WHL board approves sale of Kootenay ICE
The Western Hockey League (WHL) Board of Governors voted unanimously April 27 to approve the transfer of the Kootenay ICE ownership from the Chynoweth family to Winnipeg entrepreneur Greg Fettes and hockey executive Matt Cockell.
The Chynoweth family has 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 President of the WHL 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.
With over 20 years entrepreneurial experience in sales, marketing and operations, Fettes is the founder of 24-7 Intouch, a global customer service outsourcing company with over 8000 employees in 14 sites around the world including Canada, United States, Guatemala, Jamaica, and the Philippines.
Cockell, a three-year veteran of the WHL, utilized his WHL Scholarship to earn an Honours degree in Marketing and Small Business Finance at the University of Manitoba. Previously, Cockell served as Vice President, Corporate Partnerships for True North Sports + Entertainment and also has over 17 years of hockey experience with Hockey Canada, the Brandon Wheat Kings, Winnipeg South Blues and Hockey Manitoba.
Cockell, who will be relocating his family to Cranbrook, will take over the role of President and General Manager and assume responsibility for all business and hockey operations of the club.
“The WHL is fortunate to have attracted a high calibre ownership group to take over the operation of the Kootenay ICE franchise,” commented 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.”