Stanks on Sports
The Prince Albert Raiders traditional logo may have been nixed, but the great memories the team created while using that insignia will live on.
With a late release that was sent at 9:29 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 2, the WHL issued a statement about the Raiders new alternate uniforms that were unveiled one day earlier. They were patterned after jerseys the club wore from 1982 to 1996.
The statement seemed to bring an end to the Raiders continuing use of their traditional logo with the Arab on skates caricature.
While Raiders followers were disappointed over this decision, it doesn’t erase the memories the team created. That old logo was drawn up part way through the 1973-74 season, when the Raiders were still playing in the junior A ranks.
They won their four Centennial Cups as national junior A champions and the WHL title and Memorial Cup as major junior champions in 1985 wearing that logo. Terry Simpson’s lengthy list of wins as the team’s head coach and general manager came in that era.
Raiders fans saw Dan Hodgson, Dave Pasin, Emanuel Viveiros, Pat Elynuik, Dave Manson, Mike Modano, Dean McAmmond, Jeff Nelson and Chris Phillips perform heroics wearing jerseys that the dumped alternate third jersey was styled after.
All those moments from that era remain in Raiders lore.
I believe the WHL and the Raiders took a reading about possible heat after the new alternate third jersey was unveiled and made a decision to get ahead of the story. That move ultimately made the heat disappear.
It feels like the pressure against the third jersey and logo originated from outside of Prince Albert. The criticism is the logo is insensitive to Middle East cultural groups.
The Raiders had been selling merchandise with that old logo for years, because it was that well loved by Raiders fans, who bought the products. Here is hoping the team is allowed flexibility to clear out the inventory of items they have with the old logo.
No matter where you sit on this matter, the memories of the Raiders great past history will remain.
Guhle returns, P.A. deals for Stanick
The Raiders are getting some much needed help with the return of their captain Kaiden Guhle.
They also attempted to strengthen up their forward group as well.
On Monday, Guhle was assigned by the NHL’s Montreal Canadiens back to the Raiders. The Sherwood Park, Alta., product is a gifted enough player that he will add a tremendous boost to the Raiders back end.
That should help the team break out if its 0-4 start.
On Tuesday, the Raiders traded 18-year-old defenceman Adam McNutt, who stands 6-feet and weighs 200 pounds, to the Regina Pats for 18-year-old left-winger Sloan Stanick, who stands 6-foot-1 and weighs 177 pounds.
McNutt was a minus-four in the plus-minus department in four games this season, while Stanick had two goals and two assists in five games for the Pats.
Stanick put up points coming up through minor hockey but hasn’t had a breakout in his first two complete seasons in the WHL. The change of scenery might help give him a new start.
I should note, the Raiders were 99-39-11-7 over the last three regular seasons, and in junior hockey, the reload does eventually catch up to you. It appears the Raiders will be working through that this season.
Darren Steinke is a Saskatoon-based freelance sportswriter and photographer with more than 20 years of experience covering the WHL. He blogs frequently at stankssermon.blogspot.com, where he covers the Saskatoon Hilltops, Saskatoon Valkyries, University of Saskatchewan men’s and women’s hockey, U Sports football and Saskatchewan Female U18 AAA Hockey. He has the distinction of being in the building both times Game Seven of the WHL final went to overtime, including 2019 in Prince Albert.