

Hockey fans tweeted up a storm last week, after TSN commentator Bob McKenzie wrote a column musing about the possibility of an NHL team relocating to Saskatoon's Credit Union Centre.

But Premier Brad Wall warned that talk of an NHL team for Saskatoon is very speculative at this time.

There has not been any serious talk of a professional hockey team moving to the Bridge City since the 1980s.

Cheveldayoff was previously in charge of a proposed stadium project in Regina. His brother, Kevin Cheveldayoff, is the current general manager of the Winnipeg Jets.