The Anaheim Storm have a new owner, Zach Sheldon. The rights to manage the team were finalized late last night.
Sheldon told JAL administrators multiple months ago that if a franchise ownership position were to open up, he would like to have a shot at it. When Hudson decided to relinquish the Storm's ownership role yesterday, he said Sheldon is who he wanted to have it. Sheldon made his rookie debut as a player last season for the team.
"I'm very excited to have this opportunity," Sheldon said. "We did not compete at all last season (1 win) and I am already making moves to acquire some players to get the team back on track. This upcoming season is all about rebuilding."
For this entire offseason under Hudson the Storm had done nothing. No signings, cuts or trade discussions, which has been shocking given that the team finished dead last in the National Conference last season. Procrastination of re-tooling the roster stems from Hudson's work load at his day job increasing over the last few months and that he and his wife recently had their first kid. Hudson was planning to work on re-tooling the Storm roster soon, but obviously decided to simply let Sheldon have a crack at. Though at this point (season only a little over a month away) the Storm are incredibly behind the 8-ball in terms of preparedness for the JAL 16 season, Sheldon is already hard at work. So far JAL media can confirm he has reached out to free agent Bryce DesArmo, who was released by the Cobras almost 2 weeks ago.
Going forward it will no doubt be interesting to watch Sheldon build a team essentially from scratch. The team has plenty of roster space, cap space and enthusiasm from it's new owner to turn the franchise around. After making the WWCD Cup in JAL 13 the Storm have suffered back-to-back atrocious seasons. This is also the franchise's 3rd ownership change in a 2-season span. Sheldon though, is eager to right the ship and bring stability.
"I will find players who will be a good fit to put our team in a good position to make a run for the title in future seasons," said Sheldon.