Burnaby, B.C. – The BCHL has announced that its Board of Governors have approved the sale of the Coquitlam Express to local businessman Fayaz Manji.
Manji will serve as the team’s Governor and the team has announced that Ron Veit will serve as Alternate Governor and special advisor to ownership.
“I look forward to helping Junior A hockey prosper in Coquitlam,” said Manji. “Our commitment to the community, sponsors and fans will remain as strong as ever. The organization will endeavour to produce future community leaders by providing players an opportunity to fulfill their dream playing in the top league, while opening doors to higher education.”
Manji has also appointed Dave McLellan as President of Hockey Operations, Mark Pettie as Vice President and Alannah Kedra as Manager of Business Operations.
“Junior Hockey is an important part of the fabric of Canada,” said McLellan. “We have made a commitment to provide the city of Coquitlam with a highly-competitive and exciting brand of Junior A Hockey. The players proudly represent the community and we encourage the Tri-City community and the rest of the Lower Mainland to come out and support the team.”
Manji expressed gratitude to the previous ownership group and will continue to build on the established foundation with plans to elevate the team to the next level.
“My passion for hockey from a young age will drive our vision and, with the players determination, excellent coaching staff and community support, we will reach new heights in Junior A Hockey in Canada,” he said.
The Express joined the BCHL for the 2001-02 season and played in Coquitlam for four years before moving to Burnaby. In 2010-11 the Express returned to their original home and have been there ever since.
“The BCHL is pleased to have Fayaz Manji come on board as the Owner of the Coquitlam Express,” said league Commissioner Chris Hebb. “This news, combined with a great start by the team on the ice, is sure to drive renewed interest and ensure stability for the franchise going forward.”
The team has enjoyed significant success on the ice in years past as they captured the Fred Page Cup as BCHL champions in both 2005-06 and 2013-14 and also won a National Championship in the same 2005-06 season. The franchise has served as the starting point for the careers of many future NHLers, including Milan Lucic, Kyle Turris, and Alexander Kerfoot.