UPDATE: Windsor Spitfires Pick Fifth in U-18 Priority Draft
There’s more fuel to add to the fire about who will be the next owner of the Windsor Spitfires.
The OHL club used the fifth pick in Wednesday’s Under-18 Draft to select Aydin Parekh, a 5-foot-7, 176 pound defenceman. The 17-year-old split the 2018-19 season between the Mississauga Reps and North York Rangers.
On Saturday, the Spitfires selected his younger brother Isa Parekh, a 5-foot-9, 113 pound defenceman who played with the North York Rangers.
Both players are the son of dentist, Dr. Azim Parekh, the Founder and CEO of the Smiles First Corporation in Markham. He is rumoured to be in talks with the current ownership group to purchase the Spitfires.
In a statement released Tuesday, the ownership group confirmed discussions are underway for the sale of the OHL club.
"We can confirm that there are currently ongoing discussions related to the potential sale of the Windsor Spitfires, which will ultimately be subject to Ontario Hockey League (OHL) approval," said the statement.
Calls to Dr. Parekh have not been returned, and the current owners are making no further comment.
Also during Wednesday’s U18 Draft, the Spitfires selected goalie Matthew Tovell with the number 25 pick. The 17-year-old is 6-foot -2 and 174 pounds and posted a 2.74 goals against average in 19 games with the Kingston Jr. Frontenacs.
Windsor selected Eric Vitale, a 6-foot-2, 161-pound right winger from the Toronto Junior Canadiens with the 45th selection.
The current owners of the Spitfires are Bob Boughner, Warren Rychel and members of the Cypher Systems Group -- John Savage, Stephen Savage and Brian Schwab.
Their statement went on to say the organization wants to "there is a mutual agreement between both parties involved that the Spitfires will remain committed to the continued development of a winning franchise, maximizing the fan experience and supporting the Windsor community through its various outreach programs."
The statement also says "it is expected that hockey and administrative departments will remain intact."
On April 6, 2006, the OHL Board of Governors approved the purchase of the Spitfires by Rychel, Boughner and Peter Dobrich.
John Savage, Stephen Savage and Brian Schwab, the owners of the Cypher Systems Group, purchased a stake in the Spitfires in May 2013 as Dobrich sold his share of the franchise.
The Spitfires have won Memorial Cups in 2009, 2010 and 2017 with Rychel as general manager.