Buzzing The Net

Prince Edward Island hockey team no longer named after Montreal legend

Cam Charron
Buzzing The Net

Rocket Josh Currie (via peirocket.com)

We all wore the same uniform as he, the red, white, and blue uniform of the Montreal Canadiens, the best hockey team in the world; we all combed our hair in the same style as Maurice Richard, and to keep it in place we used a sort of glue~a great deal of glue. We laced our skates like Maurice Richard, we taped our sticks like Maurice Richard.

-The Hockey Sweater, Roch Carrier, Sheila Fischman translation

One problem though—the team plays in Charlottetown, P.E.I., its only attachment to Maurice Richard being that the junior team that initially moved from Montreal was called "The Rocket" in honour of one of its cities hockey heroes.

But the Montreal Rocket club didn't last long. They lasted just four seasons in Montreal and moved to the maritimes, keeping the same name, colours, and logo that features an anthropomorphic rocket whose exhaust forms the number "9" after Richard.

As a standalone, it's a ridiculous-enough logo, and somehow not the first time an angry rocketship made its way onto the front of a sports jersey. Beyond the logo, the name is ridiculous because of its attachment to the Canadiens legend who has no historical ties with Charlottetown or Prince Edward Island.

Thankfully, the team will change its name for the 2013-2014 season.

Name-the-team contests are pretty standard, and the team has already sent out a release challenging fans to do better than 'Rocket' (which isn't even pluralized!). The release suggests that general manager Trent Birt discussed a rebranding of the team when he took over as VP of Operations:

Rocket management feels that it is important to be engaged in the community and have a strong identity inside and outside of the rink.  They feel they're building for a bright future on the ice and this process of rebranding is taking them one step closer to forming a stronger bond with the community as a whole.

Well, that makes sense. In a new era of writing where clever and iconic nicknames are whisked aside for locker-room standards that are name simplifications like "Hallsy" or "Richie", there aren't any past Rocket players to name the team after. Maxim Lapierre? Ryane Clowe? Marc-André Gragnani? I know those players in the NHL are collectively known as "Lappy" "Ry" and "Grags", neither a nickname worthy of a QMJHL club being named after it.

There isn't much to cheer for if you're a fan of a team that names itself nothing that has to do with local history and wins just 19 games in a season. As long as the team doesn't end up name itself the "Islanders," it will probably be an improvement.

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