New Peninsula Panthers owners Pete Zubersky

Peninsula Panthers returned to former ownership group

Junior B team changes hands part way through the season

A pair of former Panther owners are off the bench and back in the game after purchasing the rights to the local junior-B hockey club, which was being run by the league.

John Wilson and Pete Zubersky purchased the Peninsula Panthers junior B team after weekend meetings with the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League.

“We really enjoyed our time when we did it,” said Zubersky who owned the team for eight years, until about five years ago. Wilson took over the club for two years after that. Jackson Penney took ownership about two and half years ago and relinquished it to the league last month.

Wilson learned of the team’s availability and after a call to Zubersky – and conversations with their wives, Coreen Zubersky and Val Wilson – the two families made a powerplay for ownership.

“What you see in the on-ice product is a culmination of a lot of off-ice work by volunteers and people putting together a business plan,” Wilson said of the full family commitment involved. The new owners met with players Monday night to break the news.

The Panthers saw success on the ice the past two years, earning league titles, provincial titles and finishing fourth at nationals last year.

Zubersky and Wilson will focus on rebuilding local relationships with the community, local businesses and Peninsula Minor Hockey.

“Those are the people we need to develop relationships with because without those, we’re toast,” said Zubersky. “Minor hockey is our bread and butter and we want to build those ties again.”

Parents, players and coaches wear the logos of both the minor hockey Eagles and the Panthers with pride, said minor hockey president Steve Pearce.

“Players coming out (to play) is very important. It’s important to development for the kids. With hockey skills and social skills required for life. Hockey is really secondary for 99 per cent of these kids,” Pearce said.

The old owners will resurrect old prices on Friday night (Dec. 9). All tickets for the Panthers game are $5 with a donation to the Sidney Lions Food Bank.

The team will face Comox at 7:30 p.m. at Panorama Recreation Centre.

Saturday night they host arch rivals Victoria Cougars at 7:30 p.m. Parksville is in town Dec. 16 and the Panthers make the trip to Oceanside Place Dec. 17 before breaking for the Christmas holiday.

“That’s going to give us some time to take a breath,” Zubersky said.

sports@vicnews.com

 

Just Posted

Economic inequality, immigration still need work in Victoria: Prosperity index

Housing, environmental health factors show improvements in 2019: report

WATCH: Soon-to-be guide dogs take part in the Amazing Puppy Race

10 puppies training to be guide dogs took part in a social Easter egg hunt

Victoria City Councillor Laurel Collins wins federal NDP nomination

Collins will run for Victoria in the upcoming federal election

Long weekend starts with series of crashes

The long weekend traffic pile up is starting with a series of… Continue reading

Victoria church bells toll in solidarity with Notre Dame Cathedral after devastating fire

Churches around the globe ring bells to honour iconic Paris cathedral

POLL: How often does your family use BC Ferries?

Navigating the lineups for BC Ferries is a way of life for… Continue reading

Crime Stoppers most wanted for Greater Victoria for the week of April 16

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

B.C. senior sentenced for sexually abusing special-needs granddaughter

73-year-old Cortes Island man will go to jail for three years

Howe Sound Queen sailing toward retirement

Vessel now up for auction ends regular runs between Crofton and Vesuvius at the beginning of June

Should B.C. lower speed limits on side roads to 30 km/h?

Vancouver city councillor wants to decrease speed limits along neighbourhood side roads

Lawsuit eyed over union-only raise for B.C. community care workers

‘Low-wage redress’ leaves 17,000 employees out, employers say

Landlord of alleged Okanagan shooter recounts deadly day

Tony Friesen was working in one of the units of his Penticton building when he heard shots

Foreign national arrested in connection to thefts at YVR

A woman, 60, is being held in police custody as Richmond RCMP investigate

Most Read