Max Bulawka (10) skates the puck into the Penticton zone during BCHL action at Royal LePage Place in West Kelowna, B.C. on Oct. 19. The West Kelowna Warriors beat the Penticton Vees 3-2. (Marissa Tiel/ Kelowna Capital News)

Max Bulawka (10) skates the puck into the Penticton zone during BCHL action at Royal LePage Place in West Kelowna, B.C. on Oct. 19. The West Kelowna Warriors beat the Penticton Vees 3-2. (Marissa Tiel/ Kelowna Capital News)

West Kelowna Warriors owner speaks out about team troubles

At no time did the league “take control”, “step in”, nor are they “running the day to day operations”.

Kim Dobranski, Owner/President of the West Kelowna Warriors Hockey Club has written a statement about the events of last September. It is as follows:

I am very happy to see our organization get much needed media attention and comment on the success we are having. I would like to remind the media that almost 27 per cent of the people in your coverage area lives west of the lake.

I have publicly remained quiet on the events of early September. However, after watching the Global news story today, I think it’s important for the public to understand some facts. Each organization is independent and run their affairs as they see fit. The league and the commissioner, whom is actually an indirect employee of mine via the BCHL board of Governors for which I sit on as an owner, has no authority to step in, control, operate, negotiate, impose or involve themselves in any organization.

Mr. Grimwood, who at the time was my Interim Coach, meaning temporary coach, was released as per the agreement him and I had when Mr. Ferster resigned. Mr. Grimwood was hired as an assistant coach by Mr Ferster, and was to reach out to the new Head coach and seek a continued role. Owners across the BCHL rarely impose an assistant on a Head Coach. The media took this story and sensualized something that was a very common occurrence in this sport.

When our players opted to not attend practice that violated a rule in the CJHL, which is failing to report without cause. When players fail to report they are usually suspended for a duration by the organization. Collectively, the Board of Governors, the Executive Committee and the Commissioner have an interest in ensuring all organizations are able to field a team for games, especially at the beginning of a season. At the time, Trail’s home opener was only a week away and the League was concerned we would not have a team to take to Trail. The Commissioner offered to come to Kelowna and try to help resolve the issue. I agreed, and the Commissioner, Mr Grimwood and I sat in a room and worked out a deal we all thought was fair. After a few days of finalizing the contract over email we held a press conference to announce the hiring of Mr. Grimwood as the coach. The media used the term “reinstate” but that would imply he was the head coach at the time, which he was not.

READ ALSO: JEWEL OF THE LEAGUE

At no time did the league “take control”, “step in”, nor are they “running the day to day operations”. It was simply a mediated negotiation to try and get the season going. During those talks there was a concern that players who lead the action would be later punished by being traded to undesirable locations to serve as punishment. To ensure the players felt safe and protected I willingly agreed to allow the league to review all trades to ensure there were no player movements of malice.

When Mr. Ferster resigned I began negations to fill the head coach position. Mr Grimwood was not on my radar as a suitable replacement. However during that time, Mr Grimwood bonded with the players, and the players bonded with him. This relationship was unknown to me, and I had no awareness, nor did I consider the profound impact he was having on the team. Difficult times tend to unite people. Our players not only felt a bond with Geoff, they also united as brothers, willing to stand together for something they felt was wrong. I have said it many times we have a special group here, with lots of talent and skill. A formula for success.

Fast forward to today. The relationships in our organization are strong. Geoff Grimwood, Taurine White, and Matt Miller have done and outstanding job with the hockey operations and have created a winning formula. As I look back, I almost made a terrible mistake, and I am grateful to the players standing up and showing me the best person for the job was right in front of me. I am proud of the young men we have in our organization, and feel fortunate to have the great coaching staff we do. Every one of them has my support 100 per cent. Funny how things work out sometimes!

I encourage everyone to come on out and see the great hockey we offer. If you have never been to a game, I am confident you will leave impressed at the quality of the players and blazing speed of the game, as well as the great fan experience we all work hard to create. Don’t take my word for it, see for yourself. You will be back!

Kim Dobranski – Owner/President

West Kelowna Warriors Hockey Club – Proud Member of the BCHL

www.westkelownawarriors.ca

BCHLWest Kelowna Warriors

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Central Okanagan Public Schools administration office in Kelowna. (File photo)
COVID-19 confirmed in 5 more Central Okanagan schools

All people who tested positive for the virus are self isolating at home

“Flower” was installed outside Interior Health’s downtown Kelowna Community Health & Services Centre on Wednesday, Nov. 25.(Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
New public art installation unveiled in downtown Kelowna

The piece, called Flower, sits in front of Interior Health’s Community Health & Services Centre on Doyle Avenue

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Interior Health reports 70 new cases overnight

The total number of cases in the region is now at 1,426

Cranbrook business and property owners are encouraged to flush their water lines ahead of reopening. All it takes is running the cold water tap for several minutes. (Cranbrook Townsman file)
UPDATE: Water advisory issued on Westside

Westshore Estates leak repair causes need to flush system

KLO Middle School. (Google Maps)
KLO Middle School community member tests positive for COVID-19

According to SD23, the individual is self-isolating at home

A man wearing a face mask to help curb the spread of COVID-19 walks in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020. The use of masks is mandatory in indoor public and retail spaces in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. records deadliest day of pandemic with 13 deaths, 738 new COVID-19 cases

Number of people in hospital is nearing 300, while total cases near 30,000

Penticton Law Courts
Bail hearing for Penticton man charged with sex assault, forcible confinement

Robert Sauve is facing more than 10 criminal charges

Revelstoke RCMP warn of scam after two people targeted in one day. (Black Press file photo)
Revelstoke RCMP warn of scammer pulling at heart strings

Two people in Revelstoke targeted in one day by person posing as a loved one

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
RCMP investigate suspected arson at Shuswap hunting camp

Suspicious fire took place by Scotch Creek forest service road on Oct. 24

Court of Appeal for British Columbia in Vancouver. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
B.C. woman loses appeal to have second child by using late husband’s sperm

Assisted Human Reproduction Act prohibits the removal of human reproductive material from a donor without consent

St. James Anglican Church, Armstrong, B.C. (Google Maps).
Prayer at North Okanagan council meetings a violation of religious neutrality: study

New study found 23 municipalities held prayer sessions at inaugural meetings in 2018, in violation of a Supreme Court decision

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

An assault charge has been filed after a 10-year-old boy was allegedly struck with a watermelon at a Shuswap campsite in August . (File photo)
Alberta woman facing assault charge after allegedly hitting boy with watermelon at Shuswap campsite

Police say a disagreement among friends at an Adams Lake campsite turned ugly

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Most Read