Canadian Major Junior Outline

Ontario Hockey League
Current season or competition:
2016-17 OHL Season
OHL Logo
Ontario Hockey League
Sport Ice hockey
Founded (1974 as OMJHL)1933
Commissioner Dave Branch
No. of teams 20
Country(ies) Flag of Canada.svg Canada (17 teams)
Flag of the United States United States (3 teams)
Most recent champion(s) Hamilton Bulldogs (2018)
Most championships Oshawa Generals13
TV partner(s) Rogers Sportsnet, Cogeco Sports, Rogers TV, TV Rogers, Shaw TV
Official website

OHL All-Star Game 2006 Opening Face Off. Game played in Belleville's Yardmen Arena. February 1st, 2006.

The Ontario Hockey League (OHL) 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 league was formed in 1933 with the partition of Junior A and B. In 1970, the OHA Junior A League was one of five Junior A leagues operating in Ontario. The OHA was promoted to Tier I Junior A for the 1970-71 season and took up the name Ontario Major Junior Hockey League. In 1980, the league walked away from Ontario Hockey Association governance with the creation of the Canadian Major Junior Hockey League and its direct affiliation with Hockey Canada.

From 1974 until 1978 (as the Ontario Major Junior Hockey League), Clarence "Tubby" Schmalz was the league's commissioner. Then, for one season (1978–79), former IHL commissioner Bill Beagan served as commissioner of the OMJHL. Beginning with the 1979-80 season, David Branch has been the Commissioner of the OHL (which became the league's official name prior to the 1981-82 season). Branch was appointed on August 11, 1979, and assumed the commissioner's role on September 17, 1979. 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; 18 are based in the Canadian province of Ontario,one team 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 three largest arenas in the OHL are Ottawa's TD Place Arena, London's Budweiser Gardens, and the FirstOntario Centre in Hamilton.


Junior age ice hockey in Ontario began in 1896, 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 teamsEdit

Ontario Hockey League
Eastern Conference
Division Team City Arena Capacity
East Hamilton Bulldogs Hamilton, Ontario, Canada FirstOntario Centre 17,383
Kingston Frontenacs Kingston, Ontario, Canada Rogers K-Rock Centre 5,614
Oshawa Generals Oshawa, Ontario, Canada Tribute Communities Centre 6,125
Ottawa 67's Ottawa, Ontario, Canada TD Place Arena 9,862
Peterborough Petes Peterborough, Ontario, Canada Peterborough Memorial Centre 4,329
Central Barrie Colts Barrie, Ontario, Canada Barrie Molson Centre 4,195
Mississauga Steelheads Mississauga, Ontario, Canada Hershey Centre 5,612
Niagara IceDogs St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada Meridian Centre 5,300
North Bay Battalion North Bay, Ontario, Canada North Bay Memorial Gardens 4,043
Sudbury Wolves Sudbury, Ontario, Canada Sudbury Community Arena 4,640
Western Conference
Division Team City Arena Capacity
Midwest Erie Otters Erie, Pennsylvania, USA Erie Insurance Arena 6,833
Guelph Storm Guelph, Ontario, Canada Sleeman Centre 4,715
Kitchener Rangers Kitchener, Ontario, Canada Kitchener Memorial Auditorium Complex 7,777
London Knights London, Ontario, Canada Budweiser Gardens 9,046
Owen Sound Attack Owen Sound, Ontario, Canada Harry Lumley Bayshore Community Centre 3,500
West Flint Firebirds Flint, Michigan, USA Dort Federal Credit Union Event Center 4,021
Saginaw Spirit Saginaw, Michigan, USA Dow Event Center 5,527
Sarnia Sting Sarnia, Ontario, Canada Progressive Auto Sales Arena 5,500
Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada Essar Centre 4,928
Windsor Spitfires Windsor, Ontario, Canada WFCU Centre 6,450

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 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.

Bell OHL All-Star ClassicEdit

The 2010 OHL All-Star Classic was be played at the K-Rock Centre in Kingston.  This was the final edition of the game.

OHL playoffs and Memorial CupEdit

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-7 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.

Memorial Cup championsEdit

The Memorial Cup has been captured 15 times by OHL/OHA teams since the tournament went to a 3-league format in 1972:

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

Priority SelectionEdit

The Priority Selection was first conducted the summer before the 1974–75 OMJHL season. It has been conducted annually since then. It is a selection of players aged 16 and 17 years old who are residents of the province of Ontario, the states of Michigan, Pennsylvania and New York, and other designated U.S. states.

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 RecordsEdit

Individual records

  • Most goals in a season: 87, Ernie Godden, 1980–81
  • 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 awardsEdit

Team Trophies
Executive Trophies
Player Trophies

External linksEdit

See alsoEdit

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