When the Blades hit the ice tonight at Credit Union Centre they will enter a new era, under the guidance of a new owner, Edmonton car dealer Mike Priestner.

'They are absolutely pumped up to be here' - Blades Managing Partner Colin Priestner

But it’s not just the front office that’s new. The Blades, have in recent years, been a team with a lot of veteran leadership in the locker room. The latest edition of the team is young. In fact, many of the players will be making their Western Hockey League debut tonight.

"That's a lot of excitement around here the enthusiasm of these kids, a lot of them have not played a WHL game yet so they are absolutely pumped up to be here," managing partner Colin Priestner said.

Traditional season opening rivals the Prince Albert Raiders will be on the ice to help the Blades begin their WHL season.

As the Priestner era begins, the Blades are also looking back, celebrating 50 years in Saskatoon.

2013 Saskatoon Blades

The Blades open the season tonight against Prince Albert (Steve Hiscock/Saskatoon Blades)

Tonight, the fun will not be restricted to the ice. The Blades will host a tailgate party out in the parking lot of Credit Union Centre with all sorts of activities including music, a barbeque, games for kids, and of course, a birthday cake.

Priestner said the party will go on all year.

"How exciting can this brand of hockey be? How exciting can the presentation be with the P.A.  and the video and the lights? Can we take that up to another level? I believe we can."

The tailgate party begins at 5 p.m. CST, with the Blades and the Raiders set to face off at 7:05 p.m. CST.