Mar 13, 2023
The Canadian National Pickleball League (CNPL) has been making headlines in recent months, with its commitment to providing a high-quality experience for both players and fans, and a player payout of $100,000, the highest ever in Canadian pickleball history. With its first team being sold to Toronto Maple Leafs players a mere two weeks ago, the league has now attracted the attention of several more prominent figures in Canadian sports and business. Olympic gold medalist curling team members Jennifer Jones and Brent Laing, who have joined forces with World Curling Champion Glenn Howard, former NHL star Chris Kontos, former Pan Am athlete Corey Osborne, Rob Krizmanich (Senior VP of National Bank), Tom Barber (Owner of Barber & Haskill) and Kevin Ellis (broker at REMAX) to purchase the second team in the CNPL.
Jones, Laing, and Howard are all well-known and highly respected figures in the Canadian curling community. Jones, who won gold at the 2014 Sochi Olympics, is widely regarded as one of the best female curlers of all time, while Laing won gold at the 2014 Olympics as a member of Brad Jacobs’ team. Howard, for his part, has won four world championships over the course of his career, and is considered one of the most accomplished curlers in Canadian history.
Kontos, Osborne, Krizmanich, Barber, and Ellis, meanwhile, bring a wealth of business and sports experience to the ownership group. Kontos is an Olympic silver medalist with the Canadian National Hockey Team and former NHL player who played with the Tampa Bay Lightning in 1992 and Osborne is a former Pan Am bronze medalist. Krizmanich, Barber, and Ellis, for their part, are all successful business leaders who have built their careers in fields such as banking, real estate, and retail.
Together, this ownership group brings a unique but comprehensive blend of talent, experience, and passion to the CNPL, and their investment in the league is a testament to the growing popularity and potential of pickleball in Canada. With their support, the CNPL is poised to become one of the most exciting and competitive sports leagues in the country, and a destination for top athletes and fans alike.
As the CNPL continues to grow and evolve, it will be exciting to see how Jones, Laing, Howard, Kontos, Osborne, Krizmanich, Barber, and Ellis contribute to the league’s success, both on and off the court. Whether through their expertise in sports, business, or both, this ownership group is sure to make a significant impact on the future of pickleball in Canada. Click here to see the CNPL Team 2 ownership group introduction video!