Cranbrook will be the host city of the latest addition to the interior division of the BCHL with the Cranbrook Bucks.
The team’s name, logo and merch store was unveiled at the Western Financial Place by the Bucks’ president and majority owner, on top of being a former Kootenay Ice goalkeeper, Nathan Lieuwen.
Inspiration for the logo and name came from Lieuwen’s time living in Cranbrook.
“Cranbrook locals know that it doesn’t get much more Cranbrook than bucks,” Lieuwen said. “You drive to work and you’ll almost hit one, they’re everywhere, and obviously, the large amount of hunters we have around here, it really shows what Cranbrook is and what we’re about.”
Lieuwen plans to have the team closely integrated within the community.
“I think it’s really important that we don’t come in here and demand, we come in and support. We’re a part of this community, and we want to work with different organizations and businesses.” ,” said Lieuwen.
Cranbrook Mayor Lee Pratt was also in attendance at the announcement and made a speech about his hopes for the Bucks.
“Having a BC hockey league franchise showcasing an exciting brand of hockey will be a great addition to the economic wellbeing of the city,” Pratt said.
Commissioner of the BCHL Chris Hebb spoke of Lieuwen’s perseverance with getting a team in Cranbrook.
“We handed him hoops and he’d jump through them and we’d hand him another one and he would jump through it,” said Hebb. “Here we are today with a situation that brings the 18th BC hockey league team to Cranbrook.”
Canadian Sports Hall of Famer Scott Niedermayer is also involved in the Bucks as a partial owner, he spoke of the road ahead facing a new team.
“Starting from scratch will be a bit of a challenge. You’re not going to be a team that has that history and has some players already,” Niedermayer said.
Lieuwen added that the next step for the team is to find players and coaches in preparation for the 2020 Fall season.