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Rutland hockey drama put on ice

Friday, March 26th, 2010 | 4:22 pm

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By Pieter Uni

Fred Pittendreigh seems to have developed a case of cold feet, deciding to cancel a major announcement about his hockey club’s future.

Today, the owner of the KIJHL’s Chase Chiefs was expected to address reports circulating through Kamloops media that the junior B team is headed to Rutland.

But when reached by phone this morning, Pittendreigh stated bluntly that the announcement had been cancelled.

Pittendreigh told Kelowna.com he wasn’t going through with it because he was “misquoted by local media,” and that speculation surrounding the possibility of moving the team to Rutland grew out of control.

Regardless of the non-announcement, it didn’t look as though the team would have much chance in relocating to the Okanagan.

Bruce Hamilton, president of the Kelowna Rockets, shot down the possibility of the Chiefs moving to here in an interview Thursday.

“There will be no junior B team in Kelowna without my approval because we have the rights,” Hamilton said. “In my mind — and they can do all the talking they want — they are not coming to Kelowna until I say they are coming to Kelowna, and that’s part of the deal.”

The deal the Rockets general manager was referring to is one he struck with the City of Kelowna that gives him veto rights on any professional and junior hockey teams that want to make Kelowna their homebase,  a city representative confirmed.

Hamilton said he would only consider allowing the Chiefs to move to Kelowna if the franchise was to be operated by a local ownership group and if it met other provisions, such as playing all home games in Rutland.

sports@kelowna.com

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3 Responses to “Rutland hockey drama put on ice”

  1. jim says:
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    I’m a season ticket holder of the Rockets for five years and live in Rutland put want I have seen that Bruce just wants to line his pockets

  2. robski says:
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    my understanding is that bruce was making a sizable investment into kelowna and the community, the type of investment that takes decades to pay off. and I’m sure that’s why he smartly negotiated that veto with the city. and I’m also guessing the city understood that, and that’s why they agreed to it.

    so enjoy your season tickets, I think they have nice facilities and put on a great experience. if bruce didn’t have some anti-competitive clauses in place, the rockets wouldn’t be the premier team they are today.

  3. gord nelson says:
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    With the Rockets in Kelowna, the Warriors on the Westside and the Major Midgets playing out of the Capital News Center I don’t think we need a Jr. B team unless it was an affiliated team with the Rockets.

    Please continue discussion on the forum: link

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