The new owners of the Vernon Vipers are not planning any immediate changes to the BCHL club.
Brothers John and Tom Glen, from Edmonton and Regina respectively, have purchased the team from Libby Wray for an undisclosed price.
Mrs. Wray took over the ownership when her husband Duncan died in January.
The Wray family had owned the club for 26 years.
John Glen says they’ve been in talks with Mrs. Wray since June, and sealed the deal on Thursday.
He says they are not making any immediate changes, with the current staff retained.
“We’re going to bring, hopefully, some ideas and energy to the group. I think they have a good group here now, and until we get to know the landscape a little bit better, it would be premature to tell you were going to do this or that because we really don’t know,’ Glen said in an interview with Beach Radio News.
Listen as Beach Radio’s Pete McIntyre talks with Vernon Vipers co-owner John Glen about their plans after buying the team.
Glen says he and his brother are 50-50 partners in the team, and says the purchase has been a long process.
“We’ve been kind of looking for a junior hockey franchise for a little while now, and when this one came available, we took a long look at it. Negotiations have been going on and off, possibly, since the middle of June, there abouts.”
Glen says he and his brother are in the automotive business.
“My brother runs the retail end of things and I’m more on the wholesale entity. We have stores in Saskatchewan, Alberta and BC, and do some export as well.”
Glen says he will be at the team’s season opener tonight at Kal Tire Place, and plans to buy a residence in Vernon, and have close involvement with the team.
“I’ll be honest with you. I’m a hands-on guy, so I will be spending more time here than in Alberta.”
The brothers have not owned hockey teams before.
“My hockey background is, I scouted for the Vancouver Giants for about 11 years, from 2004 to 2015, but more recently I’ve been involved with the Spruce Grove Saints (of the AJHL) from 2010 to 2017 where I was scout, recruiter, many hats. My son went through the Spruce Grove program and he ended up securing a scholarship at Penn State, so that brought me with familiarity with the NCAA regulations and things like that,” says John Glen.
Glen says the Saints played the Doyle Cup in Vernon during the 2009-10 season.
“Ever since then, I just thought this is magnificent hockey community, and the opportunity to even entertain a slice of ownership in a market such as this was very appealing to me.”