Fraser Valley – To no one’s surprise, the BCHL has announced that they will put an expansion franchise in Cranbrook. That fills the void after the WHL team, the Ice, moved to Winnipeg.
The Cranbrook Bucks will be in the Interior Division and playing out of Western Financial Place.
The Cranbrook Bucks will become the league’s 18th team.
“We are pleased to add Cranbrook as the 18th member of the BC Hockey League,” said BCHL Commissioner Chris Hebb. “The city already has a rich hockey history and we are excited to see them add to that legacy and bring BCHL hockey to another great community in our province.”
The Bucks are led by Majority Owner and President Nathan Lieuwen.
Lieuwen was previously a professional goaltender, playing five seasons in the AHL and ECHL and also suiting up for seven NHL games with the Buffalo Sabres in the 2013-14 season. He also had a brief stint in the BCHL as a member of the Westside Warriors in 2007-08 where he played 11 games.
“We are extremely excited to bring a BCHL franchise to Cranbrook and the East Kootenay,” said Lieuwen. “The Cranbrook Bucks Hockey Club looks forward to being a proud member of the Cranbrook community and surrounding areas for many years to come. We are grateful for all parties involved in bringing the BCHL to Cranbrook and we can’t wait for the puck to drop for the 2020-21.