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:


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Kelowna man sentenced to 20 months for having sex with minor

The incidents occurred over a four-month period between February and May of 2018

Well-known Kelowna developer, Al Stober, dies

Al Stober, whose Landmark Centre development spawned new town centre in the city, passes away at 88.

Police investigating sudden death in Lake Country

It’s unclear if the death of a man in his 90s is criminal in nature

Fire erupts in dump truck on McCurdy Road

The driver dumped the load at the corner of McCurdy and Mayfair Road

VIDEO: First all-female spacewalk team makes history

NASA astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir did work on International Space Station’s power grid

Zantac, the over-the-counter heartburn drug, pulled in Canada, U.S.

Health Canada also investigates possible carcinogen in some ranitidine drugs

Shooters compete in Summerland

Seven youth participants take aim

B.C. public safety minister says cannabis edibles not in stores til January

Mike Farnworth says he wants regional issues considered when it comes to licensing

VIDEO: Meet your Kelowna-Lake Country candidates

All seven Kelowna-Lake Country candidates answer questions about themselves and their policy

VIDEO: Meet your Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola candidates

Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola candidates answer questions about themselves and their policy

Greta Thunberg calls for climate action in Alberta, but doesn’t talk oilsands

Swedish teen was met with some oil and gas industry supporters who came in a truck convoy

RDOS cannabis production bylaw goes to public hearing

Hearing on micro cannabis production facilities will be held Nov. 21

Scheer denies spreading ‘misinformation’ in predicting unannounced Liberal taxes

Conservative leader had claimed that a potential NDP-Liberal coalition could lead to a hike in GST

Most Read