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

B.C. BUDGET: Surplus $374 million after bailouts of BC Hydro, ICBC

Growth projected stronger in 2020, Finance Minister Carole James says

VIDEO, PHOTOS: Family Day in Mission

Residents flocked to the Mission Leisure Centre to enjoy free, family-friendly activities

Slippery road conditions plague Mission drivers

Tuesday mornings snowfall is creating a challenge for motorists

Snowfall warning: 5-10 cm expected in Lower Mainland

The snowfall will start Tuesday and carry on into the evening, before tapering off Wednesday

Manager of Mission MP’s constituency office hoping to run in Abbotsford

Seamus Heffernan – and Paljeet Singh – seeking party’s nomination to run against Conservative Ed Fast

‘Our entire municipality is heartbroken’: Seven children die in Halifax house fire

A man and woman remained in hospital Tuesday afternoon, the man with life-threatening injuries

B.C. BUDGET: Income assistance raise still leaves many below poverty line

$50 per month increase included in funding for poverty and homelessness reduction

B.C. BUDGET: Indigenous communities promised billions from gambling

Extended family caregiver pay up 75 per cent to keep kids with relatives

B.C. BUDGET: New benefit increases family tax credits up to 96 per cent

BC Child Opportunity Benefit part of province’s efforts to reduce child poverty

B.C. BUDGET: Carbon tax boosts low-income credits, electric vehicle subsidies

Homeowners can get up to $14,000 for heating, insulation upgrades

B.C. man survives heart attack thanks to Facebook

A Princeton man suffered a heart attack while at an isolated property with no cell service

Abbotsford man sues Maxime Bernier’s People’s Party over trademark

Satinder Dhillon filed application for trademark same day Maxime Bernier announced the new party

New trial ordered over banning whales, dolphins at Vancouver aquarium

Park board’s appeal reverses previous decision that found it had no right to implement a ban

Make sure measles shots up to date, Public Health Agency says

Measles causes high fever, coughing, sneezing and a widespread painful rash

Most Read