While all the focus on the Lloydminster Bobcats is on the future and the RBC Cup they will be hosting and playing for this season, the team will take a look back to its’ past, as the Bobcats will flashback on all Friday home games, sporting Lancers and Blazers jerseys throughout the season.
Through the first half of the season, Lloydminster will wear the white Blazers uniforms when the Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL) has home teams wearing whites on home ice. After the Christmas break, when the AJHL flips colours, the Bobcats will then sport a blue Lancers jersey on Friday nights, and will wear them for the first game of the RBC Cup tournament and have them auctioned off as part of the legacy fund.
The Lancers were the original name of the franchise when they played out of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League (SJHL) from 1982 to 1998. When they moved to the AJHL in 1998, the team switched names to the Blazers, which is still an active name with the Lloydminster Minor Hockey Association. That name lasted 17 years before the Bobcats name was adopted in 2005.
“We thought it was fitting with the RBC Cup, because the RBC Cup is more than just junior A hockey in Lloydminster, it is a homecoming for hockey in the entire community,” said Malcolm Radke, business manager with the Bobcats. “It just made sense to honour our alumni and get them engaged. We think it is a cool look.”
Former Lancer Lee Atkinson, who played two seasons with the team in 1983 to 1985, put the jersey on one more time at the press announcement and thought it was a fantastic idea for the Bobcats to honour the history of the team, and where it originally started from, with a throwback jersey.
“This team has been around for a long time and just to bring some history and heritage back in, I think will bring more back to the organization,” said Atkinson. “It’s nice to see it built from the original base it was there. This RBC Cup is very important for the program. It will expand the creditability of the program, bring more players in and just bring more prestige to the organization.”
Along with the announcement of the Flashback Friday event, the schedule for the 2016 RBC Cup was finalized and released, with the Bobcats playing all four of their round-robin games during the primetime game slot at 7:30 p.m.
The Bobcats will host the winner of the Western Canada Cup in the second game of the tournament on opening night on Saturday, May 14 following the opening ceremonies. Their schedule will then see them play the East representative on Monday, May 16, the runner-up of the Western Canada Cup on Tuesday, May 17, and their final round-robin game on Thursday, May 19 against the central representative in the tournaments final round-robin game.
Should the Bobcats win the AJHL Gas Drive Cup this season and the Western Canada Cup, then the West representatives would change accordingly.
The championship game will be played on Sunday, May 22 at a yet to be determined time, as it will coincide with TSN’s broadcast of the game live from the Civic Centre.