Fans have spoken and they want their junior hockey team named Islanders.
They will get their wish in a year’s time after the Islanders received 49 per cent of the votes in the P.E.I. Rocket rename-your-team contest. The results were announced Friday night during the first intermission of the season opener with Moncton.
“Islanders named the team after themselves,” said Trent Birt, the team’s vice-president of operations.
“Islanders, I think, was probably the best name there. It’s appropriate to everybody that lives on this red soil or are from here and have moved away.”
The Islanders name has been used by numerous Prince Edward Island sports teams over the years. It was considered by many to be an early favourite when the contest was announced in late August.
“Everybody from tip to tip when they speak about this team, they’re going to be talking about the Islanders,” Birt said.
Riptide finished second in the voting with 39 per cent of the 6,571 votes cast online or at Tim Hortons locations across the Island. Confederation finished a distant third with 12 per cent of the votes.
The name change won’t take effect until the 2013-14 hockey season as Reebok has just started the process of coming up with a logo and colour scheme.
Using Islanders doesn’t come without some questions. Some fans have debated calling the team the P.E.I. Islanders.
“We know that it doesn’t come off the tongue really smoothly,” Birt acknowledged.
“But at the end of the day, when is the last time you went to a P.E.I. Rocket game? Most people go to Rocket games.”
The team kicked off their 10th season in Charlottetown with the name contest and is looking at building a winning team after finishing last in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League a year ago.
“At the end of the day we know we have to be better on the ice,” Birt said. “A new name, a new logo, we aren’t satisfied with this. We are here to win hockey games and be involved in the community.”
What do you think of the new name? Take part in our web poll on the bottom of our home page.