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Bench Talk / Off The Wire

What's In A Name ?


By Fred Wallace

Hi, this is Fred Wallace with " Off the Wire ".


We really tie ourselves in knots, or get our shorts in a knot, over the tiniest things ( & I'm not trying to be funny, it's just the way the phrasing came out ).

Somewhere in the Fall of 1966, my Dad took me to the Midland Arena Gardens and we signed up for " hockey ".

Honestly, I don't think I understood what was transpiring; all I knew was that every Saturday morning after hockey I got a hot dog and a cup of orange pop from the Arena store- how cool was that ?!

From 1966 to 1977 in the Midland Little NHL cum Midland Minor Hockey Association, I played for, among others; 


- The Zeller's County Fair Flyer Tykes.

- The Dorion Sand  & Gravel Novices

- The Wagg's Laundry Minor Peewee Jets

- The Civitan Peewee Blues

- The Indusmin Minor Bantams

- the Junior Civitan Major Bantams

& finally the Royal Canada Legion Branch 80 Midgets


In more than a decade, I never once thought the names of the age categories were derogatory, demeaning, or purposely hurtful.

Next season, more than a half a century after I first roamed into a rink, under direction from Hockey Canada, the names of minor hockey divisions across Canada will change

The youngest will be U7, the oldest will be U21. You can figure all the " U " categories from top to bottom.


The initiative from Hockey Canada, for Hockey Canada, is an effort to make the game inclusive, but in my eyes it's just another aspect of our lives that's being examined and politicized for no reason other than to give people something to talk about & something to do.

I have great memories of Tyke, Novice, Peewee, Bantam & Midget.

I'm sure youngsters today will have the same experiences from U7 to U21, but between the re-wording of O'Canada and the name change for divisional Minor Hockey, I find my self shaking my head and wondering how these initiatives begin and where it's going to stop.


I'm Fred Wallace




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