The Victoria Grizzlies have new owners and a new coach. On Wednesday morning, the BCHL club that plays out of Bear Mountain Arena announced that Vancouver Island Sports and Entertainment Ltd. is now the majority owners of the team.
“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to become an owner of this great hockey franchise with its long history of success in the community,” stated Ron Walchuk, President of VISE, in a press release. “Our focus is all about being a strong partner in the community, building a winning team and pursuing championships.”
The team has brought aboard Bill Bestwick, former head coach and GM of the Nanaimo Clippers from 2001 to 2010. The team played in the RBC Cup national championship twice – 2004 and 2007.
He’ll be aided by former WHL assistant coach Craig Didmon, who spent last season with the Victoria Royals.
The ownership change needs to be approved by the BCHL board of governors.
“This is good news for the BCHL and for Junior A hockey in Victoria in particular,” stated BCHL Commissioner John Grisdale in the Wednesday morning announcement. “I met with Ron Walchuk as things unfolded and VISE has kept me well informed throughout the transition process and the Board of Governors looks forward to dealing with the change of ownership request as quickly as possible.”