Legend’s legacy on display as Cougars visit Royals

Lester and Frank Patrick's effect on hockey is omnipresent

And so the Cougars return, a team bearing his legacy.

Friday and Saturday nights the Victoria Royals host the Prince George Cougars for their first meetings this season, 7:05 p.m. at Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre.

The Royals (11-11) have little reason for rivalry with the Cougars (7-11-1-3) outside of being division foes, at least in the current climate of the WHL’s B.C. Division.

But lest we forget the history. Oh the history.

Foremost, that name is not theirs. And it’s not just Victoria’s. It’s his. And what’s his, is sacred to the game.

He is hockey’s royal of all royals, the sport’s true master, Lester Patrick, who came to Victoria in 1910 and died here in 1960.

His hockey team, the Victoria Senators, became the Cougars in 1922 and won the Stanley Cup in 1925. The Cougars lost the Stanley Cup in 1926, and the roster was subsequently sold, under his direction, to Detroit, remaining as the Detroit Cougars until 1930. Out of desire for something different, that club became the Falcons, and then Red Wings.

The Victoria Cougars were reborn in 1949 as a minor pro team, with farm affiliation to the NHL, under the guidance of coach, owner and general manager Lester Patrick. And again, in 1971, 11 years after his death, this time as the Western Hockey League franchise it is today.

And now the Prince George club returns, as it will each year. Of course, everything about the modern game bears the work of Lester and his brother Frank. The blue line. Forward passing. Numbers on the back of sweaters. Their imprint is omnipresent.

But some things are Victoria specific. Cougars for instance, stalk the streets of Fairfield and James Bay to this day. Descendants no doubt from those which threatened the city’s urban livestock a century ago. Certainly a factor in the decision of the original team name.

Perhaps the Cougars title is better served in the safety of Esquimalt, where it’s current incarnation as a junior B team is undefeated in regulation after 23 games, the top ranked club in Canada. Coincidence or karma?

Alas, seeing as how the Cougars of the north are entrenched in their community, perhaps it’s also best to let it be.

Let their version of the crest, foreign and all, serve as a nod to he who tweaked the blueprint of the game from the comfort of houses that no longer exist in James Bay and Fairfield, and a rink that no longer stands in Oak Bay.

Just Posted

Bear sightings historically rare in Langford: City staff

51 bear complaints or sightings in last year

Mental health walk/run aims to outpace depression

Walk increased to 5k, run to 10k

Island cycling series boosts youth race schedule

New series creates opportunity for more youth competition

Colwood wins award for Sustainable Infrastructure Replacement Plan

Plan wins Award of Excellence in Government Finance

WATCH: Movie star and PACE alum Calum Worthy talks musical theatre and his career

“American Vandal” and “Austin and Ally” actor has been returning to the program for over 20 years

POLL: How often does your family use BC Ferries?

Navigating the lineups for BC Ferries is a way of life for… Continue reading

Crime Stoppers most wanted for Greater Victoria for the week of April 16

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

B.C. mountain biker sent home from hospital twice, despite broken vertebrae

Released in Maple Ridge to go home with three fractured vertebrae

Deck collapses in Langley during celebration, multiple people injured

Emergency responders rushed to the Langley home

B.C. RCMP receive application for Police Cat Services

RCMP announced the launch of the Police Cat Services unit as an April fools joke

Kirkland Signature veggie burgers recalled due to possible metal fragments

Recalled products came in 1.7 kg packages with a best before date of Apr. 23, 2019

Parents of 13 who tortured children get life after hearing victims

One of their daughters fled their home and pleaded for help to a 911 operator

Flooding, climate change force Quebecers to rethink relationship with water

Compensation for victims of recurring floods limit to 50% of a home’s value, or a maximum of $100,000

Most Read