There are currently 20 teams in the OHL; 16 are based in the Canadian province of Ontario,three teams in the American state of Michigan and one team in the American state of Pennsylvania. Out of the 18 teams based in Ontario, 15 teams are in Southern Ontario, and 3 teams are in Northern Ontario.
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.
- 1 The Flint Firebird Fiasco
- 2 Franchise changes
- 3 Current member teams
- 4 Standings
- 5 2016 J. Ross Robertson Cup Playoffs
The Flint Firebird Fiasco
On November 8th, the owner of the Flint Firebirds fired the head coach, John Gruden after the team pulled out a come from behind overtime victory over the defending Memorial Cup champions earlier. According to published reports the issue was the amount of ice time that owner, Rolf Nilson's 17 year old son was receiving. Upon hearing of the removal of the coach the whole 24 members of the team quit, not wanting to play for anyone else but Coach Gruden. Among those quitting the team were the owner's son, Håkon Nilsen. The whole team went into the team's front office and threw their jerseys on the ground, quit the team and then walked out. OHL commissioner David Branch was scheduled to meet with the ownership of the franchise on Monday November 9th to try to salvage anything out of what is a very bad situation for all involved. After the meeting the owner issued a release through the OHL's website stating that he made "an irresponsible mistake" and the coaches were reinstated and meetings were held between the league commissioner, ownership, coaches and players.
The Firebirds organization made news headlines again on February 17th when the owner fired Coach (and now GM since January) Gruden and assistant coach Dave Karpa and named director of operations Sergei Kharin interim head coach. The way the handling of the terminations was handled (mainly involving communication to the players and the league) has lead to the league looking into the terminations. Commissioner Branch was in contact with the team's captain, Alex Peters and was planning on meeting with the rest of the players and parents within a few days. At the time of the firings the team was in 9th place in the conference with a 11-31-6 record and lost 8 of their last ten games. The team was actually on a pace for a better record than in 2014-15.
The league made the following announcements after the initial phase of their investigation: The owner and his appointees on the management and coaching staff (including interim coach Sergei Kharin). The team is to provide counseling services for the players and that the management team is to co-operate with the commissioner and the league for the rest of the investigation. The league and the commissioner have said they will take any appropriate actions to remedy the situation.
On April 6, 2016 the league annouced that owner Rolf Nilsen was suspended as for five years and fined $250,000 as a result of an investigation conducted by the league. The report stated that Nilsen had violated an agreement he signed with the league on November 11, 2015. The team was also penalized with the forfeiture of the team's first round pick in the OHL Priority Selection (the third pick overall in the draft). The release stated if Nilsen violates any of the terms of the order from the league he will be required to sell 100% of his ownership interest in the Firebirds. Nilsen may file for re-instatement to participate in hockey operations after 3 years. The league further announced that Joe Birch who took over the hockey operations in February will continue in the position and additional staff (head coach, GM, and other hockey operational staff) would be named shortly. The team will continue to be under the stewardship, supervision and direction of the league commissioner.
- the Belleville Bulls were sold to the then owner of the Hamilton's AHL franchise and announced as relocating to the city when the Montreal Canadiens purchased the AHL team and announced plans to relocate the AHL franchise to St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador. The team will be known as the Hamilton Bulldogs, the same as the previous AHL team.
- The Plymouth Whalers were sold and announced to be relocating to Flint, Michigan and would be renamed the Flint Firebirds.
Current member teams
|North Bay Battalion||68||35||23||-||6||4||240||227||727||80|
|Owen Sound Attack||68||32||25||-||8||3||209||222||796||75|
|Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds||68||33||27||-||7||1||243||233||605||74|
2016 J. Ross Robertson Cup Playoffs
The OHL playoffs consist of 16 teams,the top 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 J. Ross Robertson Cup champion advances to the 2016 Memorial Cup which is scheduled to be held in Red Deer, Alberta and be hosted by the Red Deer Rebels. All of the games will be held at the ENMAX Centrium. This will be the 98th Memorial Cup championship and will determine the champion of the Canadian Hockey League. The tournament wlll match up the champions of the three member leagues of the Canadian Hockey League (the Western Hockey League, the Ontario Hockey League, and the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and the host Red Deer Rebels.
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals
- Kingston Frontenacs defeated Oshawa Generals 4 games to 1 (6-0, 7-3, 5-4, 3-4 (ot), 6-0)
- Barrie Colts defeated Mississauga Steelheads 4 games to 3 (5-2, 3-6, 3-4 (ot), 6-5 (ot), 3-0, 0-7, 5-1)
- North Bay Battalion defeated Peterborough Petes 4 games to 3 (2-1, 3-5, 6-7 (ot), 2-0, 2-1 (ot), 5-7, 4-1)
- Niagara IceDogs defeated Ottawa 67's 4 games to 1 (5-4, 5-3, 2-4, 2-1 (ot), 5-2)
Western Conference Quarterfinals
- Erie Otters defeated Saginaw Spirit 4 games to none (5-1, 7-3, 6-3, 6-4)
- Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds defeated Sarnia Sting 4 games to 3 (6-3, 5-2, 2-5, 3-2 (ot), 1-5, 1-5, 4-3)
- London Knights defeated Owen Sound Attack 4 games to 2 (4-2, 0-2, 5-1, 8-5, 3-4 (ot), 6-2)
- Kitchener Rangers defeated Windsor Spitfires 4 games to 1 (6-5 (ot), 6-4, 2-1, 4-5 (ot), 5-2)
Eastern Conference Semifinals
- Niagara IceDogs defeated Kingston Frontenacs 4 games to none (3-1, 6-5 (ot), 3-2 (ot), 3-1)
- Barrie Colts defeated North Bay Battalion 4 games to none ( 5-2, 3-2 (ot), 4-2, 6-0)
Western Conference Semifinals
- Erie Otters defeated Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds 4 games to 1 (3-2 (ot), 3-1, 2-3, 5-2, 5-2)
- London Knights defeated Kitchener Rangers 4 games to none (6-3, 5-3, 2-1 (ot), 6-4)
Eastern Conference Final
Western Conference Final
- defeated Erie Otters 4 games to none (7-4, 6-1, 5-1, 5-1)