The Kootenay Ice will be staying in Cranbrook, at least for now, but under new ownership.
The Chynoweth family announced Tuesday afternoon that it has “entered into an agreement” to sell the
franchise to Greg Fettes, the founder and CEO of 24-7 Intouch, and
Matt Cockell, a former WHL goaltender.
The WHL has scheduled a board of governors’ meeting for April 27 at which time it will review the agreement.
The Chynoweth family has owned the franchise since 1995 when it was established as the Edmonton Ice. It moved to Cranbrook after two seasons in Edmonton.
Once the sale is finalized, Cockell will be moving to Cranbrook and will take over as president and general manager from Jeff Chynoweth, who has been the governor, president and GM.
Cockell has been vice-president, corporate partnerships for True North Sports and Entertainment, the owners of the NHL’s Winnipeg Jets and its home arena, the MTS Centre. Cockell played three seasons in the WHL (1996-99) with the Saskatoon Blades, Seattle Thunderbirds, Regina Pats and Spokane Chiefs.
Cockell also has experience as the chief customer officer at 24-7 Intouch, the company founded by Fettes, who is its CEO. According to its website, 24-7 Intouch is “an award-winning global contact center.”
According to a news release issued by the Ice, 24-7 Intouch is “a global customer service outsourcing company with over 8,000 employees in 14 sites around the world including Canada, United States, Guatemala, Jamaica, and the Philippines.”
Interestingly, the sale of the Ice was announced on the same day that a website — saveourice.com — surfaced aimed at keeping the team in Cranbrook.
According to a statement on the site:
“We are a group of local business owners and dedicated fans who are banding together to do everything we can to try to keep the Kootenay Ice in Cranbrook.
“We have chosen to remain anonymous at this time to keep the attention and focus on the team and what it brings to the region.
“But we are like you . . . passionate fans of the Ice.
“And we don't want to see them go.”
Now it seems the Ice isn’t going anywhere, at least not now. It just won’t have local ownership.
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