By Annie Fowler, Herald staff writer
Bob Tory was instrumental in making sure the Tri-City Americans didn’t leave town in 2005.
On Monday, the Top Shelf Entertainment, Inc. ownership group — in which Tory is a partner — extended Tory’s contract as governor/general manager through 2015.
“I came here with a purpose when I left Kootenay,” Tory said of his arrival in the Tri-Cities 10 years ago. “I’ve seen three ownership groups in that time. As a part owner, it wasn’t a pressing issue, but it had to be addressed. It was difficult to do, but to me it was important that it was long term. I take a lot of pride in this league and this franchise. I have a lot of respect for my partners Stu (Barnes), Olie (Kolzig) and Dennis (Loman). It has turned out to be a good venture for all of us.”
Tory is beginning his 10th season with the team. In the previous nine seasons, he’s seen his team go 333-253-20-11 with 31 ties. The Americans have won three straight U.S. Division titles and the 2010 Western Conference title, and Tory has picked up two WHL Executive of the Year awards.
“At one time, it seemed there was no continuity in management or coaching,” Tory said. “We’ve been fortunate to have some good coaches, good players and a good front office staff that doesn’t get the credit they deserve. I am pleased and honored to continue my role with this hockey club. It is a responsibility that I do not take lightly.”
The Americans will finish their preseason schedule Thursday at the Kootenay Ice and Friday playing host to Spokane.