Feb. 1 is the deadline for Muskoka Shield management to find new owners.
Ken Girard, commissioner of the Greater Metro Junior A Hockey League (GMHL), says Thursday is the day the first of four membership payments must be made or else the membership Shield co-owners Troy Kahler and his partner Erika Rendon-Kahler have with the GMHL will be “null and void.”
He says if the Kahlers pay the fee today, it would give them another 30 days to find a new owner. Girard adds the next payments are due on the first days of March, April, and May.
“They can only sell something that they own,” explains Girard, pointing out that if they don’t pay the fee, the Shield will be no more.
Girard says the league knows of four offers over the “last couple of months.”
Kahler tells the MyMuskokaNow.com newsroom they have received “a handful of offers ranging from barter agreements to amortized payment schedules.”
“Today is about those who are serious about keeping ‘The Shield’ name, brand, and history alive to fight another day,” he adds. “The only way that can officially be done is through a ‘conditional agreement’ signed and submitted back to us for final consideration.”
As of Thursday morning, Kahler has the team listed for $60,000 on Facebook Marketplace.
In the listing, he says the team was bought for $80,000 in Sept. 2021.
“We would love a team in Gravenhurst,” continues Girard. “Gravenhurst has been wonderful, the town has been wonderful, the rink staff, to us, that is. It’s one of our iconic locations.”
Girard says if a new owner is found, they would have to go through the GMHL’s vetting process and discuss an ice contract with Gravenhurst or another municipality.
If all that gets done and the membership fee is paid in time, Girard says the Shield will be able to take to the ice for the upcoming season.
The Shield, under the current ownership group, are suspended from playing during the 2023/24 season stemming from an assault charge laid against Kahler in Dec. 2022. The charge was dropped in Aug. 2023 and not long after Kahler began actively searching for new owners ahead of today’s deadline.