Former Tri-City Americans owner Darryl Porter died July 25 in Edmonton, Alberta, of pancreatic cancer. He was 55.
Porter, who spent 16 years with Molson Canada before he delved into the hockey world, was once a co-owner of the Americans and Chilliwack Bruins. He last worked for the Edmonton Oil Kings as vice-president of family brands.
Porter, Glen Sather, Brian Burke and Bob Tory bought the Americans from Mark Wagstaff in 2002.
The first year of ownership did not go well, but Porter was willing to try and make of go of things in the Tri-Cities. He told Herald columnist Jim Riley in 2003, “We’re not going anywhere.”
By 2005, Porter and his group had had enough of the “low attendance and lack of support by the community,” and applied to the Western Hockey league to relocate the franchise to Chilliwack, British Columbia.
But the group couldn’t get the minimum 14 WHL teams to vote in favor of relocation.
Two months later, Porter’s group sold the Americans to former Tri-City players Olie Kolzig and Stu Barnes. Tory joined them and Kennewick accountant Dennis Loman in the new ownership.
After Porter and his group sold the team, he had kind parting words.
“I would hope the people in the Tri-Cities are really excited,” Porter said in April 2005. “I would be the happiest guy if this works out for them. I really commend Stu and Olie for stepping up. They were good ambassadors for us, and they will be good owners for the community.”
In exchange for selling the team, Porter, Burke and Sather were awarded an expansion franchise in Chilliwack to begin at the start of the 2006-07 season.
After five seasons in Chilliwack, Porter’s group sold the Bruins to Graham Lee, who in turn, moved the team to Victoria, British Columbia.
The Victoria Royals have been part of the WHL since the 2011-12 season.
Porter is survived by his wife Anneli, daughter Lauren, and parents Marylynn and Murray.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Pancreatic Cancer Canada.