Generals haven’t considered name change
OSHAWA, ONT. — Oshawa Generals team president and governor Rocco Tullio says the five-time Memorial Cup-winning club hasn’t explored the possibility of changing its name now that General Motors plans to leave the city.
The Generals are named after the automaking giant, with GM being their original sponsor when they joined the Ontario Hockey Association in 1937.
After the announcement earlier this week that GM would be shuttering its plant and laying off its 2,500 workers by the end of 2019 there were calls on social media for the team to change its name.
“We’re steeped in history here. We’ve been around for over 80 years. We’ve had the likes of Bobby Orr,” said Tullio.
“... I understand it and, trust me, when it hits close to home like that, people are angry, right, and they want to lash out and I get it, but as an organization, we haven’t even considered it at this point in time.”
Tullio — whose hometown of Windsor, Ont., saw its GM trim and transmission plants close in 2008 and 2010 respectively — called Monday’s news “disappointing.” And he said the team, along with the league, is looking into ways to reach out to those affected by the layoffs.
“This isn’t about hockey at this stage of the game, it’s about supporting these families in our community,” he said.
Oshawa had no team between ’53 and ’62 after its former home, Hambly’s Arena, burned down. Besides the crest on its jersey, the club has few remaining ties to GM in 2018.