SUDBURY – The former Rayside-Balfour Canadians Jr. A franchise has officially been renamed and rebranded as the Greater Sudbury Cubs and will now play out of the Gerry McCrory Countryside Sports Complex, commencing this Sunday when they host the French River Rapids in preseason action at 6:30 p.m.
This decision was made for a couple of key reasons:
• COVID-19 capacity restrictions state that teams can not allow any more than 50% of the arena’s capacity for fans to attend games.
With only 200 seats available in the Chelmsford Arena, only 100 fans would be permitted.
By comparison, the Gerry McCrory Countryside Arena offers 900 spectators in normal circumstances, which means that the team can now admit 450 fully-vaccinated fans to their home games.
In addition, fans will enjoy comfortable chair-back seating and plenty of free parking at the Countryside Sports Complex.
• Cubs players will enjoy the experience of playing in a newer and modern facility with larger dressing room space for social distancing, and a much larger player treatment area.
The new home venue will also assist the organization in showcasing its players to OHL, NCAA, U SPORTS team scouting staffs with player interview areas after the games.
“Our organization is very pleased to announce the rebranding and renaming of our Jr. A hockey team to the Greater Sudbury Cubs,” noted Cubs owner Mark Burgess. “We recognize the tradition of the former NOJHL franchise that enjoyed success by hosting and reaching the finals of the CJHL national championship 30 years ago. Our family enjoyed the experience of operating championship teams in the past including the Nickel Centre Native Sons and the Sudbury Jr. Wolves. Our entire organization is focused and determined to provide local junior hockey fans with a championship team that Greater Sudbury hockey fans can be proud of.”
Many talented players from our region have donned the Sudbury Cubs jersey including former NHL greats: Brian Savage and Todd Bertuzzi. A list of players that played for the Sudbury Cubs organization in the past – as compiled by NOJHL Historian David Harrison – is available on the new team website.
“Given what we have all had to endure over the past 19 months, it is our belief that Greater Sudbury needs something new and exciting to cheer-on and enjoy,” stated Cubs managing director Blaine Smith.
“We have all rediscovered the importance of ‘family’ and our mandate will always be to treat our players like family, build a championship team and develop local players,” added Smith.
“Just this past weekend, we had 11 of our players attend OHL camps and five of our players have recently signed OHL commitments with their teams.”
Smith went on to offer: “We will continue to welcome our loyal fan-base from Rayside-Balfour to our games. This team is still their team, similarly to the way that the team belongs to hockey fans from Hanmer, Valley East, Capreol, Garson, Coniston, Walden, Copper Cliff, Levack and all areas of our region. Our goal is to create a “Family-Friendly-Experience” with an exciting team, low-cost admission and a very safe and comfortable environment for everyone to enjoy.”
ENGAGING WITH THE COMMUNITY
The Greater Sudbury Cubs will launch their Cubs Care Community program that will see the organization and its players participate in a variety of community programs including: A Front-Line Worker program, Charity Support program, and a Minor Hockey Mentorship program, just to name a few.
FRONT-LINE WORKER TICKET PROGRAM – Hospital staff, PSW’s, education staff, grocery staff will be able to access free tickets through the team’s new website portal that will provide up to 50 complimentary tickets to every Cubs home game.
CHARITY SUPPORT PROGRAM – Team staff and players will offer support to assist local non-profit and charitable organizations including: The ELGIN STREET MISSION – who’s fundraising promotion is featured on our new team website.
MINOR HOCKEY MENTORSHIP PROGRAM – Cubs’ coaches and players assisting volunteer coaches and young players by attending on-ice team practices. Specific plans have been made with a number of local associations including: Nickel City Minor Hockey, Sudbury Minor Hockey, Sudbury Playground Minor Hockey and Copper Cliff Minor Hockey.
NEW TEAM MASCOT IN THE WORKS – The Cubs will be staging a “Name the Mascot” contest with local schools to allow the youth of the community to submit their vote for the naming of the new team mascot.
SELECT CUBS HOME GAMES TO BE TELEVISED – The GREATER SUDBURY CUBS will offer a number of home games televised live on the Eastlink TV Commuity Network.
TEAM HOME SCHEDULE
The Greater Sudbury Cubs will play a 56-game regular season schedule, which begins on Thursday, Sept. 16 at 7:30 p.m. vs. the Espanola Express.
The Cubs will play games against the five other teams within their division for the first half of the season.
Ticket prices have been reduced to $10 per adult and $5 for juniors and seniors with children 12 & under admitted free of charge when accompanied by an adult.
“We would also like to express sincere thanks to a number of organizations and individuals involved with the City’s Ice Allocation Committee that allowed the transition to take place to the Countryside,” said Smith.
“Special thanks to everyone involved and in particular to: Leo Verilli of the Copper Cliff Minor Hockey Association and Dave Makela of the High School Hockey league for accommodating our game and practice ice-time needs. We would also like to thank City Manager of Arenas Jody Cameron and his staff for their efforts in working through this transition to the Countryside Arena.”
Thursday nights will be: “CUBS HOCKEY NIGHT IN GREATER SUDBURY” with the majority of our home games be scheduled on Thursday nights beginning at 7:30 p.m.
More information can be found on the Cubs new team website at: www.sudburycubs.ca.
Special thanks go out to our media industry partners, who include Cameron Perdue of Incapture Media, Jake Thomas of Riley Lake Productions, Shake it Up Media Group and the team’s agency of record, Swat Media for their outstanding collaboration and leadership of our new brand, new website and innovative creations for the benefit of the Greater Sudbury Cubs Jr. A Hockey Club.