Grizzlies to stay; Lew Hendrickson now in the driver’s seat

By David F. Rooney

The Revelstoke Grizzlies will be staying in town.

At a meeting in Castlegar on Sunday, Lew Hendrickson of Grizlies Sports Entertainment told the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League the team would remain in Revelstoke under his leadership.

GSE, the Grizzlies ownership group had been considering a move to 100 Mile House because of stagnant ticket sales. That, in turn, provoked a furor here as the Grizzlies Society organized opposition to the move.

All of that culminated in the meeting in Castlegar on Sunday with KIJHL officials and team owners from across the league. In the meantime, Mike Roberts, the ownership group spokesman who had promoted the move, is no longer involved with the organization.

Even though the news was a blow to the hopes of the 100 Mile House Wranglers organization, they did issue a gracious congratulations to Hendrickson and the Grizzlies.

“On behalf of the 100 Mile House Wranglers organization, we would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Lewis Hendrickson on his commitment to the KIJHL to operate the Revelstoke Grizzlies in Revelstoke for the foreseeable future,” Tom Bachynski, president of the newly founded 100 Mile House Wranglers Junior B Hockey Team Society.

”While we are still reeling from the disappointment of not securing a franchise for our community, it is encouraging to see there is such passion to have a team in Revelstoke.

“We hope the city of Revelstoke is able to rally with Lewis to maintain the glory that the Grizzly organization has enjoyed over the years. We can only hope our Society has the same resolve as yours to be insistent that junior hockey stays in your town (when we get that opportunity).”