The Brandon Wheat Kings now have a new ownership group and governor.
Longtime owner and governor Kelly McCrimmon announced that the Western Hockey League club has been sold to the J&G Group of Companies. The transfer of ownership was unanimously approved by the WHL Board of Governors last week. The storied franchise will now change hands on September 15, 2020.
McCrimmon is currently the general manager of the NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights. In 1992, Kelly became a minority owner of the Wheat Kings when he purchased one-third of the franchise. 2001 is when he became the sole owner when he bought the remaining shares from Bob Cornell.
In 1995-96, he won his first championship as a WHL general manager and his second championship with the Wheat Kings.
“This was an extremely difficult decision for our family. The Wheat Kings have been our life. From playing here for two years and then operating the team for 31 years, 28 of which were as the owner,” McCrimmon told wheatkings.com “There have been so many incredible moments. Our family loves Brandon and we love Manitoba.”
Ron Robison is the commissioner of the WHL and he had this to say on what McCrimmon meant not only to the Wheat Kings but the entire league.
“Kelly has been synonymous with the Brandon Wheat Kings for as long as most WHL fans can remember,” offered Robison. “During his long tenure as general manager and owner, Kelly not only built the Wheat Kings into a model franchise but also played an integral role in developing the WHL into the world-class league it is today.
Kelly McCrimmon, who has been the sole owner of the franchise for the past two decades and began as GM when he was 28, has sold the the WHL club. https://t.co/TELWgXLeec
— Claire Hanna (@clahanna) September 8, 2020
As a part of the sale, Jared Jacobson is the newest owner in the WHL. Jacobson is President and CEO of the J&G Group and he was born and raised in Brandon. The J&G Group has expanded to 32 companies and has been a partner and supporter of the Wheat Kings and the WHL for many years.
“This is a very exciting day for myself, my family, and business partners,” said Jacobson. “Our ownership group is looking forward to adding new energy and new ideas to one of the most storied franchises in the Canadian Hockey League. We are committed to providing the fans with not only a great on-ice product, but the best fan experience possible.”
Jared went on to thank Kelly for this opportunity. He says the Wheat Kings mean everything to Brandon, so many Manitobans, and of course, fans across Western Canada.
Kelly will remain with the club as alternate governor.
A bittersweet day for Kelly McCrimmon, I’m sure. So many good teams. So many good players developed through the @bdnwheatkings system with McCrimmon at the helm. The team remains in good hands moving forward. https://t.co/xTvVqvgrna
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) September 8, 2020