The Kelowna Chiefs and Revelstoke Grizzlies battled in the KIJHL conference championship earlier this year. The team says it is not moving to Cranbrook, despite reports Friday relocation was a possibility. (Steve Dunsmoor/Dunsmoor Creative)

Kelowna Chiefs hockey team staying put

Team owners confirm they talked to a Cranbrook group about a possible sale but talks went nowhere

The Kelowna Chiefs junior B hockey team is not moving.

Despite reports Friday morning indicating a group of investors in Cranbrook had an agreement in principle to buy the team and move it to the Kootenay city and rename it the Colts, the Kelowna owners of the team say it was not, and is not, for sale.

The owners say there were talks with the group from Cranbrook, but only after the group approached them.

“The Kelowna Chiefs have not been for sale but with our family priorities changing, it made sense to keep discussions going about the possible relocation of the team,” said part owner Jason Tansem.

The other owner, Grant Sheridan is currently in a coma after contracting bacterial meningitis earlier this year as his team competed in the KIJHL conference championship. The Chiefs lost that series in in six games to eventual Cyclone Taylor Cup champions Revelstoke.

The Chiefs issued a news release Friday afternoon saying reports of a sale—which originated with a blog post by junior hockey writer Greg Drinnan—were incorrect.

The statement from the team reads:

“The Kelowna Chiefs Jr. Hockey Club is not moving as previously reported inaccurately by AM 1150 Kelowna and KelownaNow.

Following an announcement in January of the Western Hockey Leagues (WHL) Kootenay Ice moving from Cranbrook to Winnipeg, a local group from Cranbrook applied to the Kootenay International Hockey League (KIJHL) for a team. That expansion request was rejected. After the KIJHL Semi-Annual AGM at the end of April, talks moved forward between the Chiefs and that same group.

“As you can probably imagine it takes a ton of time and effort to run the team in a professional manner like we do. The Kelowna Chiefs have not been for sale but with our family priorities changing, it made sense to keep discussions going about the possible relocation of the team,” says Jason Tansem.

The buying group had a sub-lease agreement in place with the Kootenay Ice. For some reason, the City of Cranbrook denied the agreement which in essence stopped them from applying to the KIJHL for a relocation.

“We want to clarify that this has been an opportunity that came to us. We have never been actively looking to sell and we haven’t been looking to get out of it. The Chiefs have been our extended family. Our dedicated fans, sponsors, staff, volunteers and billets put their hearts into the team and make it one of the premier organizations within the league. We look forward to continuing where we left off last season.”

The team moved from Chase, BC to Kelowna in 2010 and has been playing out of Rutland Arena. This past season the Chiefs posted their best numbers with a 43-3-1-2 record which was good enough for the regular season title. The team lost out to the Revelstoke Grizzlies in the Conference finals.”

To report a typo, email:
newstips@kelownacapnews.com
.


@KelownaCapNews
newstips@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

98-year-old French spy to recount Second World War story in Kelowna

Marthe Cohn comes to Kelowna to tell her story July 16

Rockets take over NHL draft with most players picked

Kelowna led all teams with 4 players picked at the 2019 draft

Okanagan-Shuswap weather: mix of sun and clouds, chance of showers

According to Environment Canada, showers are expected across the Okanagan tomorrow

Kelowna Rocket invited to Hockey Canada National Under-17 Development Camp

The 16-year-old was selected by the Rockets 18th overall at the 2018 WHL Bantam Draft

Kelowna RCMP serve up slices and support for Special Olympics B.C.

Last years inaugural campaign raised more than $12,000

VIDEO: Weekday weather update for the Okanagan Valley

Thunderstorms aren’t expected to let up yet

Police continue to investigate fatal highway crash

Accident between Summerland and Penticton on Tuesday resulted in death of motorcycle rider

Okanagan Indian Band hosts red dress event today

See Me, Hear Me, Remember Me honours missing and murdered indigenous women

Rock slide in B.C. river may hinder salmon passage

DFO says it is aware that the slide occurred in a narrow portion of the Fraser River

Four-hour tarmac delay violates charter rights of Canadians with a disability: lawsuit

Bob Brown says new rules reduce the distance he can travel by air without putting his health at risk

Confusion over land ownership along Okanagan River Channel

There appears to be some confusion about ownership of two of the properties Coyote Cruises uses

UPDATED: Highway 97 near Penticton reopened after serious crash

Accident closes highway in both directions

Fate of accused in Canadian couple’s 1987 killings in jury’s hands

William Talbott’s lawyer says DNA doesn’t prove murder

Most Read