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Clippers sold and will remain in Nanaimo

The Nanaimo Clippers announced Friday the sale of their franchise has been completed and that Vancouver businessman and lawyer Wes Mussio is the team’s new majority owner.

Mussio is a partner at the law firm of Mussio Goodman and is also the part owner of Backroad Mapbooks, the largest Canadian-based publisher of outdoor recreation books. He’s been invested in Junior hockey before as owner of the Pacific Junior Hockey League’s (PJHL) Delta Ice Hawks.

The native of Trail, B.C. confirmed he intends to keep the Clippers in Nanaimo and looks forward to the challenge of making the team a perennial contender

“I’m here to ensure the Clippers remain a valuable part of Nanaimo for years to come,” said Mussio. “I’ve always been heavily involved in hockey and I wanted to move up to the BC Hockey League level.”

Mussio was required by PJHL regulations to sell the Ice Hawks franchise before buying a BCHL club, but takes pride in the fact Delta was a league finalist last season and is top of the PJHL right now. It’s something he hopes he can replicate in Nanaimo.

“I remain committed to hockey in B.C. I want to build a competitive team like Delta was and is, that’s a team I built.”

The 53-year-old grew up playing in the Trail minor hockey association. More recently, he was highly involved in the Burnaby Winter Club board of directors and served multiple terms as president. He was the Ice Hawks owner for two years.

The Clippers had been owned for the past 11 seasons in majority by Ken Wagner and minority owners during that time included former NHLer Kelly Hrudey along with businessmen Bill Gallacher, Paul Colborne and David Moir. The team’s current president David LeNeveu keeps his minority ownership stake in the team.