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This article was published 21/1/2019 (925 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
The OCN Blizzard will continue to be co-managed by Opaskwayak Cree Nation and three local owners who recently struck a deal to purchase the Manitoba Junior Hockey League franchise until the league's board of governors is able to vote on whether to approve the sale.
"Right now, everything is dependant on approval from the league," team governor Shorty Laithlin said via telephone Monday. "They have the final say in the sale. What's happening right now is they'll be getting information from the potential owners... there's certain criteria that needs to be followed from the league and at some point, the potential owners will need to meet with the board of governors to get the approval."
Last week, OCN announced it had sold the team — which had struggled to remain financially viable and was to be mothballed following the 2016-17 season before being revived — to a group of three businessmen, Arthur Barbeau, Usman Tahir and Salman Safdar.
Laithlin said the deal includes the proviso the club will remain in the area and play at Gordon Laithlin Memorial Centre for at least the next 10 years.
"It's up to the league. If these gentleman put everything together that they're asked to put together, I don't see a problem," said Laithlin.
A transfer of a ownership requires a three-quarters approval, or nine votes, from the 11 league members.
"It's a fairly infrequent event, the transfer of ownership, so we don't have a specific schedule," said MJHL commissioner Kim Davis.
"There's a number of documents that both parties have to provide to the league office and so as quickly as they are able to provide those, then we can take some time to review it and then a board meeting would be convened and then they would entertain the proposal to approve the transfer."
All league teams need to confirm their status by March 31.
Davis was also asked if reported interest in an expansion franchise from Grand Forks, N.D., had materialized.
"Not in a formal way," said Davis. "We haven't received an application as of yet from any group in that area or that region, so there's nothing I could say to you that would be definitive in any fashion."
Mike has been working on the Free Press sports desk since 2003.