Nanaimo gets junior B hockey team

The Nanaimo Buccaneers will join the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League for the 2012-13 season.

Phil and Brenda Levesque

Phil and Brenda Levesque

The Nanaimo Buccaneers won’t win every game, but they plan to take their unfair share of them.

The city’s new junior B hockey team swashbuckled its way onto the scene Tuesday with a press conference at the Nanaimo Ice Centre. The Buccaneers will join the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League in time for the 2012-13 season.

“It’ll be great,” said Brenda Levesque, who owns the team along with her husband Phil. “Our first goal is to fill the rink on opening night and the rest will come from that. If we provide good entertainment, they’ll come back and that’s what we’re looking to do.”

The Levesques, who formerly owned the Kerry Park Islanders of the VIJHL, have been working for more than a year to bring junior B hockey to their hometown of Nanaimo. The final step was approval from B.C. Hockey, which came down this past weekend.

“We were pretty hopeful that it would go our way,” Brenda said. “B.C. Hockey is pretty definite in the steps you need to take to get a team and we fulfilled all the obligations.”

The Bucs unveiled their logo and their yellow, black and white colour scheme Tuesday.

They also officially announced their hockey operations staff. Brad Knight is the team’s coach and general manager and Glen Smith will be assistant coach. Brenda said Knight is a passionate man and a players’ coach.

“He is pretty tough on the kids, he expects them to be in good physical shape, he expects them to toe the line, show up for practice on time and be ready to play and I think that’s good leadership.”

Knight has coached at the junior A and junior B level in the past and most recently coached Nanaimo’s North Island Silvertips major midget team. He said he loves the idea of building a new team from scratch.

“Patience and planning is what makes you successful…” he said. “September’s going to be a real crapshoot but come October we want to play .500 hockey and hopefully by November we’re starting to gear towards more of a winning percentage.”

The Bucs will hold a prospects camp in mid-June, but even now, Knight has some ideas about the brand of hockey he wants to see.

“No. 1 we’re going to work hard. No. 2 we’re going to be wide open…” he said. “It’s not about winning in September, it’s about entertaining in September. We’ll find our ways to win but I want to be wide open, I want to be offensive, I want to have kids in the top 10 scoring, I want to have defencemen pinching.”

There will be lots of local flavour to the team, he said, and league president Greg Batters said that’s one of the best reasons to have junior B hockey in the city.

“It’s nice to have a team in Nanaimo where these kids can sleep in their own beds, their folks and friends can come and watch them play on a regular basis.”

ICE CHIPS … The Nanaimo Buccaneers will play their home games Thursday nights at the Nanaimo Ice Centre. The team will play in the VIJHL’s North Division along with the Oceanside Generals, Comox Valley Glacier Kings and Campbell River Storm … Phil Levesque said the Buccaneers name is a nod to history, as Nanaimo had a junior B hockey team in the 1970s called the Buckaneers … Players born in 1992-95 interested in participating in Buccaneers prospect camp can e-mail the club at buccaneers@shaw.ca.

sports@nanaimobulletin.com

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

Just Posted

The construction zone remains for now at Clover Point, but plans for a new pedestrian zone and partially closed traffic loop were approved by Victoria councillors on Thursday. (Don Descoteau/News Staff)
Victoria council compromises with partial closure of Clover Point

Option preserves parking 14 spots facing ocean, creates more pedestrian space

(Black Press Media file photo)
Trees Cannabis to reignite downtown Victoria location as licensed store

The dispensary will reopen its 230 Cook St. location on Saturday

A wind warning is in effect for Greater Victoria Thursday afternoon. (Black Press Media file photo)
Strong winds predicted for Greater Victoria

Environment Canada issues warning for Thursday afternoon

Sergeant Francis Dion with the box containing HMCS Calgary’s new secret mascot costume. (HMCSNCSMCalgary/Facebook)
Don Devenney is a Goldstream Gazette 2021 Local Hero as Community Builder of the year. (Don Denton/Black Press Media)
West Shore volunteer’s efforts an exercise in adventurous pursuits

Don Devenney is the 2021 recipient of the Community Builder Award

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
B.C. reports 10 additional deaths, 395 new COVID-19 cases

The majority of new coronavirus infections were in the Fraser Health region

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Feb. 23

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

(Black Press Media File Photo)
POLL: Are you struggling with Greater Victoria’s cost of housing?

While Victoria remains one of the most expensive cities in the country… Continue reading

Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools is preparing a rapid response team proposal for submission to the B.C. Ministry of Education. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Nanaimo-Ladysmith school district chosen as COVID-19 rapid response team

Team to consist of SD68 and Island Health staff, according to B.C. Ministry of Education

A new survey has found that virtual visits are British Columbian’s preferred way to see the doctor amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Unsplash)
Majority of British Columbians now prefer routine virtual doctor’s visits: study

More than 82% feel virtual health options reduce wait times, 64% think they lead to better health

Captain and Maria, a pair of big and affectionate akbash dogs, must be adopted together because they are so closely bonded. (SPCA image)
Shuswap SPCA seeks forever home for inseparable Akbash dogs

A fundraiser to help medical expenses for Captain and Maria earned over 10 times its goal

The missing camper heard a GSAR helicopter, and ran from his tree well waving his arms. File photo
Man trapped on Manning mountain did nearly everything right to survive: SAR

The winter experienced camper was overwhelmed by snow conditions

Castlegar doctor Megan Taylor contracted COVID-19 in November. This photo was taken before the pandemic. Photo: Submitted
Kootenay doctor shares experience contracting COVID-19

Castlegar doctor shares her COVID experience

Ashley Paxman, 29, is in the ICU after being struck by a vehicle along Highway 97 Feb. 18, 2021. She remains in critical condition. (GoFundMe)
Okanagan woman in ICU with broken bones in face after being struck by car

She remains in serious condition following Feb. 18 incident

Most Read