January 29, 2019
WINNIPEG BLUES ANNOUNCE SALE TO 50 BELOW SPORTS & ENTERTAINMENT
WINNIPEG, MANITOBA – The Winnipeg Blues, are pleased to announce that they have entered in to a Letter of Intent to sell the Manitoba Junior Hockey League (MJHL) team to 50 Below Sports & Entertainment Inc.
“The sale of the Winnipeg Blues to 50 Below Sports & Entertainment Inc. ensures the long-term viability of the club and secures their presence in the Winnipeg market” said Tom Kleysen, VP Operations, Director and MJHL Governor for the Winnipeg Blues. “The ownership group is excited to be a part of the 50 Below Sports & Entertainment Inc. vision of creating a centre of hockey excellence in Winnipeg, one in which our players will be afforded best in class development and the opportunity to be seen by larger numbers and frequency of scouts to advance their careers and aspirations. The Blues have a proud past and a bright future”.
The formalized agreement is scheduled to be completed by February 15, 2019, subject to final MJHL Board of Governors approval. The deal is anticipated to close on or before June 1, 2019.
All Blues hockey operations, game day volunteers and players will continue their support and pursuit of the coveted MJHL Championship, Anavet and RBC Cup. While the agreement contemplates an ownership change at the end of the season, the pursuit of excellence by the players and the staff remains the same.
The current Blues ownership group would like to recognize the vision, determination, courage and the countless hours of volunteerism that previous Blues owners, managers staff, volunteers and alumni have contributed in the 89 year history of the club. We encourage continued support of Winnipeg Blues fundraising initiatives, the Gala Dinner and attendance at games.
MORE INFORMATION ON THE WINNIPEG BLUES
The Winnipeg Blues Hockey Club was founded in 1930 and was formerly known as the Winnipeg Monarchs, Fort Garry Blues, and the Winnipeg South Blues.
The Blues have won seven Turnbull Cups as MJHL Champions, two Anavet Cups, and one Abott Cup. As the Monarchs, the team captured ten Turnbull Cups and three Memorial Cups. The 1995 Winnipeg South Blues have been inducted into the Manitoba Hockey Hall of Fame under the team category. In 2010, the Blues moved into the MTS Iceplex,
located on the western edge of the City, and shortened their name to the Winnipeg Blues. In 2014 the Blues won the Turnbull Cup at the MTS Iceplex.
While Junior Hockey in Manitoba has a storied history dating back to 1918, in the modern era (which began in 1968) Winnipeg traditionally had four teams in the MJHL.
The Winnipeg teams in the late sixties were the West Kildonan North Stars, the St. James Canadians, the St. Boniface Saints and the Winnipeg Monarchs. The Winnipeg teams moved around the city a bit and went through various name changes during this period. The St. James Canadians folded in 2003, the West Kildonan North Stars folded in 1990 and the St. Boniface Saints relocated to Virden in 2012. The Winnipeg Blues are the last team remaining in Winnipeg.
The Winnipeg Blues provide the opportunity for hockey players to stay in school or postsecondary education in Manitoba and be seen by elite level scouts for advancement.
While the original founders of the organization realized that only a small percentage of players would go on to earn their living playing hockey, they knew that all Blues players would learn the disciplines of hard work, sacrifice, discipline, teamwork, personal fitness, leadership and enable them with the tools to be successful contributors to our society.
For more information, please contact:
VP Operations, Director & MJHL Governor
Phone (204) 489-3822
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