The long awaited news has finally been made official in Portland where ownership of the WHL franchise has changed hands to Calgary-based business man Bill Gallacher. (full press release here).
Interesting to note that one assistant coach will continue on, the old head coach and general manager have options to stay with the organization (but in different jobs) yet a second assistant coach and the trainer were let go. The trainer, Innes Mackie, had been with the club since it relocated from Edmonton back in 1976.
Bottom line: Let's hope this change at the top ushers in a return to respectability that the Winterhawks once had. It wasn't long ago that they were a franchise others could try to emulate but in recent years things had gone from bad to worse to down right embarrassing.
With an alumni list that includes names like Dave and Wayne Babych, Braydon Coburn, Brendan Morrow, Marian and Marcel Hossa, Brandon Dubinsky, Byron Dafoe, Ray Ferraro, Adam Deadmarsh, Sheldon Souray, Jeff Finley, Jannik Hansen, Scott langkow, Brad Isbister, Jason Labarbera, Cam Neely, Glen Wesley and Richard Zednik... the franchise had become a parody of what it once was.
Here's to hoping the Winterhawks a nice resurgence on and off the ice. A great way to follow the events in Portland is to check in with play-by-play voice Andy Kemper and his blog 'After the Whistle'.