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Peckers Exposed as NHL's latest Expansion Franchise

Leader, SK - The bustling town of Leader Saskatchewan has joined the sports elite of hockey when they were granted the latest NHL franchise expansion. Leader garnered international attention when in November of 2006 the inhabitants posed nude for a calendar in act of protest against the deteriorating condition of Highway 32, the main link between Leader and the city of Swift Current.

Leader, located 350 km east of Calgary, with a population of 881, has built an impressive facility to host world class hockey events.

Named after the town mascot, the Red Headed Woodpecker, the latest entry in the NHL roster is aptly named the Leader Peckers. "This is the year Leader finally is recognized as the hockey capital of Saskatchewan," said Mayor Woody Bush, "Our Peckers have been working out hard, and they are ready for any beating the NHL can dish out."

A former member of the local colony, Keisha Schneider was chosen to manage the Peckers. “Da town fadders, picked me cause I demonstrated superior skill and knowledge 'bout team efforts,” advised Schneider, “Last year I planned a community harvest, and done showed da town peoples, what real team work could accomplish.”

Most of the players of the team were drafted from the Saskatchewan Flatlander Hockey League (SFHL), a league that is known for grooming confident players. “I am proud of my team, every player here deserves a chance at pro hockey," said team Captain Fatty Shufflebottom, “We have the best goaltender from the SFHL. We acquired Stan Still from the Tawatinaw Beavers.”

Originally from Regina, Stan Still is known for occasionally displaying number two on his jersey. Still, currently holds a record "goals against average" of 1.97 from the 2011-2012 season. “Ya, last year our team worked hard chasing the puck. We fought hard in the corners and came out on top. We got real skill, us Peckers, the other teams of the SFHL couldn't touch our Zamboni.” said Still, “We are going to show the NHL a thing or two about hockey, the Pittsburgh Penguins better watch out for us Peckers.”

Getting the NHL to recognize Leader as a serious applicant for an NHL team was a community effort. “All the Chamber members got together and bought the boys three school busses for the road games.” said Leader's Undertaker and Chamber representative Phil Hole, “We are all proud to have our Peckers.”

The Leader Peckers will start there first NHL season when they face-off with the Pittsburgh Penguins at the Leader Arena late March. It is expected to be standing room only with the people coming from all over Saskatchewan to see their first NHL team play.  

Photo by: Daryl Mitchel Flickr Photostream, Some Rights Reserved, story not endorsed, "The Leader Hockey Arena"

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