11/06/2014 11:42 EST | Updated 01/06/2015 05:59 EST

Champlain Bridge replacement won't be named after Maurice Richard

The replacement for the Champlain Bridge will not bear the name of Montreal Canadiens hockey legend Maurice Richard.

Federal Infrastructure Minister Denis Lebel made the announcement in Quebec City Thursday morning.

The suggestion caused major debate across the province. Many said the name of one of the Quebec’s founders should remain attached to the new structure.

Lebel said he was withdrawing the name of Maurice Richard from consideration after discussing the subject with the hockey player’s children.

“I find it sad that we’ve put two giants of our history in competition with each other,” said Lebel.

“That was absolutely not our goal.”

Lebel said the priority right now is to build the bridge and his government has not made a decision on the new name.

Lebel said the name of explorer Samuel de Champlain is still an option.