As posted on Gregg Drinnan's blog, the KIJHL voted yesterday to allow the Chase Chiefs to move to Kelowna for the 2010-11 season. The vote was carried 10-3, with 3 teams abstaining and 1 absent. The Chiefs are proposing to play in the Rutland Arena, but the move is still contingent on Kelowna Rockets president Bruce Hamilton's so-called veto power. Part of his agreement with Prospera Place is that he has final say on any hockey teams wanting to move into the Kelowna market, though you'd have to figure the Rockets wouldn't be threatened at the gate by a Junior B team.
I spoke with one KIJHL exec a couple of weeks ago during the league finals who was dead-set against the move. The thought-process there is, any potential team in Kelowna could pick off any local products looking to play at the Junior B level, which could hurt some of the smaller market franchises. For example, the Rebels had 5 Kelowna players on their 2009-10 roster including leading scorer Ryan Aynsley.
The Rebels are also in the process of reviewing their applicants for the vacant head coaching position. I've been told they have received over 20 applications from as far away as Atlantic Canada and Texas, and they would like somebody in place sooner rather than later. I imagine we'll hear a lot more about the decision in the next two weeks.