Cornwall Ontario — It has been a bizarre week for Cornwall River Kings hockey fans. Now fans are asking a lot of questions as of late: Who owns the River Kings? Will there be a rest of the season? What about season ticket holders?
Cornwall River Kings captain Steve Simoes even spoke out about ownership recently:
In my years in this league, I have rarely seen my owner(s) and didn’t really want to see them. The person who usually owns the team is in the background running things and making sure things go well. (We had) a new owner this season, who used this platform as a way to bolster publicity and be in the spotlight in order to gain a seat in council… When it was time to be known as the “head honcho”, everyone wanted their name and face in the paper, but when things turned sour, well, “please don’t publish my face and name”. Instead of biting off more than you can chew, maybe it would’ve been better to let it die. But how do you let it die, when a good portion of the population enjoys the hockey and the show?”, said Simoes in an interview with Ashley March of March Hockey.
There have been discussions on a Facebook fan page about organizing a protest at City Hall on Monday, but will news of a game on Saturday quiet any potential protest? Based on recent discussion threads the answer is probably not.
Brock Frost wrote in an email statement:
In order to ensure that the River Kings remain in Cornwall, I have come up with a solution for Saturday’s game. Notwithstanding the debts that have been accumulated by Mr. Madden between November 20th and December 4th, I will personally ensure that all bills are paid in advance for Saturday’s game. This includes player salaries, staff salaries and any other costs. After Saturday, I will work with the league and Mr. Madden to ensure that the transition to the new owner group is done legally and according to the league constitution.
However Darren Madden is no longer interested in purchasing the team according to an email from Mr. Frost on Thursday, and according to a statement from the LNAH last week Mr. Frost is still owner of the team. Furthermore, although a new owner group is being organized, nothing has been finalized or confirmed at this time.
Here is a summary of recent events:
Brock Frost sent out proof of sale documents to local media and made a series of accusations against Darren Madden whom he sold the team to.
So, what did I do wrong exactly? What Mr. Madden needs to understand is that you do not get two weeks to be pretend owner, spend the team’s money, accumulate debt and then walk away completely unscathed. I’m sorry that is not the way business works. I did not force him to buy the team, I did not force him to mortgage his house, I did not force him to use the team credit card for personal use, I did not force him to use team revenue for personal use and I did not force him to withdraw his application to the league. He did all of this on his own accord, plain and simple”, said Brock Frost.
But last week the LNAH released this statement saying that Brock Frost is still owner of the team:
“The LNAH would like to make a statement concerning the Cornwall River Kings after all that has been written and said about the team on social media in recent days.” “At present, the only owner of the Kings River in Cornwall is Mr. Brock Frost. No request has, to date, been sent to the League for submission to the Board of Governors concerning the transfer of ownership, said LNAH commissioner Michel Godin. “Mr. Frost has agreed to comply with the regulations and the League constitution. If he wishes to apply for a change of ownership, all must be done properly and heard by the Board of Governors. No further comment will be issued in this case.”
According to Brock Frost, the league constitution does not supersede business law. It is unclear what business law Mr. Frost is referring to, and how it would supersede any contractual obligations he has with the league.
The River Kings seem to be in limbo, with both Brock Frost and Darren Madden uninterested in owning the team. The only shinning light is the fact that Mitch Gagne is trying to organize a group to buy the team. That however is not a done deal.
There might very well be a game this Saturday, but the fate of the team is now in the leagues hands.
In an LNAH statement translated to English states: “For now the games are always held. As soon as possible the league will issue the necessary comments. But it is the very complex issue”.
Stay tuned Hockey Fans, this story is not over yet.
LNAH Board of Governors issues statement about Brock Frost ownership
River Kings owner Brock Frost seeking Director of Hockey Operations
Brock Frost says City advertising contract with Colts won’t hurt River Kings
Cornwall River Kings and General Manager Mitch Gagne part ways
Fans show support for River Kings’ new ownership