The Nanaimo Clippers hold a press conference announcing the new ownership of the B.C. Hockey League club. Darren Naylor, left, is the team’s new head of hockey operations; Penny and Wes Mussio are the new majority owners, team president David LeNeveu remains a minority partner and coach and general manager Mike Vandekamp retains those roles. (GREG SAKAKI/The News Bulletin)

New Clippers owners officially introduced

Wes and Penny Mussio of Vancouver are the new majority owners of the Nanaimo’s BCHL club

The new owner of the Nanaimo Clippers introduced himself to the community and made it clear that he wants to win.

The city’s junior A hockey team held a press conference Friday at Frank Crane Arena where Wes and Penny Mussio were officially announced as the new majority owners.

Wes Mussio said he doesn’t plan to come in and “rock the boat,” necessarily, but he wants to see the team competing for an RBC Cup national championship within five years.

“What I want to do is take something that’s really good and move it on to the next level, and hopefully bring back some rings and some championships and some trophies,” he said.

The 53-year-old said he’s interested in owning the Clippers for the long term.

“Over time, I want to do more and more in hockey and less and less in business,” said the Vancouver-based lawyer and businessman.

He said building back the fan base in Nanaimo will mean reinforcing the Clippers’ profile as a community-based team.

“If that happens, then suddenly people will show up and they’ll feel like they want to watch the team,” Mussio said. “The other thing is maintaining and ensuring a high-level product, so I plan to spend quite a bit more money on scouting and ensuring we have the top guys here.”

Also introduced at Friday’s press conference was the Clippers’ new head of hockey operations, Darren Naylor. The coach and general manager of the Delta Ice Hawks junior B hockey team will remain in those roles until season’s end, he said, but he’s already begun work with the Clippers.

“You have some ideas, ways you’ve done things in the past that have worked…” Naylor said. “It’s an evaluation process. We’re going to evaluate every aspect of this organization.”

Naylor said he’s scouted “high-end kids” and said announcements about player commitments could begin as soon as next week.

“With Wes, we’ve got a good owner here who’s going to really give us the resources to put the best team on the ice. He loves to win and he’ll spend the money to win. It’s going to be an organization that’s not cheap,” Naylor said.

The Mussio family will own 95 per cent of the hockey club, with team president David LeNeveu remaining a minority partner. The Nanaimo Clippers Hockey Society, which raised money to keep the team local, will meet Saturday, Nov. 11.

“All that money’s there and then it’s going to be up to the members of the society to determine how that moves forward,” LeNeveu said.

GAME ON … The Clippers host the Powell River Kings on Friday, Nov. 10 at 7 p.m. at Frank Crane Arena.



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