Name change spells fresh start for Junior B league and teams

New names, logos, and ownership for newly-christened PJHL

There’s big changes for the Pacific Junior Hockey League this season, the most obvious being the change to the junior B league’s name.

Formerly called the Pacific International Junior Hockey League, the league’s executive agreed to drop the “International” from their title since all 10 teams are based in the Lower Mainland.

PJHL vice-president and former owner of the Ridge Meadows Flames Ray Stonehouse said the name change was simply a matter of housekeeping given the last American team in the league, the Seattle Northwest Americans, folded after the 1997/98 season.

“We would love to welcome [American teams] back with open arms, but under Hockey Canada’s current rules, that wouldn’t be allowed,” he said.

The rules in question prohibit foreign teams from playing in Hockey Canada-sanctioned junior rep leagues, including junior B.

“There’s been interest, but our hands are tied until Hockey Canada changes it rules,” he said.

Two teams in the league have also undergone a name change this season, as well as a change in ownership.

The Mission Icebreakers are now called the Mission City Outlaws, while the Port Moody Black Panthers are simply known as the Port Moody Panthers.

Both teams have new ownership groups at the helm and wanted to make fresh starts with the franchises, said Stonehouse.

As far as future expansion is concerned, Stonehouse said Cloverdale and Langley would be obvious candidates for junior B franchises.

However, the lack of ice time availability makes it difficult to put a team anywhere.

“Money is not the issue,” said Stonehouse. “Some very well-heeled financial groups have approached us, but there’s so many demands on ice time from senior hockey and minor associations.”

The North Van Wolf Pack’s 2011 relocation from Squamish would not have been possible without the support of the local minor hockey association in North Vancouver, he said.

“The partnerships with the local hockey associations are key,” said Stonehouse. “Unless you are willing to build your own rink.”

sports@mapleridgenews.com

Just Posted

UPDATE: Fuel truck hits train in Port Coquitlam, causing massive fire

CP Rail reporting no injuries, driver of truck is safe.

Mission RCMP recover 22 stolen vehicles and several firearms

Charges are still pending after police search two separate properties

Fraser Health asking taxpayers for millions more in health care capital funding

Health authority wants Fraser Valley taxpayers to triple annual contribution to $5.75 million

UPDATE: Brother of teen killed by stray bullet in Vancouver says the death left a void

Alfred Wong, 15, was gunned down while on his way home from dinner with his family

UPDATE: Rockslide keeps Coquihalla northbound lane closed

Highway 5 is closed in one direction.

Testing the Google Arts & Culture app

Going face to face with art

Back to work: U.S. government shutdown ends after Democrats relent

Short-term spending measure means both sides could see another shutdown stalemate in three weeks

Man lives despite malfunctioning defibrillator at B.C. arena

A middle-aged man went into cardiac arrest after at game at Pitt Meadows Arena last Wednesday.

Cause of Northern B.C. seaplane crash released

TSB releases report on seaplane crash during a water landing in 2016 near First Nations community

Vancouver police crack down on pop-up pot vendors

Officers raided merchants’ tables on Robson Square late Sunday

Bell Media, NFL take appeal over Super Bowl ad rules to top court

At issue is a ban on substituting American ads with Canadian ones during the game’s broadcast

Crown seeks 4.5 years jail for B.C. woman convicted of counselling tax evasion

Debbie Anderson the latest from group to face jail for teaching debunked ‘natural person’ theory

Movie filmed in Castlegar B.C. opens Friday

Hollow in the Land starring Dianna Agron will be playing in select cinemas.

Semi rollover on Highway 3

Highway 3 is reduced to single-alternating lanes

Most Read