Sale of Revelstoke Grizzlies close

The Revelstoke Grizzlies are close to being sold to a new ownership group. The team will be kept in Revelstoke.

Fans salute the Revelstoke Grizzlies at the end of the 2013-14 season. Fan support for the team remained strong despite the team's dismal record.

Fans salute the Revelstoke Grizzlies at the end of the 2013-14 season. Fan support for the team remained strong despite the team's dismal record.

The Revelstoke Grizzlies are close to being sold to a new ownership group.

“It’s close. We’re in the final negotiations,” said owner Lew Hendrickson. “The large hurdle is the league approving it and the other large hurdle is getting an offer to purchase and that agreed on and signed.”

A sale has been in the works for months to a group of hockey people based out of the Okanagan. The team will stay in Revelstoke.

The prospective owner declined to speak to the Times Review, saying he was advised by his lawyer not to talk until the sale was finalized.

Hendrickson said he hopes the deal is completed before the KIJHL Board of Governors holds its meeting on June 21.

“The other party has met with the league. We’ve done most everything that we need to do,” he said. “If we come to an agreement before then, it will be voted on at the league meeting at the 21st of June.”

Hendrickson became a part-owner of the Grizzlies in the summer of 2009 when he joined up with Joe Kozek, Michael Roberts and Troy Mick to purchase the team. Mick left the team after a year and sold his shares to Roberts.

In April 2012, Roberts attempted to sell the team to 100 Mile House, but the sale was blocked by the Revelstoke Grizzlies Society, who exercised a clause in a previous sale contract that allowed them to purchase the team for $1 if an attempt was made to sell the team before 2016.

The result was that Hendrickson bought out Roberts, and assumed the team’s debts, which were reported to be about $60,000, including $23,000 to the City of Revelstoke for unpaid ice time fees.

In two seasons under Hendrickson the team’s record plummeted, culminating in a last-place overall finish in the 2013-14 season. The team went through a rotating cast of coaches last summer, with three of them leaving before the season even started. Darren Naylor assumed the bench duties just before training camp, but he resigned midway through the season.

Despite the team’s woes, which included a stretch of 27 losses in 28 games and a 9-39-0-4 record overall, fan support remained strong throughout the season.

 

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