Legend’s legacy on display as Cougars visit Royals

Lester and Frank Patrick's effect on hockey is omnipresent

And so the Cougars return, a team bearing his legacy.

Friday and Saturday nights the Victoria Royals host the Prince George Cougars for their first meetings this season, 7:05 p.m. at Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre.

The Royals (11-11) have little reason for rivalry with the Cougars (7-11-1-3) outside of being division foes, at least in the current climate of the WHL’s B.C. Division.

But lest we forget the history. Oh the history.

Foremost, that name is not theirs. And it’s not just Victoria’s. It’s his. And what’s his, is sacred to the game.

He is hockey’s royal of all royals, the sport’s true master, Lester Patrick, who came to Victoria in 1910 and died here in 1960.

His hockey team, the Victoria Senators, became the Cougars in 1922 and won the Stanley Cup in 1925. The Cougars lost the Stanley Cup in 1926, and the roster was subsequently sold, under his direction, to Detroit, remaining as the Detroit Cougars until 1930. Out of desire for something different, that club became the Falcons, and then Red Wings.

The Victoria Cougars were reborn in 1949 as a minor pro team, with farm affiliation to the NHL, under the guidance of coach, owner and general manager Lester Patrick. And again, in 1971, 11 years after his death, this time as the Western Hockey League franchise it is today.

And now the Prince George club returns, as it will each year. Of course, everything about the modern game bears the work of Lester and his brother Frank. The blue line. Forward passing. Numbers on the back of sweaters. Their imprint is omnipresent.

But some things are Victoria specific. Cougars for instance, stalk the streets of Fairfield and James Bay to this day. Descendants no doubt from those which threatened the city’s urban livestock a century ago. Certainly a factor in the decision of the original team name.

Perhaps the Cougars title is better served in the safety of Esquimalt, where it’s current incarnation as a junior B team is undefeated in regulation after 23 games, the top ranked club in Canada. Coincidence or karma?

Alas, seeing as how the Cougars of the north are entrenched in their community, perhaps it’s also best to let it be.

Let their version of the crest, foreign and all, serve as a nod to he who tweaked the blueprint of the game from the comfort of houses that no longer exist in James Bay and Fairfield, and a rink that no longer stands in Oak Bay.

Just Posted

Colwood mayor pitches ferry as commuter alternative

Mayor Rob Martin says different modes of transportation need to be considered

Kelly Ellard’s boyfriend has statutory release revoked

Darwin Duane Dorozan had several parole infractions that found him ‘unmanageable’

Victoria residents and businesses could see a jump in property taxes

A change in health premium coverage could prompt an increase in taxes for 2019

Bouquet sales support big dreams in Greater Victoria

Country Grocer features holiday bouquets for Help Fill a Dream

Emerald Gloves boxing brings fights to Langford

Langford’s Matt Daniels dropped weight for debut

Unique technology gives children with special needs more independent play

UVic’s CanAssist refined seven prototypes aided by $1.5M government contribution

Greater Victoria holiday craft fair roundup for Nov. 16 to 18

Check off all of the items on your shopping list at these great events

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Nov. 14

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Canada’s health system commendable overall but barriers to care remain: UN

The United Nations says Canada’s health care system is “commendable” overall but vulnerable groups still face barriers to quality care.

Doctor’s note shouldn’t be required to prove you’re sick: poll

70% of Canadians oppose allowing employers to make you get a sick note

Port Alberni convenience store robbed

Police still searching for suspect

German-born B.C. man warns against a ‘yes’ vote on proportional representation

Agassiz realtor Freddy Marks says PR in his home country shows party elites can never be voted out

Fashion Fridays: 5 coats you need this winter!

Kim XO, lets you know the best online shopping tips during Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Saskatchewan college honours memory of Humboldt Broncos coach

Darcy Haugan wore jersey No. 22 when he was a star player with the Briercrest College Clippers

Most Read