Owners and Staff

On October 4, 2017, the WHL Board of Governors voted unanimously to approve the sale and transfer of ownership of the Seattle Thunderbirds from Russ Farwell and his ownership group to Dan and Lindsey Leckelt, co-CEOs of Silent-Aire.  The Leckelt brothers are the co-owners of Silent-Aire, an engineering and data center equipment manufacturing company with operations in Edmonton, Phoenix, Seattle, Virginia and Dublin, Ireland.

Russ Farwell and his ownership group had owned the WHL’s Seattle Thunderbirds franchise since 2002 and have operated out of the accesso ShoWare Center in Kent, Washington since 2009. The ownership change also requires approval of the City of Kent with respect to the arena license agreement.

Dan and Lindsey Leckelt, who are graduates of the University of Alberta with Civil and Mechanical Engineering degrees, took over the leadership and strategic direction of Edmonton-based Silent-Aire in early 2000.  Silent-Aire engineers and manufactures custom HVAC solutions for data centers, institutions and industrial facilities and has over 900 employees worldwide.  Former university, senior and minor professional hockey players, Dan and Lindsey won an Allan Cup National Senior Hockey Championship with the Stony Plain Eagles in 1999.  In 2014, Dan and Lindsey purchased the Stony Plain Eagles senior hockey team and in 2017 acquired controlling interest in the Spruce Grove Saints Junior A hockey team of the Alberta Junior Hockey League.

“Dan and Lindsey Leckelt will bring strong business acumen and an extensive hockey background to the WHL as the new owners of our Seattle Thunderbirds franchise,” commented WHL Commissioner Ron Robison.  “We believe their passion for the game and their commitment to the community of Kent will put the Thunderbirds in a position to continue to be a highly successful franchise in the seasons ahead.”

“We are very excited to see our passion for business and hockey come full circle in a community that has played such a large part in the growth of our family business,” said Lindsey Leckelt. “For Dan and I to have the opportunity to give back to Kent and the greater Seattle region through the acquisition of the Thunderbirds is truly aligned with our long-term vision.”

“It is an honor to become a part of the Western Hockey League and to be passed the torch from a great leader of our game like Russ Farwell,” said Dan Leckelt. “We are committed to carry on the tradition of the Seattle Thunderbirds with such a quality group of staff, players, sponsors, and fans.”

General Manager Russ Farwell and Vice President Colin Campbell will remain with the Thunderbirds and will continue to be responsible for the hockey and business management of the franchise.

Hockey Operations

Vice President of Hockey Operations General Manager Assistant General Manager
Russ Farwell Bil La Forge Jared Crooks


Head Coach Assistant Coach  Assistant Coach
Matt O’Dette  Kyle Hagel  Matt Marquardt


Goaltender Coach Director of Player Development
Brad Guzda Steven Goertzen


Sturtz_Justin 11collier
Athletic Trainer Equipment Manager Assistant Equipment Manager
Phil Varney Justin Sturtz  Brent Collier




 Director of Player Personnel Director of Scouting
Cal Filson Craig Goebel


Senior Scout/Recruiting Advisor Alberta Alberta
 Jag Bal Brad Hunt Dave Kendall


Kent Dochuk
Alberta Alberta Alberta
Ian McFatridge Ross Patterson Kent Dochuk


Zach Habscheid
Saskatchewan Saskatchewan Saskatchewan
Zach Habscheid Garnet Jacobsen Nevin Holowachuk


Kevin Williams
Alex Halat British Columbia Matt Beck
Alberta  Kevin Williams  Alberta
Matko Rod Egan FullSizeRender
Mat Malbasa Washington/WHL Special Assignment Scout
 Manitoba  Rod Egan  Kevin Haupt




Colin Rick R
President Vice President of Business  Operations
 Colin Campbell Rick Ronish
Email Email
 253-856-6840 253-856-6832



Partnerships & Ticket Sales

Jason DaveNyikos Cory Howerton
Vice President of Corporate Partnerships  Ticket Operations Manager Director of Packaged Ticket Sales
Jason Thomsen  Dave Nyikos Cory Howerton
 Email Email  Email
253-856-6834  253-856-6831  253-856-6844
Dylan Lockhart
Account Executive
Dylan Lockhart
253-856-6845 253-856-6843



Communications, Marketing & Content


Erin Saunders Malea Baumgartner
Vice President of Communications and Marketing Director of Social Media
Erin Saunders Malea Baumgartner
Email  Email
 253-856-6836 253-856-6830


Ian Portmann Brian Jada Current
Videographer  Photographer Graphic Designer
Ian Portmann Brian Liesse Jada Current
website  253-856-6842
Merchandising/Hockey Store Manager
 Marci Ronish



Hockey Medical Staff

Club Physicians
Dr. Alfred Blue
1221 Madison., Suite 1250
Seattle, WA

Proliance Orthopedic Associates
4011 Talbot Road S, Suite 300
Renton, WA 98055
Phone: 425-656-5060
Fax: 425-656-5047
Ty C. Jones, M.D.

Andrew L. Merritt, M.D.
Fredrick S. Huang, M.D.
Susan R. Cero, M.D.
Martin S. Tullus, M.D.
Craig T. Arntz, M.D.
William P. Barrett, M.D.
Traci G. Barthel, M.D.
B. Daniel Chilczuk, M.D.
Christopher R. Howe, M.D.
John Howlett, M.D.
Erik J. Novak, M.D., PH.D.
Niket Shrivastava, M.D.
Jason H. Thompson, M.D.
Robert G. Veith, M.D.
Timothy B. Alton, M.D.

Club Dentists
Dr. Steve Inaba
Meridian Dental Clinic
422 East Smith Street
Kent, WA 98032

Dr. Michael Archuleta
Kent Station Family Dentistry
417 Ramsay Way #114
Kent, WA 98032

Club Optometrist
Clearvue Vision Center
Dr. Alexandra Gelt
Dr. Bryan Heitmeyer
Dr. Allison Moy
8009 S 180th Street, #104
Kent, WA 98032
(425) 251-9200

Club Chiropractor
Pearson Chiropractic & Rehabilitation Center
13003 SE Kent Kangley Rd Suite 110
Kent, WA 98032

Club Acupuncture Therapist
Viet Quoc Tran, M.S., L.Ac
Vina Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine Clinic
1236-C South Jackson Street
Seattle, WA 98144

Club Sports Nutrionist
Emily Edison, MS.RD
Momentum Nutrition & Fitness


Game Night Staff

Game Night In-Arena Host Tyler Gunhus
Public Address Announcer Tom Helm
Radio Play-by-Play Voice  Thom Beuning
Game Night Promotions Dave Chambers
Game Night Promotions 
Game Night Promotions 
Game Night Promotions
Game Night Promotions
Game Night Promotions



Off-Ice Officials

Aron Bacon, Dan Butenschoen, Dave Carr, Laura Colella, Loren Colello, Paul Dunn, Keith Espirito, Tom Gorton, Greg Harris, Buck Haywood, Scott Humphreys, Bryan Kriewald, Trevor Lowe, Brenda Mason, Rob Mason. Betty Petrullo, Ed Petrullo, Rick Rice, Danny Smith and James Thomsen.