Nearly half a century after disbanding, the Bracebridge Bears are set to take to the ice of the Muskoka Lumber Community Centre next year.
A project that brothers Dave and Ken Veitch Jr. started two years ago is one step closer to becoming reality.
Dave Veitch says the Provincial Junior Hockey League (PJHL) has unanimously approved the Bracebridge Bears joining the league in time for the 2024 season. The league features a handful of teams from Ontario, including the Huntsville Otters and Orillia Terriers.
“It’s pretty exciting,” he says.
The idea started when the brothers heard about the new arena that will be featured as part of the Muskoka Lumber Community Centre. However, without a junior team in Bracebridge, theyagreed they had to bring the Bears back. “We want to do it and do it right,” he continues.
Veitch says now is when the hard work starts: they have to get sponsorships. He adds prior to being approved they heard from a bunch of businesses who expressed interest. He says now it’s a matter of reaching out and signing them up.
Veitch says the team will also implement an apprenticeship program for players who have graduated high school and want to stay in Bracebridge to play hockey. He says they have already signed up 26 businesses to take part.
Veitch asks anyone interested in helping the team in any way to email [email protected] or call 705-801-5900.
“Now it’s game on,” says Veitch.
The MLCC is expected to be open by the summer of 2024.