What’s old is new again.
With the 2016 RBC Cup being held in Lloydminster, the Bobcats will be commemorating the Border City’s Jr. ‘A’ hockey history with a nod to the two teams that have represented the community in the past.
Throughout the 2015-16 season, the ‘Cats will wear retro jerseys on #FlashbackFridays as a tribute to their predecessors, the Lloydminster Lancers and the Lloydminster Blazers. The uniforms will be worn at each Friday home game of the season, with the white Blazers jerseys being worn for the first half of the season from September to the end of December, and the blue Lancers sweaters from January 1st to the end of the regular season.
In addition, the Bobcats will wear the Lancers jersey in their first game of the RBC Cup, after which they will be hung on display at the Crushers Hockey House for a silent auction throughout the tournament. As for the Blazers jerseys, they will be auctioned off at the Fountain Tire Kick-Off Party on Friday, May 13th.
“There have been many, many hands involved in supporting and building this team over the years,” said Bobcats Business Manager Malcolm Radke. “Our appearance in the 2016 RBC Cup has been 34 years in the making, and we thought these retro jerseys would be a fun way to honour past players, staff, and volunteers.”
The Lancers were the first Jr. ‘A’ team in Lloydminster, debuting in the fall of 1982 in the Saskatchewan Amateur Junior Hockey League (SAJHL) after the Prince Albert Raiders Jr. ‘A’ franchise was purchased by the Lloydminster founding committee. The Lancers competed in the SAJHL for six seasons before leaving to join the Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL). The six seasons in Saskatchewan were highlighted by a 1987 trip to the league final, where the Lancers fell to the Humboldt Broncos.
In 1988, the Lancers franchise became the AJHL’s Lloydminster Blazers, reincarnating the name of the Jr. ‘B’ franchise that had competed out of the city until 1980-81. The Blazers operated from their inaugural season in 1988 until 2005 when they became the Bobcats. As the Blazers, the franchise put together back-to-back appearances in the AJHL’s North Final in 1998-99 and 1999-2000, with a franchise best 42 wins in the latter season. However the team was never able to break through and advance to the league championship.
34 years after the debut of Jr. ‘A’ Hockey in Lloydminster, the city will be hosting the National Championship for the very first time. As such, the entire season will be a celebration of not only the current edition of the Bobcats, but of all those who have been a part of the program over the years.