Recently ousted Revelstoke Grizzlies coach and general manager Randy Quakenbush has joined up with the Revelstoke Grizzlies Society in order to help keep the Junior B hockey team in town.
“I have a passion to see hockey stay in Revelstoke, the same as the community,” Quakenbush told the Times Review. “The society, once they realized they had an opportunity to purchase the team, approached me and asked if I would be interested in bringing my hockey expertise as a coach/GM and as a temporary acting governor to represent our group to the KIJHL. It represents a good continuity to our program.”
Quakenbush was let go as coach and GM by Grizzlies owner Michael Roberts last week, shortly after the Revelstoke Grizzlies Society annual general meeting that he attended and provided advice at.
Quakenbush, who signed a three year contract when he was hired last summer, said he was willing to make the move to 100 Mile House should the sale of the team be approved by the league. However, Roberts informed him that the new ownership wanted to bring in their own coaching staff and his contract was terminated.
Quakenbush said he would be providing his hockey expertise to the society and represent the group to the KIJHL. He will be attending the May 6 meeting of the league’s Board of Governors as an observer. The Board will be voting on the sale at that point.
“I can’t go and represent myself as the Revelstoke Grizzlies because that’s a legal issue that still has to be resolved,” he said.
Efforts by the Revelstoke Grizzlies Society to purchase the team are now happening on a legal level. When the society sold the team in 2006, a clause was put into the contract allowing it to buy back the team for $1 if the team moved or was folded.
The society’s lawyer Constance Brothers said she was in contact with Roberts about the contract but declined to speak further.
“As laywers like to say, the contract speaks for itself – you just have to read it and see what it says,” she said.
Quakenbush said he would work to assist the society’s efforts to keep the team in Revelstoke and that should it purchase the team, he would work to get a team ready for the 2012-13 season.
He will not be taking part in the Revelstoke Grizzlies camp from April 27-29 in Winfield, B.C. He said Kevin Kraus, who was an assistant coach last year, would be leading the camp as acting coach and GM of the team.
Quakenbush said he work to bring community and corporate partners on board with the society and have the team form a partnership with the community.
“I 100 per cent whole-heartedly believe that a society owned team is a very viable venture in Revelstoke,” he said. “I’m personally passing up opportunities to be involved in other programs to stay here.”
Quakenbush has lived and coached hockey in Revelstoke since he moved here in 1988 and said he believed Junior B hockey is a “quality of culture” issue for the community
“It provides activities, it provides leadership and it provides opportunities for the whole community to come together,” he said. “I truly believe that hockey builds quality and character of life. I’ve had a great experience with the life lessons that I’ve learned from my experiences in Revelstoke and I think this is a great opportunity for me to give back to this program and to the community.”