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Thread: Dan Hamhuis part of Cougars’ new ownership?!?

  1. #1

    Post Dan Hamhuis part of Cougars’ new ownership?!?

    By Neate Sager

    March came in like a lion insofar as the WHL's axis of cash-strapped teams is concerned.

    The financial straits of the Prince George Cougars, Kootenay Ice and shareholder-owned Lethbridge Hurricanes have been very public for quite some time.

    On Sunday, the Prince George Citizen reported that the Cougars owner Rick Brodsky, whose franchise is at risk of missing the WHL playoffs for the fifth time in seven seasons, has an agreement to sell the team to local investors. The Cougars are denying it — "We aren't sold. That's all there is to say" — but that could simply refer to the reality everything is subject to WHL approval.

    The franchise has been at the bottom of the WHL in average attendance for (at least) three years. The Citizen's report has a passing reference that supports the speculation the Kootenay Ice will be moved to end the league's 30-year absence from Winnipeg.

    From Ted Clarke:
    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.

    ... The local sources, who requested anonymity, say the team was purchased for close to $7 million, while longtime owner Rick Brodsky had been asking for $8 million. With a tentative deal now in place, it still has to receive approval from the WHL head office and be passed by the league's board of directors.

    Neither Pocock nor Brodsky returned calls to The Citizen on Sunday.

    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.

    Sources say the new ownership group plans to keep the team based in Prince George for at least the next two seasons. If the Cougars continue to lose money, the team will likely be moved to another city. (Prince George Citizen)

    Prince George's attendance is down 18 per cent from just two seasons ago, and it was already last in the league in 2011-12. There was a time, when the WHL product was new to the city in the 1990s and early 2000s, when it had excellent attendance.

    One can wonder if 2 years would be about buying time until a suitable arena is built in Nanaimo. It all falls under the umbrella of what would be the ideal scenario for the WHL — having teams in all five of Western Canada's largest cities and also having two teams on Vancouver Island to ease scheduling and travel burdens. It also needs to be an Eastern Conference team moving to the 'Peg in order to preserve the current 6-6-5-5 division/conference alignment.

    But is that necessarily Kootenay? Meantime, there is the disposition of the Hurricanes. Sources have confirmed that, indeed, the WHL is helping the 'Canes meet their expenses.

    Something has to give. Prince George's issue seems to be the customers; Lethbridge's is the outdated ownership structure and Kootenay's might simply be a population base problem.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Brandon, MB


    True North released a press report yesterday denying the Kootenay part of the article. Dreger tweeted it's not happening as well.

    With the playoffs being conference based as opposed to division, if a team is to move, I'd think the league would prefer an eastern team going west.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Prince George, BC


    If there was even the smallest chance of relocating to a large market such as Winnipeg or Nanaimo, you would think Brodsky would stick it out and relocate the team himself. Why sell to a group of former players and a local ownership group if their plan was to move instead of moving the team yourself? Makes no sense. I think the reason the new rumored ownership group paid such a premium for the team was to make sure the Cougars stayed in PG.

  4. #4


    Maybe there is room in the lower mainland for the Cougars with the Heat saying good-bye to their free money, or maybe they are moving to more free money.

  5. #5


    The WHL announced a special meeting of the WHL Board of Governors has been scheduled for Wednesday April 30, 2014 in Calgary to review applications to transfer the ownership of the Prince George Cougars and Regina Pats WHL franchises. The meeting will take place at the Deerfoot Inn in Calgary at 8:30 am, prior to the WHL Awards luncheon.

    The owner of the Prince George Cougars, Rick Brodsky has entered into an agreement with Mr. Greg Pocock of EDGEPRO Sports & Entertainment Ltd., to purchase the Prince George WHL franchise. Mr. Pocock is the head of a group consisting of local Prince George businessmen and former WHL players who formed EDGEPRO to purchase the Cougars franchise.

    It was also announced today the ownership of the Regina Pats franchise, Russ and Diane Parker, have agreed to sell their franchise to a group of Regina businessmen headed by Anthony Marquart. Mr. Marquart has formed Queen City Sports & Entertainment Group Ltd., to acquire the Pats franchise.

    Both franchise purchases are subject to the approval of the WHL Board of Governors. In order for the transfers of ownership to be approved, a two-thirds majority vote is required from the WHL Board of Governors at the April 30 meeting.

    Should the transfer of ownership applications be approved by the WHL Board of Governors, the sale transactions will close later in May, at which time the new ownership will be in position to take control of the franchises.

  6. #6


    atleast 2 years too late if not 10. Hope they can turn things around to make the long trek worthwhile.

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