The updated logo of the Westshore Wolves

Westshore Wolves gear up for first season

The West Shore’s new junior-B franchise has an updated logo and three-quarters of a roster.

The West Shore’s new junior-B franchise has an updated logo and three-quarters of a roster.

The news was officially announced Thursday night at Bear Mountain Arena, where the club will kick off its season with a game meant to pay tribute to its future fanbase.

The Wolves first league game on Sept. 5 will be free to the public as the team tries to make amends to fans burned by the last incarnation of a junior-B team on the West Shore.

“I think where (the idea not to charge for the first game) stems from is the past history of junior-B was not good,” said Wolves general manager and director of hockey operations Ken Carson, who is also part of the team’s ownership group. “We have a lot of things to change to get a good start out of the gate.”

After several futile seasons in Sooke and eventually at Bear Mountain, the Westshore Stingers folded from the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League in 2010.

The new owners of the Wolves are placing an emphasis on providing a place to play for kids who come up through Juan de Fuca minor hockey.

“That’s one thing we’re really trying to push is to get as many local kids as we can,” Carson said, noting that nine of the 15 players confirmed so far played their minor hockey on the West Shore.

And while the club is investing in local players, Carson says being competitive is critical.

“We’re still looking for a couple of top six forwards. We’re looking for two top six defencemen and we’re looking for one more goaltender,” Carson said. “The Juan de Fuca kids that we’ve brought back all have a history of winning. That’s the group that’s going to make up our core.”

The team has also taken advantage of the connections of seasoned head coach Victor Gervais – formerly the bench boss of the junior-A Victoria Grizzlies – to bring in three prospects from Prince George.

When it comes to recruiting, the Wolves benefit from being in a region that’s recognized for developing talent. There are also an abundance of post secondary options for kids who want to have an education to fall back on after hockey.

To that end, the team announced Belmont secondary school teacher Todd Fazer will serve as the Wolves educational advisor.

The team also announced that Jackson Penny, the former GM of the Grizzlies, will be back working with Gervais, this time as associate coach.

Team colours will resemble the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning, though uniforms won’t be ready for about another five weeks. The Wolf on the logo now has its teeth bared to look a little more fierce than in the original incarnation.

Home games will be on Wednesday nights, starting with the freebie that Carson and the rest of the club’s owners hope will signal a fresh start for junior-B on the West Shore.

“If we’ve done our job properly a lot of those people will come back.”

editor@goldstreamgazette.com

Just Posted

New survey finds 4.7 million women over 15 were victims of sexual assault in Canada

Some 1.2 million men (eight per cent) report having been sexually assaulted since age 15

Greater Victoria residents recognized for International Volunteer Day

Thousands of people volunteer throughout the community every year

In and out in 60 seconds, two suspects get away with $10,000 worth of jewelry after break-in at WestShore Gold and Silver

Langford business broken into just down the street from West Shore RCMP detachment

Victoria career fair highlights opportunities in film industry

Reel Careers in Film and Media fair set for Dec. 7 at Camosun’s Interurban campus

More than a million square feet of rental units proposed for downtown Victoria development

The Harris Green development is proposed to take over two large lots on Yates Street

VIDEO: Rockslide closes Highway 93 in Fairmont Hot Springs

Geotechnical team called in to do an assessment after rocks fell from hoodoos

POLL: Will you be donating to charities over the holiday season?

Many here in Victoria joined others around the world to take part… Continue reading

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Dec. 3

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

Illicit drug deaths down, but B.C. coroner says thousands still overdose

Chief coroner Life Lapointe says province’s drug supply remains unpredictable

Trustees ask for more help after tearful meeting on B.C. school’s ‘toxic’ stench

Enforcement has ‘no teeth,’ school trustee says, while kids become sick

One of B.C’s last surviving strip clubs baring all again for Christmas charity

25th annual event is Sunday and raises money for the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Christmas Hamper Society.

Threats to the Fraser River at ‘new zenith,’ says river conservationist

The ‘Heart of the Fraser’ should be deemed ecologically significant according to ORC statement

Grandparents raising children: Shuswap grandma sees need for support

Peer group formed for those who have unexpectedly taken on the role of parenting

Final appeal rejected for man convicted in deaths of missing Alberta seniors

Lyle and Marie McCann were in their 70s when they left their home in St. Albert in 2010 and vanished

Most Read