The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

WHL approves transfer of ownership of Pats, Cougars franchises

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CALGARY - The Western Hockey League board of governors approved the sales of Prince George Cougars and Regina Pats on Wednesday.

The board voted unanimously to approve the transfer of the Cougars ownership from Rick Brodsky to EDGEPRO Sports and Entertainment Ltd., and the Pats from Russ and Diane Parker to Queen City Sports and Entertainment Group Ltd.

The new Prince George ownership group is led by local businessman Greg Pocock along with partners Ernest Ouellet, Raymond Fortier, and John Pateman. Former Cougars and current NHL defencemen Dan Hamhuis and Eric Brewer are also key members of the new ownership.

The Cougars relocated from Victoria twenty years ago. Brodsky has been the only owner of the franchise since it began operations in Prince George in 1994.

The new ownership group in Regina is headed by local businessman Anthony Marquart. His group will take over from the Parkers, who have owned and operated the Pats for the past 19 seasons.

"The WHL is fortunate to have attracted two very high calibre ownership groups who are fully committed to whatever is necessary to take the Prince George Cougars and the Regina Pats franchises to a new level," WHL Commissioner Ron Robison said in a statement. "We are confident that fans will enthusiastically embrace the local ownership groups and bring long-term stability to these WHL markets."

Both sales are expected to close prior to the end of May.

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