Saanich hockey team reveals new name after former title deemed offensive by owners
Saanich's Pearkes arena, where the Junior B hockey team plays.(Saanich Parks, Recreation & Community Services)
VICTORIA -- Saanich's Junior B hockey team will now play under a new name after owners deemed its former name offensive back in July.
After playing and practising for more than 50 years as the Saanich Junior Braves, the team will henceforth be known as the Saanich Predators, the team announced Tuesday.
On July 8, team owners Edward Geric and Norm Kelly said the Braves name and logo was "not respectful to our First Nations and does not reflect the valued relationships we hold with local First Nations communities or with our First Nations players."
Last month the team announced a shortlist of potential replacements, including Summit, Riptide, Squid, Defenders and Predators.
The team says Squid, Defenders and Predators were the preferred names in a public feedback session, with Predators ultimately clinching the title.
"Our final decision to choose the Saanich Predators was made mainly because of the feedback we received from the local hockey community and our players," said Geric and Kelly.
"We also have very fond memories from our days of managing the Victoria Predators prior to this team. It reminds us of the many years of developing talented players and community connections around this fantastic sport."
The owners say a new logo design is coming and will emphasize that the Predators "play with honour, using stealth, strength and teamwork to thrive against their opponents."
The Saanich Predators are part of the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League (VIJHL), and will return to play under the new banner when the league makes its official return.
An announcement about the 2020/2021 season is expected in the coming weeks, say the team owners.