1980-82: A Strong Beginning
Junior ‘A’ hockey began in the Cowichan Valley in the 1980-81 season. The expansion team, called the Capitals, impressed in their inaugural season with a record of 29-13-0. The team also had an impressive line including future NHL players Dean Evason, Dan Hodgson and Geoff Courtnall, as well as future CFL lineman Glenn Kulka. The club also had a strong flavour of local talent in their first year including stars Len Meyers, David Branting, Ken Trousdell and Tony St.Denis.
The team continued its strong play into the 1981-82 season, compiling a 36-16-0 record and featured another future NHL player, goalie Daryl Reaugh, who now is an NHL broadcaster. The Capitals would qualify for the playoffs for a second straight year.
1982-1993: Decline, Relocation Multiple Times
After posting 65 wins in their first two years, the Capitals would miss the playoffs for each of the next five seasons. The teams’ struggles also coincided with poor attendances, which lead to the club relocating to play out of the Panorama Leisure Centre as they became the Sidney Capitals, ahead of the 1984-85 season.
In Sidney, the Capitals would compile a record of 22-80-2 over two seasons. The franchise would relocate for the 1986-87 season, this time to Juan de Fuca as the Whalers. The team would go 45-57-2 over the next two seasons, before relocating back to Duncan for the 1988-89 campaign.
Now as the Cowichan Valley Whalers, the team posted a 30-88-3 record over two seasons, and once again relocated ahead of the 1990-91 season, this time to become the Victoria Warriors. The franchise would go 67-105-8 in their next three years.
1993-94: Back to the Valley, New Vision and Run to the Finals
In 1993, a large group of people in the community purchased the team with the vision of bringing the hockey club back to the Cowichan Valley. In 1993-94, the Cowichan Valley Capitals were re-born with a hard-working brand as the Capitals finished that first year back with a respectable 29-29-2 record. Their hard working style and intense work ethic helped the surprising Capitals to the BCHL Finals against the Kelowna Spartans, eventually losing the series in five games. This was the Capitals first trip to the BCHL Finals and, to date, their only appearance.
2016-17 marks the 24th consecutive season that the Cowichan Valley Capitals have played in Duncan, and the team has qualified for the playoffs in 16 of the past 23 seasons.
The Capitals have had tremendous success in providing players with the tools to move to the next level. Since the 1993-94 season, more than 80 Capitals players have received scholarships to NCAA Division I or Division III programs.
The Cowichan Valley Capitals embrace and thank our fans for the support you provide each and every game at the Island Savings Centre.