The Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds have a deep history and their nickname is a play off their long-standing rivals'. (OHL Images)
There are a lot of odd team names in hockey circles, but which are the longest? This week’s Top 10 looks at some drawn-out names in some relatively low-level places and provides a brief background into each team.
Note: Where the word “junior” was included in a team nickname (i.e. the Junior Knights) it was excluded from the length. Nod to THN intern Andrew Brethauer for digging for these names.
Obviously sponsored by a radio station, Saint-Georges plays out of the low-level, Quebec-based Ligue Nord-Americaine de Hockey. If you haven’t seen the documentary Les Chiefs: a) you must and b) this team plays in the same loop. The league is more known for its goon play than skill level, but St-Georges won the championship in 2010.
Playing out of the same league as the No. 3 team on this list, the Wolverines aren’t as successful as their counterpart. In existence since 1999-00, Waywayseecappo hasn’t won a playoff round in its history, despite twice reaching a Game 7. The Wolverines sit fifth in their six-team division with a 7-9-2 record.
The Greyhounds history runs much deeper than their 1972 Ontario League origins. The team has played under the name since as far back as the 1920s and used to challenge for the Allan Cup. Why are they called the Greyhounds? Because, as the team’s first coach George MacNamara said "a Greyhound is much faster than a wolf," referring to the rival Sudbury team. Wayne Gretzky played one season with the Hounds before joining the WHA’s Indianapolis Racers and scored 182 points in 64 games.
Known as the Capitals since 1986, Summerside won the Fred Page Cup as Eastern Canadian Jr. A champions in 2009 and the RBC Cup as National Jr. A champions in 1997. Their most notable alumnus is former Detroit Red Wing and Montreal Canadiens assistant coach Gerrard Gallant.
The reigning champions of the little-known Israeli League, the Eggenbreggers defeated HC Bat Yam 5-0 in the final. The team plays out of the city of Metulla, on the border of Lebanon, and out of the Canada Centre Arena.
Jr. C hockey returned to Spryfield, Nova Scotia this season for the first time in 30 years. Tied for second with a 6-3-0 record, the Silver and Black Attack logo is kind of scraggly…but, maybe for that reason, I kind of like it. The southern border of Spryfield proper is marked by Long Pond, which some consider the birthplace of hockey.
Pavel Datsyuk’s hometown team, Avtomobilist was owned by a car company – hence the name – and is considered a small market Kontinental League club. Last in the KHL, there are rumors Toronto’s Joffrey Lupul will join the team for the lockout. Former NHLer Branislav Mezei is second in team scoring, with 13 points in 22 games.
A member of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League since 1998, the Blizzard are sometimes referred to as ‘OCN,’ but for the sake of this list we’re using their full name. The Blizzard won the league’s Turnbull Cup from 1999-2003, becoming just the second team, and first in more than 60 years, to win five in a row. The team competed in the 2002 Royal Bank Cup for a national title, but lost 3-1 in the final to the Halifax Exports. At 14-6-1, they sit first in their circuit. Jordin Tootoo is an alumnus.
Pittsburgh’s American League affiliate, the baby Pens are off to a 4-5-0 start, but have finished in the top three in the division since the last NHL lockout. Prized 2011 college free agent signing Paul Thompson leads the team in scoring and it’s worth noting defenseman Brian Dumoulin, acquired in the Jordan Staal deal, has four assist in eight games.
A midget ‘AAA’ team from the Montreal suburbs, the Riverains top this list of long names. Two members from the 2010-11 team, Jean-Sebastian Dea and Anthony Mantha, both sit in the top seven in QMJHL scoring and top four in goals. One of the more successful programs at the Telus Cup, the Riverains last decorated season came in 2004, when they won silver. Their last gold came in 1998.
The THN.com Top 10 appears Wednesdays only on TheHockeyNews.com.