While the USHL has not issued any official statement on the sale of the Muskegon Lumberjacks, it appears as though the pieces are falling into place to continue the ownership transition.
Although no official announcement has been made by the team, John Vanbiesbrouck is now listed on the team website, under the Coaches and Administration tab, as the teams General Manager. http://www.insidemuskegonlumberjacks.com/lumberjacks/index2.html It was only just a few weeks ago when the Coaches and Administration page was inoperable to site visitors.
USHL sources are reporting that the “sale” of the Lumberjacks has not officially been completed as of last week. While no specific reasons for the delay have been provided, those same sources are reporting that they expect a official announcement shortly and that no “large obstacles” appear to be in the way.
Many Owners, General Managers and Coaches in other USA Hockey sanctioned leagues are questioning the Vanbiesbrouck move to Ownership/Management of a USHL hockey team when he was recently re-elected to be USA Hockey Vice President and Chairman of the Junior Council. While none have said that they do not believe Vanbiesbrouck can be impartial when making or participating in the decision-making process effecting other USA Hockey sanctioned teams, many are certainly questioning how it will work.
One thing is for certain, Vanbiesbrouck is committed to the Muskegon Lumberjacks. Sources within the community are reporting that he was spotted in Muskegon last week at LC Walker Arena, and out looking for a home within the community. While buying any business is a financial commitment, buying a business, buying a house and moving a family is a commitment to a community.
TJHN will update this story as it continues to develop.