The long-term viability of the WHL’s Bruins remaining in the British Columbia town of Chilliwack received a boost in the form of financial backing from Justin Morneau of the Minnesota Twins. Morneau, a B.C. native, has reportedly expressed interest in helping keep the team in Chilliwack where his father currently resides.
Bruins co-owner Moray Keith confirmed Morneau’s interest in getting involved with the WHL team as an investor:
“Justin has expressed his interest in being involved with us as an investor in hockey based in Chilliwack. We would be honoured to have him involved. It is all predicated obviously in our successfully securing the team.”
Keith and fellow co-owner Jim Bond believe that they can match or exceed any offers tabled for the Bruins. The addition of Morneau to the fold should almost guarantee that belief. Morneau has three years remaining on his current contract that pays him in excess of $13 million annually.
The Bruins remaining in Chilliwack will ultimately depend on Bond and Keith’s co-owners Brian Burke, Darryl Porter, and Glen Sather as well as WHL governors accepting a new ownership group with the intention of keeping the team there. According to the story from BCLocalNews, “there is pressure on Burke, Sather and Porter to accept a bid that would land the team in Victoria”.
WHL commissioner Ron Robison has stated that it is the league’s preference is to look for local ownership, and the Morneau, Keith and Bond team would appear to fit that bill.
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