Rocket will rebrand as P.E.I. Islanders

Jason Malloy
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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.



Organizations: Islanders, Tim Hortons, Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

Geographic location: Prince Edward Island, Moncton, Charlottetown

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Recent comments

  • Courtney
    September 23, 2012 - 19:43

    it is PEI Islanders not Prince Edward Island Islanders

    • Charlie Gibson
      April 02, 2013 - 09:44

      I really like name Charlottetown Islanders it a more suitable name. It's like the saint john sea dogs, not New Brunswick sea dogs it doesn't sound right they should go with the Charlottetown Islanders

  • Courtnet
    September 23, 2012 - 15:39

    its PEI islanders not Prince Edward Island Islanders

  • Jordan
    September 22, 2012 - 22:49

    Why couldn't we change the name to Charlottetown Islanders? Would have been a much more suitable option. We don't have the New Brunswick Wildcats, or the Nova Scotia Mooseheads. We could not have come up with a worse name. I haven't been to many Rocket games, but I will not be going to anymore. The only reason that was given as to why it couldn't be Charlottetown was that it's a "team for the whole Island." Wouldn't the name "ISLANDERS" bring in the whole island? Finally, how is disregarding the original suggestions of Charlottetown Islanders letting the people choose the name? If the owners wanted to do any policing of the naming they should have chose three suitable names from the original suggestions then let us vote on those. Maybe then they would have never gave us the option of choosing the Prince Edward Island Islanders.

  • Mackie
    September 22, 2012 - 12:29

    Should have went with Riptide.

  • Mackie
    September 22, 2012 - 12:27

    What a joke of a name. It's worse than The Los Angeles Angels, which translates to The The Angels Angels...

  • RG
    September 22, 2012 - 12:22

    And here's more proof that on PEI, people who make decisions know nothing about the decision they're making. PEI Islanders is a horrible name for the many reasons others have already mentioned. I'm guessing the majority of the people who voted for this name probably haven't been to a single Rocket game in their lives. There was nothing wrong with the name Rocket, so I don't know why they changed it, but since they did, the only one of the 3 nominations that was "ok" was the Riptide.

  • Bill smith
    September 22, 2012 - 11:44

    Just think how much money they will make either all the new tshirt, jerseys, hats they are going to sell with the new name and logo. It's all about the money money

  • mark
    September 22, 2012 - 11:26

    It's not Prince Edward Island Islanders, its the P.E.I Islanders. When did anyone, including the QMJHL brass, refer to the Rocket as the Prince Edward Island Rocket? Great choice with lots of history behind the name!

  • Mike
    September 22, 2012 - 09:44

    Ya' know, I don't mind the new name. Giver some time to get used to, and she'll be alright. I'am sure lots of people will be interested to see them when they're rebranded, and they should be icing a solid team next year. The only thing I'am worried about is all the Quebec born players who won't wanna be 'Islanders', I mean, there's probably enough players who don't wanna play here anyways, but after this new name, it doesn't look great. Tons of players'd like to play for the Rocket, because he was the best player ever from Quebec. A case could be made for Jean Belliveau, and ol' Guy Lafleur, but that's another topic. I mean, it may just be good for the fans, but for recruiting and such, it may not be good. And people saying this teams still gonna suck, and what not, but really, a rebrand is exactly what they needed. I mean, I would have preferred something like the Charlottetown Chiefs, that'd get the fans out. Get some guys like Millman from the Cape, and Noreau from Baie-Comeau, that'd get the fans out for sure. Anyways just my opinion, I've been around hockey longer then most of you guys have, and overall it shouldn't harm anything. Mike

  • Jim Bob
    September 22, 2012 - 09:14

    PEI Islanders sounds foolish. Should have been PEI Junior Islanders or Charlottetown Junior Islanders.

  • Frank
    September 22, 2012 - 08:42

    It does not sound right,The i in PEI STANDS FOR iSLAND,Should be PeIslanders!!!!!!!!

  • who cares
    September 22, 2012 - 06:46

    Doesn't matter what the name is, they will still be the same old team. Poorly run and boring to watch. They will still be the laughing stock of junior hockey. Serge Savard and all his cronies.

  • Greg from Brackley
    September 22, 2012 - 06:29

    This is a big mistake.The rocket was a great name and logo.You let the people of Tim Hortons pick the name,most of the people that would go in to Tims to eat and vote would be of the older generation and thus the name Islanders for nostalgia reasons.It should of been left as it was....big mistake as you just lost 3 more season ticket holders.People think this is a major mistake,just look at all the comments online.

    • online
      September 22, 2012 - 09:47

      You accept a sampling of online comments as the definitive gauge of public opinion? A season ticket holder would unsubscribe because they didn't like the name?

  • Jason white
    September 22, 2012 - 00:38

    What a stupid sounding name it does not roll off the tongue easily whatsoever. This name had nothing to do with the amount of people voting for in a contest no one would've voted for this name it was chosen before the contest was even announced its a fix. The name that should be used is PEI riptide You can brand with it, it has good local possibilities. The PEI Islanders is just a silly name everything is branded here whth island already, it does not have any distinction whatsoever.

    • herewego
      September 22, 2012 - 09:52

      What possible reason would anyone have to "fix" this process so that "Islanders" would be chosen? The Savards would so desperately want the name "Islanders" that they would "fix" the process?

  • Sighs
    September 21, 2012 - 23:38

    We knew "Islanders" was going to be the name for weeks now... No big surprise there... HOWEVER. What I would like to know. Is how the person who chose Islanders get picked as the one who gave the name over the other 200 people who had submitted it? Also I heard alot of people rumbling about Trents speech during intermission coming off as smug and calling the fans stupid .. Outrageous

    • nitpicker
      September 22, 2012 - 07:39

      What? I was at the game, heard the speech, and noticed nothing smug nor did I hear him say anything about anyone being stupid. He also said the person was picked as part of a random draw out of all those who submitted the name.

  • Mr. Ed
    September 21, 2012 - 23:18

    How come they changed the name? Rocket is a good name.

  • Don
    September 21, 2012 - 22:57

    Ho Hum indeed! Mary said it all.

  • FormerIslander
    September 21, 2012 - 22:39

    They are trying to recapture the sentiment fans had for the Islander Jrs in the late 60's and early 70's. It was an entirely different environment, and even they had problems attracting fans at times. But at least they were true Islanders, unlike these Quebec wannabes, all these guys want is your money. So they get Island people like Birt to do the talking, all they want is to exploit PEI for more, more that they could not get in Quebec...but hey were easy down here.

  • Sherman
    September 21, 2012 - 22:02

    I have to say the game tonight was very good great win rocket lets keep it up...I love the new name that the people have chosen but as I was at the game tonight alot of fans along with myself were talking saying that the name should be PEI JR ISLANDERS....I am asking Serge Sr and Serge Jr as well as the rest of the organization to reconsider and add Jr to the name thats what the island people and fans wanted from day 1 when this contest was announced keep your word to the fans.

  • Bogey Mac
    September 21, 2012 - 21:49

    P.E.I. islanders is a bit awkward, but lets face it, they will be called "The Islanders" and what is wrong with that. A proud hockey name in this province. Those that can only bitch and moan...well who cares, you don't go to the games anyway. BTW, nice win tonight boys. Go Rocket/Islanders go!!

  • J Ramsay
    September 21, 2012 - 20:56

    I believe the team name would work if they realized that it should be called The Prince Edward Islanders... Just like the New York Islanders..they don't call themselves the New York Island Islanders? It would work great... management is missing the boat here if they fail to recognize the significance. The team would eventually become team "PEI"...and support would increase IMO. Get rid of the initials as the main could be used on the jersey in small, but we should be proud to call ourselves by our given name we so proudly have today.."PRINCE EDWARD" " PEI Islanders" doesnt do us any justice i think the words Prince Edward sound much better and prestigious. ala Prince George Cougars, or the Prince Albert Raiders of the WHL. This seems like a no brainer and a great marketing tool.

    • Ulfric
      September 21, 2012 - 22:37

      Correct, they don't and never have called themselves New York Island Islanders. The name of the Island is Long Island which they did go by for a short period until the realized Long Island Islanders was redundant and did not sell their product very well. Fast forward to present time and that bad decision may have cost them the new arena they muchly need in the next couple years. If this doesn't get fix, a bad year or two due to a bad name can cause backlash down the road.

  • Really?
    September 21, 2012 - 20:39

    No need to be sorry Matt, I 2nd everything you said. Prince Edward Island Islanders, really?

  • Matt
    September 21, 2012 - 20:20

    I'm sorry but Prince Edward Island Islanders is redundant and ridiculous. I've already seen the name being made fun of on social media. If they must use Islanders, why not Charlottetown Islanders? Recognizes the city they've called home for 10 years, recognizes the fans and it sounds a hell of a lot better.

    • huh
      September 21, 2012 - 21:12

      lol. Already being made fun of on social media, eh? Guess they better change the name immediately. The reality is there is no name that wouldn't be ridiculed by somebody somewhere. Because people are people and that's what they do.

    • Ulfric
      September 21, 2012 - 22:31

      TO HUH: It's easy to ridicule something that sounds ridiculous. Have you thought of it that way. Matt is right, Charlottetown Islanders would be more appropriate. The New York Islanders are just that. They were called the Long Island Islanders at one point but that didn't work out so well. It doesn't sell the product.

  • Islander
    September 21, 2012 - 19:22

    I see Savard got what he wanted, not surprising to see this name picked though considering the team picked "PEI" and picked "Islanders" after combining this name with others for the final vote. Not sure why Birt says most people go to Rocket games, when was the last time the team had over 3000 fans for a game?

    • Mary
      September 21, 2012 - 20:25

      HO HUM leave it to Islanders to be so unoriginal Seems that that name has already been used and the teams that performed under that name were great. Why did't the organization come up with a totally new name and not ride on the coattails of ghosts from the past