Kelowna dis­misses Twit­ter trolling

West­ern Hockey League club will host CHL cham­pi­onship for the first time since 2004

StarMetro Vancouver - - THE FEED - EVAN RAD­FORD

CAL­GARY—AF­TER be­ing awarded host­ing du­ties for the 2020 Me­mo­rial Cup, the Kelowna Rock­ets are fo­cused on build­ing com­mu­nity sup­port for their team and not on a since-deleted tweet from the com­mu­ni­ca­tions man­ager of an­other ju­nior hockey club that put in a bid to host, says the Rock­ets owner.

It’ll be the first time since

2004 that the West­ern Hockey League club will host the na­tional Cana­dian Hockey League cham­pi­onship tournament, to be played in May

2020.

WHL com­mis­sioner Ron Ro­bi­son an­nounced the news on Oct. 3 at a news con­fer­ence in Cal­gary; the Rock- Bruce Hamil­ton is the Kelowna Rock­ets owner/gen­eral man­ager, as well as the chair of the West­ern Hockey League board of gov­er­nors.

ets, Kam­loops Blaz­ers and Leth­bridge Hur­ri­canes were the three teams that put in bids to host the event.

Shortly af­ter, the com­mu­ni­ca­tions man­ager for the Hur­ri­canes, Dustin Forbes, put out the fol­low­ing Tweet, which has since been deleted: “Full dis­clo­sure for @Whlhur­ri­canes fans ... Bruce Hamil­ton, owner of the Kelowna Rock­ets, is the chair­man of the board of gov­er­nors in the WHL. The vote on who hosted is done by the BOG. Just say­ing.”

About 20 min­utes later, Forbes re­sponded to a Twit­ter user ask­ing if he was ac­cus­ing the vot­ing process of be­ing rigged. Forbes de­fended his orig­i­nal tweet, and said, “I never said that it was rigged … I sim­ply stated a fact.”

In an email to Starmetro Cal­gary, Forbes didn’t re­spond to a list of ques­tions about the in­ci­dent, but in­stead re­ferred to a team state­ment.

“The Leth­bridge Hur­ri­canes hockey club re­spects the process and in­tegrity of the West­ern Hockey League board of gov­er­nors, as well as the vot­ing process for the se­lec­tion of the host site of the 2020 Me­mo­rial Cup,” the team said.

“It’s pretty hard to dic­tate to who you’re vot­ing for when it’s a se­cret-bal­lot vote.” Full story at thes­tar.com/cal­gary

ROBERT MUR­RAY/WEST­ERN HOCKEY LEAGUE

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