Rumours about the Ontario Hockey League’s Sarnia Sting being sold have been flying around the community for months, but the sale is now official, pending league and municipal approval.
Sting owners Rob and Larry Ciccarelli announced at a hastily called news conference Thursday that the team has been sold to former and current NHLers Derian Hatcher and David Legwand, both from the metro Detroit area.
“It is a bittersweet day for both Larry and myself,” said long-time Sting owner Rob Ciccarelli, on behalf of himself and his brother.
“This hockey club has been a major part of our life for twenty years and we have so many fond memories of being the owners of it. We are very happy though to have been able to put a deal in place with Derian and David as they are both local and are committed to keeping the club in Sarnia.”
Hatcher, 42, was a first round pick of the then Minnesota North Stars in 1990. He retired in 2009 after a lengthy career with Minnesota, Dallas, Detroit and Philadelphia. Hatcher played in his junior hockey in North Bay.
Legwand, 34, was the second overall pick in the 1998 NHL draft by the Nashville Predators. After a brief stop in Detroit last season, the former Plymouth Whaler is now a member of the Ottawa Senators.
Hatcher, speaking on behalf of himself and Legwand called it an “exciting day.”
“We know this area extremely well and look forward to building something special in Sarnia. We are committed to this community and are excited to get started once we have approval from the OHL and its Board of Governors.”
The next OHL Board of Governors meeting is scheduled for Feb. 2.
The purchase price for the sale of the club was not disclosed.
“We thank all of our staff and the countless amount of volunteers who have supported us during our tenure as owners of the Sarnia Sting Hockey Club,” Rob Ciccarelli said.