July 26th, 2014

WHL Roundup: Prince George Cougars reportedly sold, other teams in limbo


By Darren Steinke on March 5, 2014.

dsteinke@medicinehatnews.com

It looks like where there is smoke there could be fire as far as a possible sale of the Prince George Cougars goes.

On Monday morning, Ted Clarke of the Prince George Citizen wrote, “The Prince George Cougars have been sold to local businessman Greg Pocock and a group of investors that includes NHL players and former Cougars Eric Brewer and Dan Hamhuis, say several sources close to the team.”

Clarke’s story says the deal is tentative and still has to receive approval from the WHL head office and be passed by the league’s board of directors. Clarke also wrote the team was sold for close to $7-million, while owner Rick Brodsky had been asking for $8-million.

Later on Monday, Gregg Drinnan, who is the former Kamloops Daily News sports editor that has covered the WHL for decades, wrote in his Taking Note blog that a sale had yet to be completed, nothing had been signed, nor has any money changed hands, but serious talks are ongoing.

In the Citizen’s story, Clarke also wrote, “The Cougars have been the subject of rumours they would be moved to Nanaimo or Winnipeg. But Nanaimo lacks a WHL-sized arena, and now it appears Winnipeg will be the home of the Kootenay Ice next season.”

Drinnan proceeded to contact Jeff Chynoweth, the Ice’s owner, president and general manager for comment.

Chynoweth asked, “Where do they come up with stuff like that?”

Speaking of franchises being in limbo, it seems like daily rumours circulate in Lethbridge about whether the community owned Hurricanes will be for sale, are not for sale or will even be in Lethbridge next season.

Rumours about the Hurricanes financial stability also seem to change from moment to moment.

On Monday, Brian Wichers, a member of the Hurricanes board of directors, told Paul Kingsmith, who is the sports director at Global-TV in Lethbridge, that the team is not for sale, the WHL has not taken financial control and the Hurricanes are expected to be in Lethbridge next season.

Bozon in hospital with meningitis

Also on Monday, Drinnan reported that Kootenay Ice left-winger Tim Bozon is in a Saskatoon hospital being treated for meningitis.

Chynoweth refused to comment to Drinnan about this situation, but a source told Drinnan the situation is, “very, very serious.”

Bozon scored a goal for the Ice Friday, when they beat the Blades in Saskatoon 4-2. He was scratched from a Saturday game against the Raiders in Prince Albert.

The Swiss product started the season with the Kamloops Blazers before being traded early in the campaign to the Ice. Bozon has 33 goals and 36 assists in 63 games this season.

On Tuesday’s WHL Weekly Report, Bozon was listed as out with illness with a return date to be determined.


Down to six-game sprint

 

The Prince Albert Raiders and Red Deer Rebels are down to a six-game sprint for the last playoff berth in the WHL’s Eastern Conference.

Both teams won their respective games on Tuesday night to remain tied for eighth overall in the conference with 67 points. In Prince Albert, the Raiders thumped the visiting Moose Jaw Warriors 9-2. In Cranbrook, B.C., the Rebels blanked the host Kootenay Ice 4-0.

If the Raiders (31-30-3-2) and Rebels (31-30-1-4) remain tied for eighth at season’s end, they will face each other in a tiebreaking game.

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