The Wallaceburg Lakers take on the Mooretown Flags, December 7, 2016. (Photo courtesy of Jocelyn McLaughlin)The Wallaceburg Lakers take on the Mooretown Flags, December 7, 2016. (Photo courtesy of Jocelyn McLaughlin)

Lakers Returned To Community Ownership

Wallaceburg's Jr. C hockey club is changing hands, again.

The Lakers were sold to the Byrne Laus Hockey Corporation based out of Essex in April 2016 and almost exactly one year later, the team is being returned to a group based out of Wallaceburg.

Former team president Jim McCrea is one of the investors.

"It just seemed that with an outside ownership in our particular town, it wasn't something the town was ready to accept," says McCrea. "The investors realized that and we realized that and we sat down and hammered out a new way to do it."

McCrea says the Wallaceburg-based group that purchased the team back will be returning it to a community-run organization with an elected board of volunteers.

"The best thing I can say for it is that it worked in other towns, but it didn't work here," says McCrea of the sale to the Byrne Laus Hockey Corp. in April 2016. "We felt that if we brought it back to a community-based Wallaceburg team that everybody can be proud to be a part of that it would work much better here."

McCrea says the number one goal for the new ownership group is to "restore respect" to the team.

The Lakers only won three of their 40 games in the 2016-2017 regular season and they haven't made the playoffs since 2011.

The team also announced earlier this year they have hired Rick Vancoillie as their new head coach for the upcoming season. He has been coaching for 13 years and recently coached the Wallaceburg Midgets to an OMHA championship.

The sale will become official on April 15, 2017.


Upcoming Wallaceburg Lakers events

- Wallaceburg Lakers Spring Camp -- April 15-16 at the Walpole Island Sprots Complex

- Wallaceburg Lakers Annual General Meeting -- April 18 at 7pm at the Wallaceburg Legion (all are welcome)

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