Nanaimo Clippers player Jake Harris scores the overtime winner against the Cowichan Valley Capitals in B.C. Hockey League action Wednesday night at Frank Crane Arena. GARY DORLAND photo

UPDATE: New Clippers owner has a signed agreement to keep the team in Nanaimo

Wes Mussio, a lawyer and businessman from Vancouver, is the junior A hockey team’s new owner

The Nanaimo Clippers have been sold.

Wesley Mussio, a Vancouver lawyer and businessman, announced on social media Wednesday that he and his wife Penny are the new owners of the team.

Wes Mussio is managing partner of Mussio Goodman law firm and the co-owner of Backroads Mapbooks.

He posted on social media Wednesday that “Penny and I are the proud owners of the Nanaimo Clippers junior A hockey [team], looking to give back to hockey in B.C. and to Nanaimo, a great city.”

He told the News Bulletin that after initially talking to the Clippers’ ownership a couple of years ago, he became seriously interested again this past September. Since then, the deal came together and the B.C. Hockey League approved the sale.

Mussio plans to keep the team in Nanaimo and said he’s even signed an agreement with the league to that effect.

“The reason I signed that is because my view is Nanaimo’s one of the better hockey towns in British Columbia … You’d be a crazy person to move the team … I wanted to go to a market that I think is a good hockey market and Nanaimo’s a great one.”

He loves the game and had been playing competitive rec until recently.

“And then when I realized I’m 51 and everyone else is 19, 20 and right out of junior hockey, it’s time to pack up the skates and get more involved in the management side,” he said. “So this is sort of my retirement plan from hockey because I’ve always wanted to remain in hockey.”

He said he plans to open a branch of his law firm in Nanaimo and own a home in the Harbour City.

Mussio had owned the junior B Delta Ice Hawks, but had to give that up due to a Pacific Junior Hockey League rule preventing ownership in a competing league. Darren Naylor, head coach and general manager of that team, will join the Clippers as head of hockey operations, Mussio said, but Mike Vandekamp will be retained as coach and GM.

“I’m not going in there to change much except for ensuring that there’s good funding and that the team has better and better success in the coming years,” Mussio said.

The previous ownership group led by Ken Wagner had considered selling to a buyer interested in moving the team to Campbell River this past spring, but a community effort to keep the team local resulted in the formation of the Nanaimo Clippers Hockey Society. The society has been raising money toward the purchase of the team.

“They couldn’t get enough interest in that, but nonetheless, what I want to do is empower that group of individuals to help with promoting the team and game day operations. You’d be crazy not to use people that want to get involved,” Mussio said.

Wagner said the new owner will be a “huge boost” for the Clippers.

“With Wes being there, it’s a new sense of energy, new passion, willing to try new things,” Wagner said.

He said it was time to sell, suggesting the ownership group’s heart hasn’t been in it for the last couple of seasons.

“For us, it’s been 11 years of owning the club and it’s been a lot of fun, man. The last couple years, not so much fun with the [multiplex] referendum and the uncertainty of the team … but it’s been good,” Wagner said, adding he’s most proud of all the young men the Clippers helped to develop. “I certainly want to thank all the sponsors, the fans, anybody that’s supported the club since we’ve been there. We’ve had some really good years and we’ve had some not-so-good years, but that’s sports.”



editor@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Nanaimo’s Western Edge Theatre returns to the stage in Port Theatre debut

Theatre group presents ‘2 Across,’ described as a ‘middle-aged romantic comedy’

Purebred breeders go for a walk in Nanaimo to show off their dogs

Purebred dog breeders sometimes get a bad rap, says event organizer

City reviewing plans for huge Sandstone project in south Nanaimo

Seacliff Properties says it’s been told to be ready for a public hearing this fall

Ferry riders say lower fares are what’s most needed to improve service

Provincial government announces findings of public engagement process

COVID-19 isn’t cancelling this year’s Tour de Rock

Alumni riders will cycle relay sections in their own communities

B.C. or Ontario? Residential school survivors fight move of court battle

It’s now up to Ontario’s Court of Appeal to sort out the venue question

B.C. transportation minister will not seek re-election

Claire Trevena has held the position since 2017

Body discovered floating in water near Lasqueti Island

JRCC reports personnel aboard fishing vessel made the find

Young B.C. cancer survivor rides 105-km with Terry Fox’s brother

Jacob Bredenhof and Darrell Fox’s cycling trek raises almost $90,000 for cancer research

B.C. migrant, undocumented workers rally for permanent residency program

Rally is part of the Amnesty for Undocumented Workers Campaign led by the Migrant Workers Centre

Preparations underway for pandemic election in Saskatchewan and maybe B.C.

Administrators in B.C. and around the country are also looking to expand voting by mail during the pandemic

Nearly 20 per cent of COVID-19 infections among health-care workers by late July

WHO acknowledged the possibility that COVID-19 might be spread in the air under certain conditions

Nanaimo RCMP community policing needs a few good volunteers

Volunteers needed to help Nanaimo RCMP and city deliver crime prevention and safety programs

Protesters march in Nanaimo, calling for greater protection of forests and watersheds

March for the Forests happened downtown on Friday afternoon

Most Read