This season, the PJHL aims to catch up with personalities around the league from coaches and players to owners and broadcasters.
We’re starting off in the owner’s box this week as we hear from the White Rock Whalers’ Ronnie Paterson. The former Canadian National Team netminder, who was part of the 1980 Olympic team in Lake Placid, N.Y. and got to see the Miracle On Ice game between the United States and the USSR, brought the Whalers into the PJHL in the 2018-19 season and saw the team to the league finals this past March. He and the Whalers are ready for more success in the campaign ahead.
Paterson took time to answer some questions from the PJHL this week:
PJHL: How hands-on are you with hockey operations in your franchise?
Ronnie Paterson: I’m very hands on from a business perspective and I play a support roll for on-ice decision making but I defer core on-ice decisions to our coaching staff (Jason Rogers, Mitch Knoepfel, Matthew Rogers).
PJHL: Your franchise is still relatively young – how has the progress been in becoming a known quantity in local sports and the community?
RP: Our community has embraced us significantly and it has been really our coaching staff that has demonstrated the leadership to advance our program to enjoy the level of competitiveness we are currently experiencing.
PJHL: What is a new idea, on ice or off ice, that you’re pleased to see implemented this season with your franchise?
RP: We are working closely with the local indigenous group (Semiahmoo First Nation) to illustrate inclusion in our community and we are excited to align ourselves with them.
PJHL: Who is a Whalers player you’ve enjoyed watching and getting to know the last couple of seasons?
RP: Bryce Margetson is a great character and team player and is the epitome of what our program represents!
PJHL: Why do you enjoy working in the PJHL and what can it offer to young players?
RP: Our league continues to be developmental and provides our athletes a great opportunity to develop hockey skills on ice and life skills off ice and I am very proud of that.
PJHL: Your brother Doug is one of the owners of the Richmond Sockeyes. How competitive are you with him when it comes to White Rock vs. Richmond?
RP: The Sockeyes are the gold standard in our league and I have tremendous regard for their program and what they represent to the community but that doesn’t stop me enjoying a Whaler victory!
PJHL: What is a misconception about Junior B hockey that you encounter?
RP: Some fans still call our league ‘jungle B’ and it troubles me as our league opens up so many opportunities for our athletes both on and off the ice.
PJHL: You recently became a grandfather – congratulations! How has that changed your routine, if at all?
RP: I look forward to Myles becoming a Whaler in 2036 but it really does keep life in perspective and really look forward to his development as a young person and hockey player!
PJHL: The Whalers made the PJHL finals last season but came up short vs. Langley? What are your expectations for the Whalers this season?
RP: Last year experiencing the finals provided our program a new endeavour and experience – I am confident that it will help build equity as we grow and develop and become recognized as an elite hockey program in a small community called White Rock.