Plymouth Whalers: “Too Soon To Speculate”

Plymouth Whalers relocation

The Plymouth Whalers have broken the silence about their possible relocation – Photo by Aaron Bell/ OHL Images

With Chatham-Kent’s administration recognizing they have been in contact with the OHL’s Plymouth Whalers, the Whalers broke their silence releasing a statement about the rumours of their potential relocation.

Plymouth Whalers Governor Mike Vellucci released a statement saying the Whalers are in a stage of identifying possible markets for relocation, as well as discussing options for their current arena.

“The arena transaction is still in its early stages and therefore it is too soon to speculate if the Whalers will be relocating in the future or about any potential relocation cities,” said Vellucci in the release. “Currently we are in the stage of simply identifying available and viable markets should we need to relocate the Whalers in the future.”

With that statement, which clearly states the team is in fact “identifying available and viable markets,” the Whalers have admittedly stated a move is a possibility.

According to Chatham-Kent CAO Don Shropshire, the Municipality of Chatham-Kent has a planned meeting with an “undisclosed” OHL team prior to Christmas. Connect the dots, which include Whalers owner Peter Karmanos being outed on Twitter as saying, “Hopefully Chatham,” in reference to his team’s relocation plans, and one can see that Chatham is an option for the Whalers. As part of that, according to Vellucci, the Plymouth Whalers will continue examining potential markets.

“As part of the process, we intend to explore all options and work with the Ontario Hockey League, which will be required to approve any potential relocation,” continued Vellucci.

Any relocation plan must be applied for by December 31, the deadline for such a move according to OHL bylaws.

For the time being however, the Whalers remain committed to Plymouth.

“Make no mistake, (Plymouth Whalers owner) Peter Karmanos, who for the last 30 years has been one of junior hockey’s strongest supporters, remains committed to the Whalers’ organization,” the Whalers’ statement ended.

Continue to follow CKSN for updates on the story in the coming weeks.

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