WHL board of governors approves sale of Kootenay Ice

Kootenay Ice left wing Joe Antilla celebrates his goal with teammate Matt Fraser, right, against the Mississauga St. Michael's Majors during second period Memorial Cup hockey action in Mississauga, Ont., on Friday, May 27, 2011. (Nathan Denette/CP)

CALGARY — The sale of the Kootenay Ice was unanimously approved by the Western Hockey League’s board of governors on Thursday, transferring ownership from the Chynoweth family to Winnipeg entrepreneur Greg Fettes and hockey executive Matt Cockell.

The Chynoweth family have been associated with the WHL for 45 years and have owned the Edmonton and Kootenay Ice franchise since 1995. One of the principal architects of major junior hockey in Canada, Ed Chynoweth served as league president from 1972 until he purchased the Ice franchise in 1995.

Since Ed’s passing in 2008, Jeff Chynoweth has operated the franchise as president and general manager.

"The WHL is fortunate to have attracted a high calibre ownership group to take over the operation of the Kootenay ICE franchise," said WHL commissioner Ron Robison. "On behalf of the WHL Board of Governors I would like to thank the Chynoweth family for their long-standing service and extraordinary contributions to the WHL and we look forward to the City of Cranbrook and Kootenay region embracing the new ownership group."

Cockell previously served as a vice president with True North Sports and Entertainment, the parent company of the NHL’s Winnipeg Jets. He has over 17 years of hockey experience with Hockey Canada, the Brandon Wheat Kings, Winnipeg South Blues and Hockey Manitoba.

Cockell will take over the role of president and general manager and assume responsibility for all business and hockey operations of the Ice.

Fettes is the founder of 24-7 Intouch, a global customer service outsourcing company.


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