Saanich Jr. B hockey goalie Robert Michetti stopped two out of three shootout shots to earn the win for the over the Campbell River Storm at the Rod Brind’Amour Arena in Campbell River on Jan. 18. The next time they play, Saanich will have a new name and logo. (Black Press Media file photo)

Saanich Jr. B hockey goalie Robert Michetti stopped two out of three shootout shots to earn the win for the over the Campbell River Storm at the Rod Brind’Amour Arena in Campbell River on Jan. 18. The next time they play, Saanich will have a new name and logo. (Black Press Media file photo)

Saanich junior hockey team drops Braves name

Club moves on after 53-years with First Nations logo

After 53 years as the Saanich Braves, the longest-running Junior B hockey team in Greater Victoria, will change its name.

On Tuesday, July 7, the team pulled its logo off social media – a logo that matches the profile of the Chicago Blackhawks, a First Nations man with feathers in his hair. It’s a logo that owners Ed Geric and Norm Kelly inherited when they bought the team over a decade ago and has been used since the team started with the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League when Pearkes Arena was built in 1967.

For now, they are the Saanich Jr. B hockey team. The next step is a new logo, name, and website, which will take some time, Kelly said.

READ ALSO: ‘It will always sting a little,’ but Braves know it was a great run

“There wasn’t a lot of pressure, it’s really a timing thing,” Kelly said Wednesday morning. “We looked at it two-and-a-half years ago for our 50th-anniversary celebrations and we talked about it. At the time, there was no pressure so we said, let’s do our 50th and then we’ll design something for our next 50 years.”

That discussion included a formal review at which time Kelly said the club reached out to local First Nations.

At no time did any First Nations or Indigenous people approach the team to criticize the logo, but Kelly said they were aware it would need to go.

“We’ve had positive relationships with our First Nations players, with the local First Nations, and never had any [negative] input,” Kelly said.

When they quietly removed the logo from the team’s social media sites on Tuesday night and with no accompanying announcement, people noticed anyways.

“Everyone picked it up right away,” Kelly said. “We were very pleased with that. People noticed, they were ready.”

The timing is based on multiple actions. Edmonton’s Canadian Football League team and Washington’s National Football League team are both reviewing the appropriateness of their nickname, though professional clubs such as the Cleveland and Atlanta Braves baseball teams and the Chicago Blackhawks hockey team (which the Saanich logo mimicked) are not.

The Saanich Braves minor hockey association abandoned the same name and logo last year when it merged with Victoria Esquimalt Minor Hockey to become the Victoria Admirals.

“At the time, ‘Braves’ was thought of as something prideful, but things change,” Kelly said.

Moving forward, there is an opportunity for a lot of fun despite the unknown of the upcoming junior hockey season, which may or may not happen, Kelly said. Regardless, the club will now start the process of picking a new name and is inviting suggestions from the public.

READ ALSO: Saanich Braves take 3-2 lead in VIJHL final

“At this point in time, we don’t know what the upcoming season holds, or what the new name will be. We want it to be something that represents our values and goals for the future,” Kelly said. “As for hockey in the fall, that’s the million-dollar question.”

Hockey Canada and Hockey B.C. are working with provincial health authorities and the VIJHL will follow their decisions, Kelly said.

As far as summer training goes, Pearkes arena is expected to put ice in the green rink this month though Saanich is also rebuilding the original gold rink. Most local rinks are permitting skating but limiting numbers and restricting any hockey games.

“The original plan, pre-COVID, was to have fun with the renovations,” Kelly said. “We were thinking about starting the season with construction-themed jerseys and handing out hard hats to fans.

“Now, we might be playing on video, who knows.”

Fans can send their suggestions to SaanichJrBHockey@gmail.com.

reporter@oakbaynews.com


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Willow, a kitten belonging to a Victoria family, was rescued by firefighters on Thursday after she got stuck in a basement drain pipe. (City of Victoria/Twitter)
Victoria kitten stuck in basement drain pipe rescued by firefighters

Willow the cat on the mend, owner feeling ‘enormous gratitude’

(Black Press Media file photo)
Blue-green algae bloom confirmed in Elk Lake, water-based activities not recommended

Blue-green algae can be lethal to dogs, cause health issues for humans

Victoria police arrested a man Jan. 15 after he rammed his minivan into an occupied police vehicle. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria man arrested for ramming minivan into occupied police vehicle

Man caught after fleeing, crashing into cement retaining wall

Mayor Rob Martin and Costa Canna president Phil Floucault cut the ribbon on Colwood’s first cannabis retail store. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
Cowichan Tribes’ Costa Canna cannabis store opens in Colwood

Cowichan Tribes has one-year deal to grow, sell cannabis

Cindy Foggit plays the lead role of Eliza in Passion and Performance’s film production Eliza: An Adaption of a Christmas Carol. (Courtesy of Rachel Paish)
Victoria adult dance studio releases modern adaption of A Christmas Carol

Instead of usual stage performance, dance studio turns to film

Keith the curious kitten is seen on Nov. 4, 2020 at the Chilliwack SPCA. Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 is Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Jan. 17 to 23

Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day, Pie Day and International Sweatpants Day are all coming up this week

(Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
‘Targeted’ shooting in Coquitlam leaves woman in hospital

The woman suffered non-life threatening injuries in what police believe to be a targeted shooting Saturday morning

JaHyung Lee, “Canada’s oldest senior” at 110 years old, received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. He lives at Amenida Seniors Community in Newton. (Submitted photo: Amenida Seniors Community)
A unique-looking deer has been visiting a Nanoose Bay property with its mother. (Frieda Van der Ree photo)
A deer with 3 ears? Unique animal routinely visits B.C. property

Experts say interesting look may be result of an injury rather than an odd birth defect

Terry David Mulligan. (Submitted photo)
Podcast: Interview with longtime actor/broadcaster and B.C. resident Terry David Mulligan

Podcast: Talk includes TDM’s RCMP career, radio, TV, wine, Janis Joplin and much more

Seasonal influenza vaccine is administered starting each fall in B.C. and around the world. (Langley Advance Times)
After 30,000 tests, influenza virtually nowhere to be found in B.C.

COVID-19 precautions have eliminated seasonal infection

Lilly and Poppy, two cats owned by Kalmar Cat Hotel ownder Donna Goodenough, both have cerebellAr hypoplasia, a genetic neurological condition that affects their ability to control their muscles and bones. Photo by Alistair Taylor – Campbell River Mirror
VIDEO: Wobbly Cats a riot of flailing legs and paws but bundles of love and joy to their owner

Woman urges others to not fear adopting cats with disabilities

Chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam provides an update on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa on Friday, Jan. 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada’s top doctor says to avoid non-essential travel as B.C. explores legal options

Premier John Horgan says he is seeking legal advice on whether it can limit interprovincial travel

Martin Luther King Jr. addresses the crowd during the march on Washington, D.C., in August of 1963. Courtesy photo
Government reinforces importance of anti-racism act on Black Shirt Day

B.C. Ministers say education “a powerful tool” in the fight for equity and equality

Most Read