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Local businessman brings back the Centennials

'The Hartford Whalers and Quebec Nordiques still have a following so we just thought why not the North Bay Centennials based on what we were hearing from our customers'
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North Bay Centennials merchandise now can be purchased at Skaters North in North Bay. Photo by Chris Dawson.

The history and the North Bay Centennials name still seems to resonate with many hockey fans despite not being in existence since way back in 2002 when the team moved to Saginaw.  

But hockey fans in the area love the nostalgia of the Centennials name.  The Battalion has hosted a Centennials themed game every season since they moved here in 2013.

See: Local hockey book available now

While the team is long gone, a local businessman is trying to bring back the name to North Bay, and the hockey community in general.  

“For, I don’t know how many years, I have heard the requests and the comments from fans either in the store or at the game or online saying, ‘Wow, I wish I could get my hands on a Centennials jersey,’ or ‘I really like that jersey when they played those Centennials games when the Battalion would wear that,’ and they would look six inches taller and it was a lot of good memories,” said Paul McLean, owner of Skaters North Source for Sports on Fisher Street.

So McLean decided to do some investigating and after checking the Canadian Trademark Database, he found out the copyrighted Centennials logo and trademark had been allowed to expire.   

“No one had it, so it was in the public,” said McLean.   

“So then I contacted the original law firm who had registered the trademark way back when the logo first came out and we filed all the appropriate paperwork and the application to acquire the rights to the copyright and the trademark of the Centennials logo.  

“Then after that, we knew we had something really good on our hands that the North Bay Bay people would be interested in having, so now we can give to people what they wanted.”  

So on Friday, December 1st, McLean launched brand new North Bay Centennial merchandise, and so far it has been a hit.  

“The phone typically is pretty quiet on Saturdays as we are busy sharpening skates but there were a lot of phone calls about people asking and wanting more information,” said McLean.  

“I got a phone call from a customer in Alberta  who was asking how could they get their hands on this and they wanted to order one (Cents Jersey).”  

McLean hopes to reach out to some more of the well-known North Bay Centennials alumni through social media to spread the word about this unique return of the Cents.  

“The Hartford Whalers and Quebec Nordiques still have a following so we just thought why not the North Bay Centennials based on what we were hearing from our customers,” said McLean.