Friday, April 29, 2011

Team Is Langley Chiefs No More:

Here's another article from Langley about the new ownership and new name for the Chiefs:

By Heather Colpitts, Langley Advance April 29, 2011 4:03 AM

The Langley Chiefs are now officially the Langley Rivermen.

The name change comes with a change of ownership, a deal now approved by the BCHL.

"We take over the team June 1,"Roy Henderson, one of the new owners, told the Langley Advance.

Henderson, 61, and his brother John, a 65-year-old accountant, own the franchise after receiving approval from the league and the league franchise committee.

Roy was a Philadelphia Flyers scout who has worked at various levels of sports and hockey organizations. He was GM of the Langley Thunder and hopes to bring some of that experience to the Rivermen, namely the close connection between the community and the team.

"It's a community team," he said. "We've got to get a better relationship with minor hockey. We've got to give just as much to the community as we take."

That means working with other hockey groups in the community to watch and help develop talent.

"We've got to bring the right players in that will impress the community," Henderson said. "We're hoping to grab some kids right in the community."

BCHL board of governors chair Darcy Rota said the league is pleased to welcome the new owners.

"We're excited to add their passion for Junior A hockey to the BCHL, and I'm looking forward to hearing their ideas as new stakeholders in our league," he said.

The Hendersons have been working on the improvements they plan for the team even before the final approval came through.

"We already went down and visted with Tourism Langley," Roy said.

That was to find out all about the community events and groups. Roy said the team has to be more involved in the community, let its volunteers know how vital they are and have a better connection with sponsors.

"We've got to get more fans in the seats," Roy added.

The Hendersons take ownership of the club from the previous group which included Moray Keith, Heinz Hasselman, coach Harvey Smyl and Jim Bond.

The sale could mean moves for the Hendersons, currently based in Chilliwack.

In addition to having been the Thunder GM and a Flyers scout, Roy has run Global Sports Scouting for about two decades in Chilliwack. He's off to Chicago for hockey camps, where he will be looking for potential Rivermen talent.

The team already has its talent behind the bench but Roy would not disclose who is going to be the coach/GM.

The Rivermen will be looking to make hockey games more of an event that offers something for the whole family, such as kids activities.

"It's not going to be just a hockey game," Roy said.

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