Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Dewar: Glendinning Kicked Kamloops Tires Last Year

(Barry Dewar from the Storm website)

Barry Dewar is the owner and GM of the KIJHL's Kamloops Storm. He was the Kamloops Daily News source for a story about the possible relocation of Merritt's BCHL franchise to Kamloops. In the story Dewar said that the sale and relocation of the Cents had been approved at the BCHL meetings in Vernon last week. Since that time BCHL Commissioner John Grisdale has denied the story in an interview with Ryan Pinder's Vees Blog. He didn't say it would never happen just that it hadn't happened. So how did those wires get crossed?

Today I called up Barry Dewar and did an interview with him that I'll air on our broadcast of AM Ford Trail Smoke Eaters Hockey tomorrow night. However, since this news is spreading around the league rapidly I figured we should get the word out ASAP

On top of suggesting that he doesn't think this move is going to happen, the most interesting thing Dewar said was that Merritt Coach and GM Al Glendinning approached him about moving the Cents to Kamloops approximately a year ago. Dewar says Glendinning has since talked to him on multiple occasions including as recently as about a month ago. Now from what I understand Glendinning doesn't have a financial stake in the current Merritt ownership group. Is it appropriate for a team's Coach and GM to be actively working to try and move that team when he isn't even their owner? It certainly adds some intrigue into what he said to Ryan Pinder in November. If Glendinning is or was involved in another ownership group looking to buy and move the Cents while he was coaching the team, does that not raise a ton of conflict of interest questions? If he was hoping to be part of a new ownership group that would move the Cents to Kamloops, wouldn't it be in his interest for the team to sink in the standings, lose value and become easier to buy and move?

I'm not suggesting that Glendinning tanked this season or last. What I'm saying is that if he was actively doing what Dewar seems to suggest he was doing, he's opening himself up to having people ask that question. It will also be very interesting to know if the current Meritt ownership group did or didn't know about what he was doing.

Here's Barry Dewar on how he got involved in this situation and what he has heard since the newspaper article came out:

Kamloops Storm Owner and GM Barry Dewar

Click here to download

So what do you read from this? Did Dewar's source jump the gun? It sounds like there has been no formal approval of a Merritt sale or move, but where is this coming from then? I don't think Dewar's source just made it up, especially if he "got in trouble" for saying anything. I've heard these rumblings too so I wonder if we're just getting a lot of creative wording right now.

I can speculate because this is a blog and not a newspaper... so my speculation would be that the league had informal discussions about the idea of a Merritt sale and move to Kamloops. Perhaps they just wanted to get a sense of what the other franchises would think about that possibility should it come to fruition? I don't know this, but that would make sense given the conflicting stories we've heard. I certainly don't believe that it didn't come up at all.

Whatever the case may be, it is clear now at least that for a BCHL team to move to Kamloops they would also have to buy the Kamloops Storm from Barry Dewar. Given how successful the Storm have been in their nearly three years in Kamloops, I would think it might actually cost more to buy that franchise than it would to buy the Cents. That makes moving the team even more unlikely. However, stranger things have happened. I think we're just hearing the beginning of this story.

On another note, I talked to John Grisdale today as well and updated my story about the relocation deadline. He told me there isn't one and if he said there was in his interview with Brian than he misspoke and is sorry for the misunderstanding.


Anonymous said...

hi shawn
thanks for clearing this up, somewhat. like you say , i think its only the beginning.
appreciate you calling the sources and getting conversation rather than just drawing opinion and rumor.
i am a storm fan and really like the jr b game.
no offense to jr a but if there was a move,i am betting tickets would be up to the 14 dollar range because of higher operational costs etc. personally i dont think i would get passes for the family at those prices. others in town i am not sure of. the blazers are here and their price is 17. there isnt exactly a line up for their game either. anyways, i m running off topic here.
thanks again

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