Sarnia Arena to renamed after hockey great Pat Stapleton

The Sarnia Legionnaires seen playing a home game at the Sarnia Arena during the 2019-2020 season. Troy Shantz file photo

Journal Staff

City council has agreed to rename Sarnia Arena after a local hockey hero.

Sarnia native Pat Stapleton was an NHL all-star, captain of the Chicago Blackhawks, and a key member of the famed Team Canada that won the 1972 summit against the Soviet Union.

City staff said it would cost about $30,000 to change the arena signage. A fundraising campaign is being organized.

Ten other members of the historic Canada –Soviet series have had arenas named after them in their respective hometowns, said resident Brian Keelan, who urged council to do the same in Sarnia.

Stapleton was also a leader off the ice.

He created a student leadership program that’s part of the curriculum in Niagara region, is a member of Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame, and was nominated for the Order of Canada.

Known as “Whitey” for his hair colour, Stapleton died last year at the age of 79.

The “Whitey” nickname won’t be used because, during public consultations, concerns were raised about its racial connotations.