KIJHL Meeting resolves Grizzly issue

The Kootenay International Junior Hockey League (KIJHL) held its board of governors meeting in Castlegar on Sunday.

The Kootenay International Junior Hockey League (KIJHL) held its board of governors meeting in Castlegar on Sunday, with the biggest news confirming that the Revelstoke Grizzlies are staying put.

The board meets four times a year discussing concerns and addressing changes to the League. The biggest challenge in recent weeks was the announcement last month that the Revelstoke Grizzlies were moving to 100 Mile House for the 2012-13 season.

“We addressed the Revelstoke situation and the owner is going to operate this year,” said KIJHL president Bill Olhausen.

In early April, majority owner Michael Roberts of Grizzlies Sports Entertainment (GSE) announced that the team was to be sold to 100 Mile House – a city that already had a logo and website in anticipation of the KIJHL’s arrival.

“It was a limited company and there was four original share holders, and one made the decision he was going to sell, but without telling the others,” said Olhausen.

Strong resistance from the Revelstoke Grizzlies’ Society, and an alleged clause in the ownership contract that restricted the group from selling the team by giving the Society the option to purchase it for $1 if sold before 2016.

Roberts has since turned over his shares to GSE partner Lew Hendrickson.

“He (Hendrickson) was questioned at the meeting, regarding if he was able to operate and look after the ice bill from last year and so on, and he indicated to the governors that he was able to, so we agreed to let him operate,” said Olhausen.

The KIJHL will start the 2012-13 season as a 20-team league with a 52-game schedule and all playoff rounds a best of seven.

One concern that raised the ire of Beaver Valley Nitehawk president Denis Bedin was B.C. Hockey’s intent to move the Cyclone Taylor Tournament back a week.

“They did that without consulting us,” said Bedin. “B.C. Hockey stops at Princeton, they don’t really care about the interior.”

Despite the issue, Bedin came away from the meeting with a very positive attitude for the coming KIJHL season.

“The meeting was very long but very productive. All the KI teams are on board, I mean it was great.”