OCTOBER 10, 2012 - It has been almost 20 years since the Ontario Hockey Association has hosted a Junior B program east of Guelph, but it may be coming back.
With the amalgamation of Junior B leagues, and a desire to compete nationally at the Junior A level, Junior B interests in and around Metro Toronto declined in the late 1980's, creating a void within the OHA's Sutherland Cup program, not to mention the loss of opportunity for players.
It was a program that assisted in the development of great talents such as Eric Lindros and Wayne Gretzky, and a host of NHL officials as well as great community citizens.
Now, as a result of the contraction of teams undertaken in and by the Ontario Junior Hockey League to raise the competitive level of that program both regionally and nationally, there are a number of traditional hockey communities that are now eligible for consideration to return to Sutherland Cup play.
Enter the OHA’s Junior B expansion project.
With an eye to the 2013-14 season, the OHA is gauging the interest for a fourth conference in the Junior B league in the footprint of the OHA east of Guelph with the assistance of two of its most prolific Leagues, the OJHL and the GOJHL.
The OHA expansion Committee is extending an invitation as of today to parties and communities who may have an interest in joining a great hockey program under the umbrella of the Ontario Hockey Federation as well as Hockey Canada to contact the OHA. The deadline to express that interest is November 15, 2012.
From the list of interested parties, more formal application packages will be distributed to viable candidates.
A selection committee, along with the OHA board of directors, will award new franchises in April, in time for the 2013-14 season.
For more information, visit www.OHAhockey.org or contact:
OHA Junior B Expansion Committee Chairman
Mark Ellis, Interim CEO
(519) 622-2402 ext. 203