NA3HL approves sale and relocation of Metro Jets
March 12, 2015
By Matt Mackinder
After 26 years, the Metro Jets will be under new ownership for the 2015-16 season.
The North American 3 Hockey League club announced today that Peter Cammick out of St. Petersburg, Fla., has purchased the Jets’ franchise from Hal “Butch” and Mary Kay Wolfe – the only owners the Jets had in their first 26 seasons as a junior hockey franchise.
“We thank Butch Wolfe for all his years of commitment and service to the league and junior hockey in the United States,” said NA3HL commissioner Mark Frankenfeld. “He is really one of the good guys in our industry. We are also very excited about the new location and ownership group led by Peter Cammick and his commitment to take the team to the next level.”
The Jets will remain in the NA3HL and will also be moving venues from Lakeland Arena, where the franchise called home for the past 25 years, to Fraser Hockeyland in Fraser, Mich. Metro played its initial season (1989-90) at the Inkster Ice Arena in Inkster, Mich., and the next season, moved to Lakeland.
“We could not be more excited about our opportunity to take a venerable franchise like the Metro Jets, in one of the top Junior A leagues, to the next level,” said Cammick. “With Justin Quenneville as head coach and GM, a new top notch and fan-friendly facility, a strong youth program association, and a highly committed, community-based volunteer group, we will build a premier organization with the mission of continuing to develop, expose and advance players to their highest potential in hockey and academics, while creating a great experience for our fans.”
Cammick brings a strong business background to the Jets as Senior Vice President and Board Member of Network Dynamics, Inc., and co-founder of Myriad Network Services, Inc. Cammick earned his MBA from the University of Tampa, where he also served as admissions representative and professor in the College of Business.
Cammick is also a huge hockey fan and longtime season ticket-holder for the Tampa Bay Lightning since the team’s inception in 1992.
The Jets won the 2001 regular-season title in what was then known as the Central States Hockey League and a year later under head coach Jon Cooper, now head coach of the Lightning, captured the Silver Cup Junior B national championship.
This season, the Jets won the East Division regular-season title and after sweeping the Southern Tier Xpress to open the NA3HL playoffs, opened the East Division finals Wednesday night at Lakeland against the Pittsburgh Vengeance, winning 6-5 in overtime.
For Wolfe, he feels timing is everything.
“When I first became involved with junior hockey, I wasn't sure just how long a journey it would be, but early on it became evident that, for the sake of the young men that wanted to continue playing this great game, it wouldn't be right to just halt the operation,” said Wolfe. “To that end, I'm extremely glad to see someone like Pete continue to build on the foundation that has been laid.
“Further, with Justin's help, I can see the Metro Jets' brand continuing to prosper by doing what is in the best interest of the players.”
“I am very fortunate over my career to have played and coached for some great owners,” Quenneville added. “Butch welcomed me last year with open arms and I am proud to be part of the historic program he built. When he approached me about his decision to pass the torch, I knew I had the right investor in Pete to help continue to build on a successful program. He is committed to helping grow the Jr. Jets youth program and do everything in his power continue our foundation of development and advancement.”
The move to Fraser will also give the Jets access to more amenities, including the Michigan Athletic Training center, and will see seating capacity increased as well.
"We are very excited to have the Metro Jets under our roof,” Fraser Hockeyland general manager Matt Berger said. “They provide professionalism from every aspect of operating a Junior A program. Justin Quenneville has been a tremendous addition to our hockey community and building. His ability to connect not only with his Junior A team, but with all the youth associations, has been extremely beneficial for the sport. His continued vision of growing the love of the game to the youth will only benefit the game’s growth. We are extremely thankful that the Metro Jets will call Fraser Hockeyland their home arena.”
Cammick said he can't wait to get started. “Our team is chomping at the bit to get rolling on preparations for next season with the goal to put a terrific product on the ice,” said Cammick. “In an area that has such a rich history in hockey at the youth and junior levels, we look forward to creating a unique fan experience, in addition to expanding our community involvement.
“Until then, we will be glued to our seats watching the Jets make their way through the playoffs.”