Meanwhile, the primary owner of the Kootenay Ice bought out his partners.
http://kootenayice.net/article/ice-modi ... -structure
The Niedermayers were thought to have invested in order to keep the Ice in Cranbrook, and there was speculation mid-season they would buy out the Chynoweths (whose family helped kind of birthed the WHL in the first place) and keep the team in the mountains. This transaction is a signal to most that the team is moving.
Problem: where? The Langley move moves the territorial claim enough to take Abbotsford out of the equation. The Nanaimo arena proposal was apparently stillborn, maybe an announcement to lock Chinese investors into a position on downtown land, and who were having none of that. Winnipeg brought their AHL team into the same building, so that proposal is at least dead for a few years. That leaves only a couple possibilities:
Boise interests were in pursuit of Kootenay a year or two ago, but it's hard to tell if the WHL would approve what's almost a geographic outlier. Wenatchee has a 4,300-seat arena in a market that, in terms of BC and the US, is bigger than Cranbrook, but easily becomes the smallest market. There are obvious concerns about the future of the ECHL in Boise. Wenatchee just played its first year in the BCHL and indications are that they're not moving out for WHL. So it's hard to see the Ice moving at this point... but something's happening.