HALIFAX – The Maurice Bent Division has a new name.
The Maritime Junior Hockey League announced Friday the division, named for the founder of the Amherst Ramblers, is being renamed the Eastlink Division as part of a two-year sponsorship agreement.
“On behalf of the Maritime Junior Hockey League, I wish to express how proud and pleased we are to have Eastlink join us a division sponsor,” league board of governors chairman John Lynn said in a news release. “Eastlink has firmly established itself as one of the most successful telecommunications companies in Canada. This partnership is a very positive one for our league, being associated with Eastlink’s very strong brand bolsters the MHL’s presence within its member communities and all of the Maritimes.”
Eastlink’s regional manager Jeff Brown said becoming the league’s Nova Scotia sponsor reinforces its commitment to the community. He said the company has a long history of investing in and showcasing local sports.
Jim Henwood, president of the Amherst Ramblers, said he is disappointed with the decision because the team’s founder was instrumental in forming the league.
“I don’t think they realize who Moe Bent was and the fact they’re renaming the division the same year we’re celebrating our 45th anniversary is bad timing,” Henwood said. “I understand the league needs all the support and sponsorship it can get, and I have the utmost respect for the league and Eastlink. It’s just disappointing.”
League president Derryl Smith said Bent’s family was contacted and it supports the renaming.
“We talked to the family and they were happy with it because it’s going to be good for the league,” Smith said.
Smith said the league is looking at renaming the Roger Meek Division, possibly as early as next season.
He said neither Meek nor Bent will be forgotten by the league. He expects some of the league’s top awards to be renamed in their honour next spring while the MHL hands out its trophies.