Following the most successful season in team history, the owners of the Butte Cobras announced late Sunday that they are donating the team to the Butte community.
Cobras owners Michael and Kiomi Burks cited their survival of a small plane crash earlier this year as the reason for them getting out of ownership of the Junior A Hockey team. They said they are giving the team and its assets to the Butte Amateur Hockey Association.
Butte’s team lost in the third round of the WSHL Thorne Cup Playoffs Friday and Saturday on the road against the Idaho Jr. Steelheads.
Following is the statement issued by Michael and Kiomi Burks:
“Due to the trauma of the aftermath of the recent plane crash both were involved in, the owners of the Butte Cobras team are retiring completely from Junior Hockey. The road to recovery for both includes simplifying some of the massive amount of responsibility in their lives. This is not a decision that either came to lightly, and is largely due to the advice of their PTSD therapists, as of their 12 corporations, much of their emotion and energy after hours is spent on the Cobras.
“The last thing that either wants is to hurt the city of Butte and the incredible sport of hockey. Therefore, effective immediately, 100 percent of all assets including both mascots, all player gear, all game day computers and supplies, all video, audio, and special effect lighting as well as both team busses will be donated to the Butte Amateur Hockey Association. This also includes the $300,000 in rink improvements previously completed. The owners want nothing more than for the Butte Cobra legacy to be forever a staple of this amazing community. The owners want to send out tremendous gratitude to every coach, player, billet family, staff member, volunteer, and fan who worked so tirelessly together to bring Junior Hockey back to Butte, America. A special thanks goes to every fan worldwide who helped to raise $40,000. in the three seasons that the Cobras played for Mariah’s Challenge, St. James Cancer Center, Sorini Strong, and the Peck Children’s Fund.
“The owners have met with the team and staff and have advised that any questions or advice needed will be given immediately with enthusiasm to make this transition as successful as possible.”