VICTORIA — After a 20-year absence the Western Hockey League is returning to Vancouver Island.
The WHL announced its board of governors approved the sale of the Chilliwack Bruins on Wednesday to RG Properties, which will move the club to Victoria in time for the 2011-12 season.
“We are very excited to bring WHL hockey back to Victoria,” said Graham Lee, the president of RG Properties. “From the day we first got involved with this building over a decade ago, our goal has been to look at all opportunities that will bring excitement and entertainment to the city as well as providing economic benefits.
“Bringing a WHL team to Victoria exemplifies that commitment.”
Chilliwack was awarded its franchise in 2005 with an ownership group that included then-Anaheim Ducks general manager Brian Burke and New York Rangers GM Glen Sather.
The Bruins made it to the WHL’s Western Conference quarter-final four times in their five-year history.
This season was the club’s best, finishing with a 31-33-8 record before being ousted from the playoffs by the Spokane Chiefs.
Victoria was home to a WHL franchise from 1971 to 1994. Victoria’s teams produced over 50 NHL players including Hall of Fame goalie Grant Fuhr.