The Vancouver Canucks announced on Tuesday their intent to bring their farm team to the Fraser Valley — more specifically, to Abbotsford — beginning in the 2021-2022 season.
Abbotsford is no stranger to hosting NHL farm teams. They were the home of the Calgary Flames AHL team for five years from 2009-2014 with the Abbotsford Heat. Unfortunately, I never made it to an Abbotsford Heat game, even when they had the $2 beer $1 hot dog promotion on Friday nights. Man, did I ever miss out.
The Canucks did announce that the team will be looking to play its home games at the Abbotsford Centre, which holds 7000 people for hockey games. The Canucks also mentioned that the team would have a new name, brand, and logo, and play in the AHL’s Pacific Division.
So, here are my top picks for team names for the Canucks’ new AHL affiliate.
I think a lot of people associate Abbotsford with the airshow that happens every year, and rightfully so. It’s a pretty cool event that takes place every summer at the Abbotsford airport and attracts the young and old. I remember my first airshow experience when I was eight years old.
I got to meet a couple of the Snowbird pilots and right after I talked to them, they got into their planes right in front of me and put on a show in the sky. I’d say the Snowbirds are usually the main event of the airshow, just like they’ll be the main event on the ice every night at the Abbotsford Centre.
Now, I know the BCHL has a team in Coquitlam called the Express but this is meant to be fun. Not only is it a solid name and sounds durable and tough (if you’re into that kind of stuff when picking team names), but one way to get to Vancouver from Abbotsford is by taking the West Coast Express (yes, the station is technically in Mission, but it’s RIGHT across the water).
The railway connects the cities which also connects the two teams together. The Canucks have the BC Ferries horn for when they score a goal. Having the West Coast Express train horn for Express goals might be even louder and dare I say, better?
Maybe the name itself needs a bit of work, but think of the branding that could take place. We know that the Canucks aren’t going to use Johnny Canuck as their primary logo, so why not use it for their AHL team? We could finally see a full-size Johnny Canuck logo on a jersey.
This one seems to be a pretty popular choice over on Twitter, and I totally agree. First of all, the alliteration is great. Second, the Avro Arrow was a supersonic interceptor jet aircraft designed and built in the 1950s, and if supersonic interceptor jet aircraft doesn’t get you excited, I don’t know what will.
— Jessy (@CoachDhillon) May 5, 2021
Credit to Jessy for this awesome suggestion. Once again, the alliteration in this one is fantastic. I think using “Fraser Valley” or “Valley” could work! The Bandits — who will most likely be sharing the arena with the new Canucks AHL affiliate — has used “Fraser Valley” instead of “Abbotsford” since its inception and it seems to work. But I think what would get the fans really hyped up is seeing the Valley Voodoo take to the ice in a similar uniform as the Vancouver Voodoo inline hockey team from the ’90s.
I can’t help but notice the colours of the Abbotsford flag are green, blue, yellow and white. I think the green and yellow with highlights of blue and white could make a jersey really pop. The club did say that the new team would have a new name, brand and logo, so maybe this colour scheme is the way they go.
Lastly, the Canucks did make note in their statement on Tuesday that “details of a partnership with the City of Abbotsford are being finalized and the relocation will be subject to AHL Board of Governors approval on May 6.” So although nothing is finalized as of yet, the expectations are that everything will get passed sometime today.