Cowichan Capitals announce new owner

A businessman from China is the new majority owner of the Cowichan Valley Capitals junior A hockey team.

A businessman from China is the new majority owner of the Cowichan Valley Capitals junior A hockey team.

Ray Zhang, an international businessman who calls Beijing home, finalized his purchase of the B.C. Hockey League club this week.

“This transaction is the first time someone from China has purchased an overseas hockey franchise,” Zhang said in a press release. “It will open the door for hockey families in China to learn about Canadian hockey firsthand. This link to Canadian hockey will prove valuable to encourage all of our young hockey players in China.”

Zhang purchased the majority share of the team from former owner Cory Wanner, the Saskatchewan oilfield tradesman who bought into the club in 2013. Zhang’s family plans to relocate to Duncan.

“I am extremely honoured and excited to be involved with the Cowichan Valley Capitals,” he said. “The Capitals have a reputation of having the best fans in the league and my family and I look forward to being part of your community.”

Head coach and general manager Bob Beatty will remain at the helm of the team under the new ownership.

“Ray is looking forward to working with the local ownership and has ambitious visions for the team,” Beatty said.

The Capitals have existed in the Cowichan Valley in their current form since 1988. The Caps returned to the BCHL playoffs in 2015-16 after a three-year absence.