Rush is on to solidify squad's name

SCOTT ZERR -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 7:01 AM ET

Edmonton's newest sports franchise is expected to bring quite a Rush to the scene.

The expansion National Lacrosse League entry will hold a press conference on Thursday to announce - after a frustratingly long delay - the nickname chosen is Rush. Team owners can't make things official just yet, however, as one glitch in the plan remains. The Chicago Rush of the Arena Football League could force a name change if there are trademark infringements.

"We don't know yet if it's going to go through so we have submitted two alternatives, but Rush is certainly our first choice," said Craig Anstead, managing partner of the Edmonton club.

"It has to be determined if that name is unique. If there's only one major team that uses it and it is deemed unique to them, then it could be a problem. But there's a chance Chicago couldn't care less if we use it. From our point of view it's a bit ridiculous, but we understand."

By tomorrow, lawyers and officials with the NLL, which already rejected a handful of names from Edmonton including Rig Pigs, are expected to finalize the use of Rush. Eighteen entries of the nickname Rush were submitted to the name-the-team contest, meaning a draw will be held for the winner of two season tickets. The other Rush entries, Anstead said, will be given tickets to the home opener.

Colour schemes and logos for the team are in the works as are a monster truck and a dragster sporting the name.

Anstead hinted that over the summer the club will be out in full force starting to spend a promotional budget of $500,000, which will include an appearance at the Grand Prix of Edmonton and a spot in the Klondike Days parade.

Also on Thursday, Anstead and ownership partner Bruce Urban will reveal two key members of the club's front office.

A.J. Jomha, a longtime frontman for the Edmonton Miners, will be named the team's director of lacrosse operations, while Duane Vienneau, the venue manager at Northlands Park, is believed to be in line for the title of team president.

Jomha, who is currently the head coach of the Miners' junior 'A' squad, which hosts the Minto Cup this fall, was brought in as a consultant when the expansion franchise was awarded.

"I'm absolutely excited," said Jomha, a local lawyer. "This is something I've been looking forward to since the team was brought to Edmonton. I'm thrilled about the opportunity to work with what I think will be a successful venture."


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