Warriors want you to buy in

The BC Hockey League's West Kelowna Warriors are looking for financial partners to help get affiliated programs off the ground.

Team owner Kim Dobranski says potential investors would not be investing in the Junior A club, but in other, specific programs.

Dobranski says the Warriors have been working with other BCHL operators on a number of independent models to "ensure long term viability and sustainability of our respective franchises."

"Collectively, our goal is to anchor franchises in our communities by creating revenue streams which allow reinvestment in our Junior A programs," Dobranski said in a news release.

"This will also help us improve community support initiatives, recruiting, scouting, marketing, arena infrastructure improvements, player development, NCAA and NHL placements, and also support and improve our minor hockey programs in our regions."

He says the opportunities would be "relatively low-risk," as many are ones they are currently active in.

"We are looking for people with financial resources, a passion for hockey and community, and the time and desire to be actively involved in the top Junior A league in the country, arguable North America."

Anyone interested is asked to contact [email protected].


Warriors pre-season sked

The end of August will be a busy time for the West Kelowna Warriors as they get ready for the 2019-2020 BC Hockey League season.

The Warriors will open up training camp Aug. 19 at Royal LePage Place then, two nights later, begin a stretch of six pre-season games in 11 days.

They kick off the exhibition season at home against Penticton Wednesday, Aug. 21 then host Salmon Arm two nights later.

The Warriors will close out the pre-season at home against Trail Saturday, Aug. 31. That game is scheduled to start at 6 p.m.

About 40 or so players are expected to open camp with the team before head coach Brandon West trims that number to 22 prior to the start of the regular season Sept. 6.

Warrior owner denies claim

UPDATE: 8:50 a.m.

In a statement to Castanet News, Warriors owner Kim Dobranski says his response to his former coaches claim of breach of contract comes down to which entity is being sued.

He says the lawsuit filed by Geoff Grimwood last month goes after the non-profit society, whom Dobranski claims Grimwood did not work for.

"His contract was with KD Sports Ltd.," said Dobranski.

"He is making a claim against the wrong organization, and we had to submit that response for clarification to the courts."

If the suit goes ahead, a court date has been set for Tuesday, Oct. 15.

ORIGINAL: 5 a.m.

The owner of the West Kelowna Warriors claims the entity former coach Geoff Grimwood is suing never employed his services.

Kim Dobranski made that claim in his response to a suit brought forward by Grimwood, who is seeking more than $30,000 for breach of contract, interest and filing fees.

"The West Kelowna Warriors Hockey Club (Society #S0064872) is a non-profit booster club for the Warriors franchise operated by KD Sports Ltd. We Operate spring hockey programs and provide gaming for our youth programs. Contrary to his claim, Mr. Grimwood has never been employed by our organization," stated Dobranski in his reply filed in Provincial Court late last week.

As such, Dobranski disagrees with the breach of contract claim, "as we didn't have a contract with him."

Grimwood filed suit June 25, claiming Dobranski failed to pay the balance of monies owed him after he was fired Jan. 27.

His claim stated he was fired without notice, or payment in lieu of notice, and without just cause.

Neither claim has yet been tested in court.


Vees exhibition schedule

The Penticton Vees will be back in just over a month with their exhibition games, the schedule for which was announced Friday.

They will play six preseason games, two on the road and four at home at the South Okanagan Events Centre. 

The games include back-to-back matchups agains the Brooks Bandits of the Alberta Junior Hockey League who were crowned National Junior A champions for the 2018/19 season. It will be their first time back in Penticton since the Western Canada Cup in 2017. 

The exhibition schedule is as follows:

Wednesday, August 21st @ West Kelowna Warriors (Royal LePage Place/7:00 PM)

Friday, August 23rd vs. Merritt Centennials (SOEC/7:00 PM)

Saturday, August 24th @ Merritt Centennials (Nicola Valley Memorial Arena/7:00 PM)

Wednesday, August 28th vs. West Kelowna Warriors (SOEC/6:30 PM)

Friday, August 30th vs. Brooks Bandits (SOEC/7:00 PM)

Saturday, August 31st vs. Brooks Bandits (SOEC/6:00 PM)

Exhibition tickets are set to go on sale Monday, August 19th.

Vees trade for defenceman

The Penticton Vees have announced the acquisition of defenceman Ethan Martini from the Powell River Kings in exchange for future considerations.

Martini, 19, brings experience and grit to the Vees backend, spending the last three seasons in the BCHL and amassing 143 games between two different teams. 

The 6’6”, 209-pound defender played the majority of those games with the Trail Smoke Eaters, registering a goal and 10 assists for 11 points in 114 games while amassing 211 penalty minutes in that span.

“Adding Ethan’s experience, size and physical mentality was something we couldn’t pass up on,” commented Vees Head Coach, General Manager and President Fred Harbinson.

“We all know the grind in which the Interior Division has become and I look forward to helping Ethan take the next step with his game.”

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