Prairie brothers purchase Vernon Vipers

Franchise owned by Wray family for 26 years sold to Tom (Regina) and John (Ft. Saskatchewan) Glen

John Glen used to volunteer serving beer for the Spruce Grove Saints of the Alberta Junior Hockey League.

Now, he and his brother, Tom, are the new owners of the B.C. Hockey League Vernon Vipers.

“I wore every hat for seven years with Spruce Grove,” chuckled Glen, of Fort Saskatchewan, Alta. “I was in the inner circle.”

The Glen brothers own a cross-section of car dealerships across the country with three each in Vancouver and Calgary. They bought the Vipers from Libby Wray after lengthy negotiations. The price tag was not disclosed.

The club was purchased by Dr. Duncan Wray in 1992 and was owned until his sudden death on Jan. 11.

“This was an extremely tough decision,” said Wray, in a statement released by the Vipers. “This club was something my husband was very passionate about and we wanted to make the right decision going forward. The Glens will be excellent owners and very committed to the City of Vernon and the legacy which Duncan created. I truly believe the club is in great hands.”

RELATED: Sales talks progress for Vernon Vipers

RELATED: Vernon Vipers owner dies suddenly

“We would like to extend our thanks and sincere appreciation to the Wray family for making this opportunity possible and for their dedication to the BCHL and the Vernon Vipers over the past 26 years,” said the Glen brothers, in a statement.

“We are thrilled to become part of the Vernon Vipers legacy and look forward to being involved in the community of Vernon and with the loyal sponsors, fans and supporters. As a hockey family ourselves we are very excited for the ‘18-19 season and for many successful seasons to follow.”

John, who was born into a Regina farming family, is a father of two. His son, David, 27, spent three seasons with the Saints before securing an NCAA scholarship. John has another son, Michael.

John was a big part of the Saints when they visited Vernon for back-to-back Doyle Cup (Western Canadian championship) series in 2010 and 2011. The Vipers won both series in seven games.

“When we came out for the Doyle Cup, I thought ‘What a great Junior A market this is: it was a really amazing experience.’ The fan support was off the charts. When the opportunity came up to buy one of the jewels of the BCHL, it was a no-brainer.”

Glen is a hands-on owner and plans to buy a place in Vernon to oversee the operation. His brother, who lives in Regina, will make regular visits to Kal Tire Place.

As for the Vipers staff, Glenn said head coach/GM Mark Ferner and his assistants, along with office personnel, are being retained.

“We’ll bring an HR (Human Resources) girl out next week and everybody will be status quo.”

Ferner met with Glen today at Viper practice.

“I’ve talked to him a couple of times,” said Ferner. “He was at our last exhibition game but he kept a low profile. I’m just worried about the hockey club although it’s (contract) is always in the back of your mind. We’ll see.”

A former area scout for 11 years with the Western League Vancouver Giants, Glen played some minor hockey in Regina and “had a cup of coffee with the Weyburn Red Wings.”

Under Duncan Wray, the Vipers won four national championships.

The Vipers open the BCHL regular season tonight as they host the Wenatchee Wild (7 p.m.) at Kal Tire Place.

The Kal Tire Place box office opens at 10 a.m. and tickets can also be reserved by phone by calling 250-542-6022.



roger@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Crash closes highway between Vernon and Lumby

Traffic being routed around the scene

Cougar “living” next door to Vernon elementary school

Conservation Office has been alerted and monitoring large cat

‘Bullet missed me by an inch’: Man recounts friend’s killing at Kamloops hotel

Penticton man witnessed Summerland resident Rex Gill’s murder in Kamloops

B.C. BUDGET: Surplus $374 million after bailouts of BC Hydro, ICBC

Growth projected stronger in 2020, Finance Minister Carole James says

Canadian singing legend returns to Vernon

Murray McLauchlan to play Vernon Performing Arts Centre Monday, June 17

A Mother’s Wish: Ryan Shtuka’s mother wants her son to be ‘forever known’

‍‍‍‍‍“Let me tell you a story …. it all began with a boy named Ryan”

Level nightclub will be closing

Three cougar sightings in Central Okanagan

Two cougars have been reported in Lake Country

Vehicle located in 2018 Shuswap abduction attempt

Chase RCMP say car used has since been sold, suspect still at large

We like it! Readers support the shift in Family Day dates

Readers support the date switch, while Ski Resorts may not

Dog dies in Kamloops RV fire

According to a fundraiser posted on social media, the cause of the fire was electrical

Friendship accord may help with rail trail funding and other initiatives

Agreement between Splatsin, Sicamous and Enderby to be signed Feb. 25

B.C. BUDGET: Income assistance raise still leaves many below poverty line

$50 per month increase included in funding for poverty and homelessness reduction

Most Read