The Seattle Thunderbirds junior hockey team will soon have new owners but remain at Kent’s accesso ShoWare Center.
Russ Farwell, owner, governor and general manager of the 2017 Western Hockey League champion Thunderbirds Hockey Club on Friday announced that the ownership group has entered into an agreement, in principle, to sell the team to Dan Leckelt and Lindsey Leckelt, co-CEO’s of Silent-Aire, according to a T-Birds press release, which didn’t disclose the sale price.
The sale of the franchise is conditional upon the approval of the WHL Board of Governors and the city of Kent. The WHL Board of Governors will meet on Oct. 4 in Calgary to review the application to transfer the ownership of the franchise.
Seattle opens the 2017-2018 season on Saturday night at the ShoWare Center.
The Leckelt brothers are the business owners of Silent-Aire, an engineering and data center equipment manufacturing company with 900 employees and operations in Edmonton, Alberta; Phoenix, Seattle, Virginia and Dublin.
“We look forward to the opportunity to secure the approval of the city of Kent and the WHL Board of Governors and become part of the WHL. The Thunderbirds franchise is respected as one of the top Major Junior franchises in the CHL and we are committed to contributing to the growth of hockey in the greater Seattle area,” said Dan Leckelt in the press release.
“Seattle has been a hub for Silent-Aire for over 15 years and we wanted the opportunity to be more involved in the community in which we work,” Lindsey Leckelt said. “The success of the Thunderbird Community Sports Foundation that gives back to youth community programs is an excellent example of the values we share with the current ownership group. The Seattle Thunderbirds are synonymous with quality and leadership, and we want to be part of the long-term sustainability and growth of WHL hockey in the community.”
Farwell and Colin Campbell who have led the successful franchise for the past 19 years including the move to Kent from KeyArena in Seattle, will remain with the club in their positions as general manager and vice president respectively.
“Thunderbird Hockey Enterprises was formed to keep the Seattle Thunderbirds in the Seattle market over 15 years ago,” according to a statement in the press release. “We started with 14 passionate people but the time has come to sell our company to someone with the same level of passion for the Thunderbirds and the Seattle market that brought our original group together. We could not hand pick better partners than Dan and Lindsey to pass over control of our team and we are excited with this sale to pass the Thunderbird torch to the Leckelt brothers.”
T-Birds staff said they would have no further comment about the sale until formal approval is granted by the WHL Board of Governors.
About Dan and Lindsey Leckelt
Dan and Lindsey graduated from University of Alberta with civil and mechanical engineering degrees and took on the leadership and strategic direction of Silent-Aire. At its roots, Silent-Aire engineers and manufactures custom HVAC solutions for data centers, institutions and industrial facilities with more than 50 schools in Washington state utilizing Silent-Aire equipment.
Dan and Lindsey’s passion for hockey runs deep; after playing college and minor pro hockey they joined the Stony Plain Eagles Senior AAA hockey team in Alberta and played for a combined 23 years including several Provincial Championships and an Allan Cup National Championship in 1999. Dan and Lindsey acquired the Stony Plain Eagles in 2014 and controlling interest in Alberta’s Spruce Grove Jr. A Saints in 2017, and they continue to give back to the community where they have played. The brothers give credit to hockey for their success and the many strong relationships that have helped build Silent-Aire.