The Oklahoma City Blazers of the Western States Hockey League announced on Monday that they are under new permanent ownership. Jake Runey has taken over the team from the WSHL, which was forced to take ownership of the franchise after the former owner relinquished the franchise back to the league.
“This is a great opportunity for myself and fiance. I am excited to help the OKC Blazers continue their success on the ice as well as rebuilding their relationship within the community,” said Runey.
Runey is taking over a team that has had a tumultuous season off the ice, despite having one of its most successful seasons in franchise history on the ice. Gary Gill, who was the former owner, was also the team’s head coach but he left before the season to take a job in pro hockey. Gill then relinquished his ownership of the team back to the league earlier this month.
“I look forward to advancing the players to the next level, whether it be a higher junior league, to the NCAA, or a pro league,” said Runey. “In addition to the players, I want the team to be more involved with the community and our fans. I will bring a whole new approach to our game day entertainment and fan engagement. In the end, the fans are the most important thing to the success of the OKC Blazers!”
Looking ahead for the remainder of the season, Runey stated, “There will be no immediate changes to personnel as we continue to structure for next season and look for local sponsors to help us finish out this season.”