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New MJHL Franchise Seeks Public’s Help to Name Team

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A few months have passed since the initial announcement that a new Manitoba Junior Hockey League franchise is coming to Niverville, and news has been quiet ever since. But the board of directors has been hard at work behind the scenes, getting a significant amount of work done in preparation for the team’s first season next fall.

One of the first priorities has been to negotiate a facilities agreement with the Town of Niverville, allowing the franchise to operate and play their home games from the CRRC.

“Those conversations did result in an agreement and the organization is pleased to announce that the CRRC will be the official home to the newest Junior A franchise in the MJHL,” says Ray Dowse on behalf of the board.

The rest of the elected board consists of Carl Fast, Bryan Trottier, Jeremy Braun, Tom Kleysen, Dylan Wiens, Scott Wallace, Kevin Lansard, and Clarence Braun.

Next up, the board has launched the search for a general manager and coach. These jobs were first posted at the beginning of November and the board is now in the process of evaluating applications.

“There are many exceptional candidates,” says Dowse. “We anticipate a hiring announcement prior to year-end.”

On the marketing side of things, the next order of business will be to establish a name for the franchise.

“As a community-owned non-profit organization, the board of directors felt it would only be right to engage our region to help our board of directors with the selection process,” Dowse adds. “Ultimately, we respect that it is our community who will be the backbone of this organization as volunteers, sponsors, owners, supporters, and fans in general. So we want them to have the opportunity to be part of this!”

The name selection process will be completed in multiple steps over the coming months. Step one is gathering as many ideas from the public as possible.

“We want the public to provide us with their team name idea—and if there is a specific meaning or reason why they selected that name, we would like them to share with us what it is. Here are some things to consider when thinking of a name. Does it have ties to the region or its history or culture? Does it have a nice ring to it? Does it have the potential to feature a great logo and come with a mascot? This is an important step and we want to make sure the final name is one that the community can get behind, and that the players can feel a sense of pride about when they wear our jersey.”

To submit a name for the board’s consideration, you can take part in our current Citizen poll.

The board will be receiving name pitches until Monday, December 13. After that, they will launch step two: evaluating the suggestions and developing a short list.

“When we have a short list of names, we will move on to the next stage—public voting,” says Dowse. “Those selected names will be identified in an online poll, and the public will be given the opportunity to vote for their favourite.”

Although the final decision will rest with the board, Dowse says that they plan to give heavy consideration to this public feedback.

“We are really looking forward to the ideas and feedback we get from this process,” he says. “As well, everyone who provides a submission or votes in the poll will have their name entered for random prize draws, including game-day tickets.”

Dowse confirms that the organization plans to have a team name in place by the end of January. Once that detail is settled, they will move on to develop the team’s colours, logos, jersey, etc.

“There’s still a lot to do, and it all needs to be completed by this coming spring and summer so that we’re ready for the start of the 2022–2023 season.”

For more information

To submit a name for the board’s consideration, visit the Citizen’s latest poll: www.nivervillecitizen.com/citizen-poll

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