Ontario Hockey League


Ontario Hockey League
Ontario Hockey League
Current season or competition:
2011–12 OHL season
OHL Logo.svg
Sport Ice hockey
Founded 1974
Commissioner David Branch
No. of teams 20
Country(ies)  Canada (17 teams)
 United States (3 teams)
Most recent champion(s) Owen Sound Attack
Most titles Oshawa Generals12
TV partner(s) Rogers Sportsnet, Cogeco Sports
Official website http://www.ontariohockeyleague.com
OHL All-Star Game 2006 Opening Face Off. Game played in Belleville's Yardmen Arena. February 1st, 2006.

The Ontario Hockey League is one of the three Major Junior ice hockey leagues which constitute the Canadian Hockey League. The league is for players aged 15-20.

The OHL also operates under the Ontario Hockey Federation (OHF) of Hockey Canada.

The league was formed in 1974, out of the Major Junior A Tier I division of the Ontario Hockey Association.

David Branch has been the only Commissioner of the OHL from this time. Since 1980 the league has grown rapidly into a high profile marketable product, with many games broadcast on television and radio.

There are currently 20 teams in the OHL; 17 are based in the Canadian province of Ontario, two teams in the American state of Michigan and one team in the American state of Pennsylvania. Out of the 17 teams based in Ontario, 13 teams are in Southern Ontario, two teams are in Eastern Ontario and two teams are in Northern Ontario.

The three largest arenas in the OHL are Ottawa's J. Benson Cartage Centre, London's John Labatt Centre, and the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium in Kitchener.

Contents

History

Junior age ice hockey in Ontario began in 1896, a professional league, organized by the Ontario Hockey Association (OHA). Since then it has gone through four distinct eras in the organization of junior hockey. In 1933, the junior division was divided into two levels, junior A and junior B. In 1972 the upper level was divided into two more levels, Tier I and Tier II. In 1974 the "Major Junior A Tier I" portion of the OHA separated from the OHA and became the 'Ontario Major Junior Hockey League.' (OMJHL) In 1980, the OMJHL became the "Ontario Hockey League."

Current member teams

Ontario Hockey League
Eastern Conference
Division Team City Arena
East Belleville Bulls Belleville, Ontario, Canada Yardmen Arena
Kingston Frontenacs Kingston, Ontario, Canada K-Rock Centre
Oshawa Generals Oshawa, Ontario, Canada General Motors Centre
Ottawa 67's Ottawa, Ontario, Canada Ottawa Civic Centre
Peterborough Petes Peterborough, Ontario, Canada Peterborough Memorial Centre
Central Barrie Colts Barrie, Ontario, Canada Barrie Molson Centre
Brampton Battalion Brampton, Ontario, Canada Powerade Centre
Mississauga St. Michael's Majors Mississauga, Ontario, Canada Hershey Centre
Niagara IceDogs St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada Gatorade Garden City Complex
Sudbury Wolves Sudbury, Ontario, Canada Sudbury Community Arena
Western Conference
Division Team City Arena
Midwest Erie Otters Erie, Pennsylvania, USA Louis J. Tullio Arena
Guelph Storm Guelph, Ontario, Canada Sleeman Centre
Kitchener Rangers Kitchener, Ontario, Canada Kitchener Memorial Auditorium Complex
London Knights London, Ontario, Canada John Labatt Centre
Owen Sound Attack Owen Sound, Ontario, Canada Bayshore Community Centre
West Plymouth Whalers Plymouth Township, Michigan, USA Compuware Arena
Saginaw Spirit Saginaw, Michigan, USA The Dow Event Center
Sarnia Sting Sarnia, Ontario, Canada RBC Centre
Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada Essar Centre
Windsor Spitfires Windsor, Ontario, Canada WFCU Centre

Schedule

A map of the OHL teams' home cities.

The 20 OHL clubs play a 68 game unbalanced schedule, which starts in the third full week of September, running until the third week of March. Ninety per cent (90%) of OHL games are scheduled between Thursday and Sunday to minimize the number of school days missed for its players. Ninety-five per cent (95%) of the players in the league are attending high school or college.

Approximately 20% of players on active rosters in the National Hockey League have come from the OHL, and about 54% of NHL players are alumni of the Canadian Hockey League.

2009–10 OHL season

Bell OHL All-Star Classic

The 2010 OHL All-Star Classic will be played at the K-Rock Centre in Kingston.

OHL playoffs and Memorial Cup

The J. Ross Robertson Cup is awarded annually to the winner of the Championship Series. The Cup is named for John Ross Robertson, who was president of the Ontario Hockey Association from 1901 to 1905.

The OHL playoffs consist of the top 16 teams in the league, 8 from each conference. The teams play a best-of-seven game series, and the winner of each series advances to the next round. The final two teams eventually compete for the J. Ross Robertson Cup.

The OHL champion then competes with the winners of the Western Hockey League, the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, and the host of the tournament to play for the Memorial Cup, which is awarded to the junior hockey champions of Canada. The host team of the tournament is alternated between the three leagues every season. The 2011 tournament was hosted by the Mississauga St. Michael's Majors of the Ontario Hockey League at Mississagua's Hershey Centre from May 20th to 29th.

Memorial Cup champions

The Memorial Cup has been captured 14 times by OHL/OHA teams since the tournament went to a three-league format in 1972:

The Cup was also won 16 times by OHA teams in the period between 1945 and 1971:

Priority Selection

The Priority Selection was first conducted the summer before the 1969–70 OHA season, with Kitchener selecting Bill Barber first overall. It has been conducted annually since then. Originally the draft was for 17 year old midgets, and each team was permitted to protect 8 midget area players (Toronto was allowed to protect 10 players from its midget sponsored teams). In 1975 the league phased out the area protections, and the 1976 OHA midget draft was the first in which all midget players were eligible. In 1999 the league changed the draft to a bantam age (15 and 16 year old). It is a selection of players who are residents of the province of Ontario, the states of Michigan, Pennsylvania and New York, and other designated U.S. states east of the Mississippi River.

Prior to 2001, the OHL held the Priority Selection in a public forum, such as an arena. Drafts were attended by many players and family members. In 2001, the OHL decided to hold the "draft" via the Internet, greatly reducing the costs the league and its member teams incurred in hosting a public draft. This move reduced the stress and pressure that prospective players faced with a large crowd present.

The Jack Ferguson Award is presented annually to the first overall selection . The award was named in honour of long time OHL scout and former Director of Central Scouting Jack Ferguson.

OHL Records

Individual records

  • Most goals in a season: 72, John Tavares, 2006–07
  • Most assists in a season: 123, Bobby Smith, 1977–78
  • Most points in a season: 192, Bobby Smith, 1977–78
  • Most penalty minutes in a season: 487, Trevor Koopmans, 1989-1990
  • Most points in a season, rookie: 182, Wayne Gretzky, 1977–78
  • Most points in a season, defenseman: 155, Bryan Fogarty, 1988–89

Team Records

  • Most wins in a season: 59, London Knights, 2004–05
  • Most points in a season: 120, London Knights, 2004–05
  • Most goals in a season: 469, Toronto Marlboros, 1974–75
  • Fewest goals against in a season: 125, London Knights, 2004–05

Trophies and awards

Team Trophies
Executive Trophies
Player Trophies

See also

External links


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