Another former NHLer to join ownership ranks
Len Barrie's far from a household name, but growing up in Kamloops, he's someone I'm certainly familiar with.
In 1989-90, Barrie put up one of the best seasons in WHL history for the Blazers, as the then 20-year-old centreman potted 85 goals and 185 points in 70 games. On a team that boasted a 16-year-old Scott Niedermayer, Barrie was the star.
He was only a sixth-round pick (by the Oilers in 1988) and had a 184-game NHL career, but Barrie's been busy since his last game in pro hockey for the Panthers in 2001. Now a property developer in Victoria, he's building a 1,300-acre, $2.5-million resort called Bear Mountain in the area.
And he's apparently buying the Tampa Bay Lightning.
To this point, we've heard all about the face of the new team's new ownership group, movie maker Oren Koules, but his partners have, for the most part, remained relatively unknown. It's only been in the past week that Barrie's name has been unearthed, and according to The Globe and Mail's Brian Milner, he'll own as much as 47 per cent of the team.
NHL ownership by former players has always been limited to the ultra-elite — Mario Lemieux and Wayne Gretzky — so it's interesting now that a journeyman could be buying in. Barrie played in California for Long Beach of the IHL and the Kings in 1999-00, which may be where the connection comes in to the Hollywood producer.
Still, a lot of things remain rather fishy about this Lightning buy, not the least of which is the constantly rotating cast of rumoured "partners" for Koules.
Add Barrie to the mix.