The Manitoba Junior Hockey League is set to welcome Niverville into the fold for the 2022-23 season and to start the new calendar year, the team will be making two major announcements, their name and who will be the head coach and general manager.
Board member Clarence Braun says when it comes to naming the team, it's important to have the communities input. "We wanted to bring in the community into being a part of the decision. We had a process where by we had the opportunity (for people) to present a name and if they could provide the rational as well, that way we could know the thoughts behind the name they submitted."
Braun says the reaction was well beyond what they expected. "We had well over 300 submissions as of the 14th of December", Braun explains. "The board met and we short listed it down to 12 names. The community will once again have their say as they can go into the poll and vote for their favourite. The final board decision will be made after January 9th.
The final 12 names are Clippers, Express, Ice Dogs, Knights, Knighthawks, Nitro, Nordiques, Northstars, Railhounds, Roadrunners, Threshers and Torque.
Having the final 12 now in focus, Braun says the whole process has been a rewarding one. "When we went down to 12, it was the 16th of December and on the first day, I think we had 1000 hits to the site. Obviously, there's a significant amount of interest and it's going to be very interesting what the community has to say,"
As for the jersey colors and design, Braun says they are waiting a bit before deciding on all of that ."Our process was, let's first choose a name so when we go to the graphics people and start that, they're free to play with what's appropriate to the name. There has to be something that connects the name to the logo and the colouring. Of course, we have to factor in the rest of the league as well. There's a lot of colours (in the MJHL) so maybe we want to be a bit more creative and set ourselves a part."
Another big announcement will be coming in early January of 2022, Braun says. "We'll be announcing January 3rd our Coach and GM hire. That takes us to the next level where the weight of building this thing goes to people who know more than we do. We may be 30-35 share holders and 9 board of directors but none of us has what it takes to actually build this team out. So, the announcement of our Coach and GM will make things feel even more real than they do today."