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Chiefs explore local ownership

A potential deal is in the works which would see the Langley Chiefs get local ownership.

“We have been approached by a couple of guys, who have very strong connections, both in hockey and in business,” said Glen Ringdal, speaking on behalf of the Chiefs ownership group.

The potential buyers do not wish to be identified yet, he added.

“The team was never for sale and they weren’t looking for it, but these people came and they seemed to have really, really good credentials to do the job,” Ringdal said.

“So (the owners) are willing to consider it, but of course, it has to be approved by the league.”

The BCHL was unaware of any potential sale involving the hockey club, which came to Langley from Chilliwack in 2006.

The Chiefs are principally owned by Moray Keith, Jim Bond, head coach and general manager Harvey Smyl, and two Burnaby businessmen.

“We will sell the team only if new ownership will be best for the Chiefs and for Langley,” Keith said in a press release. “We believe the people that have approached us would be fantastic owners; a real asset to the team, the BCHL and the community of Langley.”

“If you can have local people supporting it and being involved in the day-to-day (operations), that is the best thing for this level of hockey,” Ringdal said about the feelings of the Chiefs’ ownership group.

None of the current owners have any ties to Langley.

“When we were running the Langley Events Centre, it made a little more sense for us,” Ringdal said.

Ringdal was the general manager of the Langley Events Centre from December 2008 until the Township of Langley took control of the facility in April 2010.

The potential owners know the basic terms of the deal, and now both sides are doing their due diligence and following the BCHL’s criteria for ownership, Ringdal said.

If it proceeds, the deal would likely be finalized this summer with the new owners taking control for the 2011/12 season.

“(But) if it doesn’t work out, our guys are content to stay,” Ringdal stressed. “(The owners) are really supportive of junior hockey because it sends kids to college and helps good young boys become good young men.”

The Chiefs have reached the playoffs for 16 consecutive seasons. The 2011 playoffs begin at the Langley Events Centre on Feb. 25.