With the Jan. 10 Canadian Junior Hockey League trade deadline quickly approaching, the Timmins Rock have signed a 6-0, 250 pound … mascot? The as yet unnamed newest member of the NOJHL franchise was introduced during a press conference at Fountain Tire Friday morning. Members of the team, its coaching staff, management and board of directors braved Friday’s -31 C temperatures to welcome him into the fold. A contest, through social media, is being organized to help name the Rock’s newest member. THOMAS PERRY/THE DAILY PRESS
By Thomas Perry, The Daily Press (Timmins)
TIMMINS – The newest member of the Timmins Rock is sure to strike fear into the hearts of even the bravest opponent and put a smile on the face of any child.
At 6-0 and 250 pounds, wearing miners boots and helmet and carrying a pick instead of a hockey stick, the as yet unnamed mascot struck quite a formidable pose when he was introduced at Fountain Tire on Friday wearing a maroon Rock home jersey and sporting No. 00.
Being the strong, silent type, the new mascot would only shrug or gesture when grilled by the local media during the press conference.
While the new mascot, with his five-o’clock shadow bears a striking resemblance to current Rock coach Corey Beer, that is apparently just a coincidence.
“No comment,” Rock president Ted Gooch said, with a chuckle, when asked about the similarity.
Beer, of course, finds the similarity quite flattering.
“His chiseled jaw kind of reflects my facial expressions quite well,” he said.
“I think he will be a great mascot for us.”
In addition, team officials were tight-lipped about the real-life identity of person inside the mascot costume.
“Like the La Ronde Winter Carnival, you will never know who is inside the mascot costume,” Gooch said.
“We do have a couple of people who are willing to fill that role for the season.”
Fans, through a social media contest, will have an opportunity to help choose the new mascot’s name.
Gooch explained the team has been working on adding a mascot since the NOJHL team relocated back to Timmins from Iroquois Falls prior to the 2015-16 season.
“Back in the early 1990s, the Timmins Golden Bears had a mascot and I have a lot of fond memories of running around the rink trying to get a photo with it,” he said.
“We think it will enhance our games.”
Coming up with the design for the mascot was a bit of a no-brainer.
“With our community’s rich mining history, we wanted to go with a miner and we worked with a company out of Toronto that helped us design it from top to bottom,” Gooch said.
“The only problem, of course, is coming up with a name.”
Hence the social media contest.
“We will allow people to submit entries and if we find a name we like, all the people who submitted the name will be entered into a draw with the winner getting a pair of season tickets for the remainder of the 2017-18 season and a nice prize donated my one of our sponsors,” Gooch said.
“We are hoping to run the contest for a short time, probably about a week, and then make a decision.”
Fans will get their first opportunity to see the new mascot when the Rock host the Hearst Lumberjacks at the McIntyre Arena on Sunday, at 7 p.m.
“They will have an opportunity to get their photo taken with him,” Gooch said.