|League:||Ontario Hockey League|
|Home Arena:||General Motors Centre|
|Colours:|| Red, white and blue |
|Head Coach:||Bob Jones|
|General Manager:||Roger Hunt|
|Affiliate(s):|| Bowmanville Eagles|
The Oshawa Generals are a junior ice hockey team in the Ontario Hockey League. They are based in Oshawa, Ontario. The team is named for General Motors, an early sponsor which has its Canadian headquarters in Oshawa. The Generals are one of the most successful franchises in Canadian Hockey League history. Its 166 graduates to the National Hockey League are second only to the Peterborough Petes. The Generals have also won the Memorial Cup four times, and a record twelve Ontario Hockey League Championships, the J. Ross Robertson Cup.
The Generals have two distinct eras in their history. The original Generals operated from 1937 to 1953. The team went on a hiatus from 1953 to 1962 due to a fire at the Hambly Arena. The team was resurrected in 1962. Famous alumni of the Generals include Hockey Hall of Famers Bobby Orr and Alex Delvecchio, as well as Eric Lindros, Rick Middleton and Tony Tanti. Current NHL players Marc Savard, Jason Arnott, Ben Eager, Nathan Horton,Cal Clutterbuck, Michael Del Zotto, and John Tavares are also Oshawa Generals alumni.
Early years (1908–1937)
Prior to 1908, Oshawa belonged to the Midland Hockey League. It competed against other teams from Whitby, Bowmanville, Port Hope and Cobourg. The first Oshawa team in the Ontario Hockey Association junior division began play in the 1908–1909 season, known as the Oshawa Shamrocks. Ed Bradley, a prominent local businessman was responsible for organizing the team and bringing junior hockey to Oshawa and was the team's manager for the next 13 seasons.
Success came early to the team reaching the semifinals in 1909. In the 1920s the team enjoyed many successful years, battling against Orillia and Owen Sound. In June 1928, Bradley's Arena burnt to the ground. The team relocated to Whitby until the new Oshawa Arena was built for 1930.
In the early 1930s the team became known as the Oshawa Majors. The Majors won the OHA title in 1935 versus the Kitchener Greenshirts, and went on to play the Northern Ontario champion Sudbury Cub Wolves. In a protest by Kitchener, the title was taken away from Oshawa while games were already underway with Sudbury.
In 1936, different sources name the team as the Majors, the Red Devils, and the Junior G-Men. This team coached by Bill Hancock and managed by Matt Leyden played the season against St. Michael's College, University of Toronto, Toronto Young Rangers, Toronto Marlboros, Toronto Native Sons and the Toronto Lions.
OHA dynasty (1937–1944)
In 1937 the Oshawa Generals were born. The team was named after the sponsor, General Motors of Canada. The Generals put together an unequalled feat of seven consecutive OHA Championships, and winning three Memorial Cups in the same span.
The Generals grew a reputation for treating its players well and signed many young men who would go on to NHL fame. Players were admitted free to theatres, dancing, wrestling, roller skating and other attractions at the arena. Sponsors gave full scholarships to school and weekly stipends. Through the whole dynasty, the team was managed by Matt Leyden, and its secretary was Neil Hezzlewood. Both men would be inducted in the Oshawa Sports Hall of fame.
From 1937 to 1944, Oshawa Generals graduated 20 players to become NHL alumni, and another player in David Bauer, who would be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in the Builder's Category. NHL alumni from 1937–1944 include; Frank Bennett, Harvey Bennett, Les Colvin, Jim Conacher, Floyd Curry, Buck Davies, Bob Dawes, Jim Drummond, Frank Eddolls, Bill Ezinicki, Armand (Bep) Guidolin, Nick Knott, Ted Lindsay, Jud McAtee, Norm McAtee, Gus Mortson, Chuck Scherza, Ken Smith, Billy "The Kid" Taylor and Wally Wilson.
The fire (1953)
In September 1953 a great tragedy struck in Oshawa when Hambly's Arena burned down. The city and the team lost what had become greatly endeared to themselves; their memories, their arena, and their OHA team.
Donations poured in from many fellow OHA teams and local businessmen. Equipment and other items were dispersed to the all the players attending the training camp to cover individual losses. The Generals, homeless so close to the start of the new season, were unfortunately disbanded.
Salvaged from the disbanded team, General Manager Wren Blair made a Senior B team known as the Oshawa Truckmen, who played in Bowmanville for the 1953–1954 season. The year after, this team would become the Whitby Dunlops. The Dunlops would go on to be Allan Cup Champions in 1957 & 1959, and World Champions in 1958.
Rebirth of the Generals (1962)
In 1960, Wren Blair began negotiations with Boston Bruins president Weston Adams to begin building the new Oshawa Generals. The agreement was made contingent on a new arena being built in Oshawa. The Oshawa Civic Auditorium would open up in 1964.
In the meantime, the Oshawa Generals were reactivated for the 1962–1963 as a team playing in the Metro Junior A League. For this year, the team played its home games at Maple Leaf Gardens. Fundraising for a new arena was well under way at the same time.
The Generals wore red, white and blue jerseys until the 1965–66 season when they adopted the black, gold and white of their parent team, the Boston Bruins.
In 1963 the Metro Junior A league was disbanded, and Oshawa was readmitted in the OHA. Since the Toronto Marlboros used Maple Leaf Gardens as a home rink, the Generals team played out of nearby Bowmanville for one full season, and part of another.
Bobby Orr years (1962–1966)
Bobby Orr was discovered by Wren Blair as a 14 year old while playing a game in Gananoque, Ontario. He was quickly signed to a contract and invited to training camp for the 1962–1963 season. He would commute three hours from Parry Sound for all weekend games he played with the Generals that year. Even so, he was selected to the Metro Junior A League's second all-star team.
During the 1963–64 season (his first full season in Junior A hockey), Bobby Orr scored 29 goals to break the record for most goals by a defenceman, previously held by Jacques Laperrière. Orr was also selected as a first team all-star defenceman.
During the 1964–1965 season, the Oshawa Generals moved into their new home at the Oshawa Civic Auditorium. Bobby Orr broke his own record, scoring 34 goals this season.
The 1965–1966 season would see Oshawa's return to the Memorial Cup after a 22 years. The Generals were coached that year by former alumnus, Armand "Bep" Guidolin, who played for Oshawa in the 1942 Memorial Cup, and subsequently made the Boston Bruins of the NHL as a 16 year old. Team captain, Bobby Orr scored 38 goals during the season.
The Generals would defeat their bitter rivals, the St. Catharines Blackhawks in quarter-finals, before eliminating the Montreal Junior Canadiens in semi-finals, and winning the J. Ross Robertson Cup as OHA CHAMPIONS versus the Kitchener Rangers.
The Generals then outscored the Northern Ontario Junior A champion North Bay Trappers by a combined score of 43-9 to win the series in 4 games, and then defeated Shawinigan Bruins in 3 games to be the Eastern Canadian representative for the Memorial Cup.
In the Memorial Cup series Orr played injured through most games, but the team played hard only to lose to Edmonton Oil Kings in 6 games.
After the season ended, many players graduated from the team and moved on. Bobby Orr would go on to the Bruins for next season. Wren Blair would become General Manager of the Minnesota North Stars. Coach Bep Guidolin returned to coaching in Thorold.
9th championship (1983)
After many dismal seasons through the late 1960s and 1970s the Generals started to rebuild for the Memorial Cup. In 1979 the Generals hired coach Paul Theriault, who would lead the team to 9 consecutive winning seasons, including two Memorial Cup appearances.
In 1983 the Generals returned to the Memorial Cup after a 17 year absence, defeating the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds for their 9th J. Ross Robertson Cup. The Memorial Cup that year would be played in Portland, Oregon. The Generals lost in the finals to the host team Portland Winter Hawks in the final game by a score of 8-3. That year's team captain, Joe Cirella, would go on to play 16 years as an NHL defenceman.
Tragedy on the Generals (1985)
During an early season practice, Bruce Melanson left the ice feeling very weak. Within a few minutes he collapsed, succumbing to a rare heart disease known as Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome. Bruce was 18 years old.
The Generals would wear black arm bands for the remainder of the season in memoriam of their teammate they nicknamed "Moose." The club would also no longer issue his uniform # 9. A memorial scholarship was set up at his former high school in New Brunswick.
Melanson's hard hitting and aggressive style led him to be selected by New York Islanders in the second round (41st overall) in the 1984 NHL Entry Draft.
Hosting the Memorial Cup (1987)
The 1986–1987 season saw the Generals set a team record with 101 points for the season. It would also see the Generals playing on home ice in the Memorial Cup, as the host city and as the OHL Champions.
In 1987 the OHL organized a Super Series for the right to host the Memorial Cup tournament between the Leyden Division champion Oshawa Generals, and the Emms Division champion North Bay Centennials. The super series was played before the OHL playoffs commenced. Oshawa defeated North Bay 4 games to 3 for the right to host the Memorial Cup. Oshawa also won the OHL championship series defeating North Bay 4 games to 3. Since Oshawa won both the Super Series and the OHL Championship, only three teams participated in the Memorial Cup
Oshawa reached the finals versus the Medicine Hat Tigers, but lost 6-2 in the championship game.
Eric Lindros years (1989–1991)
Eric Lindros came to the Generals via a trade with the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds. He refused to play for the team which made him the first overall draft pick, an event which would bring prosperity to both hockey clubs in the near future.
After playing the Canadian National Team, Lindros started his rookie year with the Generals in 1989–1990. In only 25 games he would score 17 goals, and get 19 assists for 36 points. The same year in the playoffs, Eric scored 18 goals and 18 assists in only 17 games. It was the extra boost the Generals needed to reach the Memorial Cup, when added to the existing core of players captained by Iain Fraser.
In 1990 Copps Coliseum hosted the Memorial Cup. The Generals would compete against the Kamloops Blazers, Laval Titan, and OHL runners-up Kitchener Rangers. The championship game on May 13, 1990 attracted 17,383 spectators. The Oshawa Generals defeated the Kitchener Rangers by a score of 4 to 3 in double overtime on a goal by Bill Armstrong to win the 4th Memorial Cup in Oshawa Generals history.
The 1990–1991 season had many high expectation for the Generals to repeat as Champions. Lindros would be chosen first overall in the NHL draft by the Quebec Nordiques. In 57 regular season game he would score 71 goals and 78 assists. As ironic as sports can be, the Generals lost the OHL final that year to Eric's draft team, the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds coached by Ted Nolan.
12th championship (1997)
The Generals would set the benchmark for other OHL teams by winning their 12th J. Ross Roberston cup in 1997. The most recent championship the Generals won was played at the Oshawa Civic Auditorium Tuesday, May 6, 1997.
The Generals upset the 1st place Ottawa 67's in the OHL final, 4 games to 2. The sixth game ended 8 seconds into the first overtime on a goal from Marc Savard.
New ownership (2004 to present)
In 2004, John Davies purchased the team from the previous owner John Humphreys. This marked the beginning of a new era for the team, as the Humphreys family had owned the team since its resurrection in 1962. In July 2008 the Oshawa generals announced a change of ownership structure with Rocco Tullio of Windsor Ontario agreeing to terms and conditions with John Davies to acquire his remaining shares of the Oshawa Generals. Tullio then welcomed two new partners as owners – former National Hockey League star Adam Graves and former OHL coach and manager Peter DeBoer.
New ownership brought new personnel to the management team. Trish Campbell was appointed the team president, and Brad Selwood was named general manager and vice president. Oshawa finished last place in the OHL in a rebuilding 2004–05 season, and chose first overall in the priority selection draft next season.
In 2005 the Oshawa Generals drafted a 14 year old named John Tavares. He was granted exceptional player status by the OHL allowing him to be drafted one year earlier than normal. The Generals hope to build another championship team, centred around Tavares. Recent building blocks added to the team include Dale Mitchell, Cal Clutterbuck, Brett MacLean, and one of the youngest players in the OHL, goaltender Anthony Peters. John Tavares was traded to the London Knights on January 8, 2009.
The new ownership also brought to an end the Generals era playing in the Civic Auditorium. Led by Mayor John Gray, the Generals were able to call a new arena in downtown Oshawa their home (the General Motors Centre). The team moved into the General Motors Centre on November 1, 2006, and played the inaugural game there November 3, 2006.
Hamilton Spectator Trophy
J. Ross Robertson Cup
Ontario Hockey League Championship
George Richardson Memorial Trophy
Eastern Canadian Championship
Canadian Hockey League Championship
The Oshawa Generals have had several coaches who have also coached in the NHL as head coaches and assistant coaches. Those of note are Charlie Conacher, Armand (Bep) Guidolin, Bill White, Paul Theriault, Bill LaForge, Bill Stewart, George Burnett, Brad Selwood and Randy Ladouceur.
- Coaches of the year;
Matt Leyden Trophy winners.
List of coaches
(Multiple seasons in parentheses)
The Oshawa Generals have graduated 166 young men onto the NHL, third behind the Toronto Marlboros and the Peterborough Petes. Five of those players have been enshrined in the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Red Tilson Trophy
Eddie Powers Memorial Trophy
OHL Goaltender of the Year
Jim Mahon Memorial Trophy
Jack Ferguson Award
Dave Pinkney Trophy
Emms Family Award
F. W. "Dinty" Moore Trophy
William Hanley Trophy
Leo Lalonde Memorial Trophy
Bobby Smith Trophy
The Oshawa Generals retired # 9 in honour of Red Tilson at a pregame Remembrance Day ceremony on November 11, 2006. Tilson was the league's leading scorer in 1942–43, who died during combat in World War II. The Red Tilson Trophy for the OHL's most outstanding player, is named in his honour. Eric Lindros' # 88 was retired on March 6, 2008. Bobby Orr's # 2 was officially retired on November 27, 2008, after having been out of circulation since Orr moved onto the NHL in 1966.
- # 2 Bobby Orr (1963–1966) Hockey Hall of Famer.
- # 9 Red Tilson (1941–1943)
- # 88 Eric Lindros (1989–1992)
- Honoured numbers
Bruce Melanson was last player to wear # 9. It was taken out of circulation after his death, then later retired for Red Tilson.
- # 9 Bruce Melanson (1983–1985) Died during season.
Hockey Hall of Fame members
List of Oshawa Generals alumni to play in the National Hockey League.
|Team records for a single season|
|Most goals for||382||1990–91|
|Least goals for||138||1966–67|
|Least goals against||201||1986–87|
|Most goals against||444||1976–77|
|Individual player records for a single season|
|Most goals||Tony Tanti||81||1980–81|
|Most assists||Scott McCrory||99||1986–87|
|Most points||Tony Tanti and Scott McCrory||150||1980–81; 1986–87|
|Most points, rookie||Tony Tanti||150||1980–81|
|Most points, defenceman||Bobby Orr||94||1965–66|
|Best GAA (goalie)||Dan Turple||2.64||2003–04|
|Goalies = minimum 1500 minutes played|
|Single game records|
|Statistic||Player(s)||Total||Date & opponent|
|Most goals||Tony Tanti||6||January 18, 1981, vs. Kitchener|
|Most assists||Chuck Durocher||7||November 26, 1976, vs. S.S.Marie|
|Most points||Tony Tanti||8||January 18, 1981, vs. Kitchener|
|Most power play goals||Tony Tanti||4||January 18, 1981, vs. Kitchener|
|Most shorthanded goals||10 times||2||Most recently John Tavares, February 25, 2006, @ S.S.Marie|
|Fastest opening goal||Paul Gardner||0:05||February 13, 1976, @ Kitchener|
|Fastest period goal||Ryan Lindsay||0:06||November 1, 1996, vs. North Bay - 3rd Period|
|Fastest goal from start of overtime||Brett Trudell||0:04||September 26, 2004, vs. Mississauga|
|Fastest two goals by one player||Greg Malone||0:04||October 22, 1974, - 3rd period|
|Fastest three goals by one player||Peter Horachek||2:54||October 14, 1979, vs. Kitchener - 3rd period|
- Regular season
The Oshawa Generals have won 3 Hamilton Spectator trophies for finishing first overall in the OHL regular season standings, and 3 Leyden trophies for finishing first overall in the eastern division OHL regular season standings.
The Oshawa Generals have won 12 J. Ross Robertson Cups as the OHL / OHA playoff champions, and won 4 Memorial Cups as the CHL / CAHA champions.
Uniforms and logos
The current version of the Oshawa Generals uniforms has been in use since the 1989–90 season. The team has announced an updated logo to coincide with moving into a new arena. The new logo cresting will be triple layered as opposed to the single layer. Players' names and numbers with have double cresting. Currently, only a white and red version have been released.
- Uniform colours: White, red & blue.
- Logo design: "Oshawa" written in red script with "GENERALS" underscore
- 1st jersey Red background, white & blue lettering & stripes, with logo.
- 2nd jersey White background, red & blue lettering & stripes, with logo.
The Oshawa Generals have also issued two throwback style jerseys in the recent past. During alumni week for the 2001–02 season, the Generals wore a jersey based on the 'Bruins" style worn in the 1965–66 season, when Bobby Orr skated for the club. For two seasons from 2004–05 to 2005–06 the Generals "red" jersey was replaced by a jersey based on the style worn during the 1939, 1940 and 1944 Memorial Cup winning seasons, featuring the square "GM" logo.
The Generals unvelied a new mascot during a pregame ceremony on November 16, 2007, who would be named "Deke" in a naming contest in Oshawa. The previous mascot, "General Shooter" had been retired at the end of the 2006–07 season.
The Oshawa Generals have the dubious distinction of having their home arena destroyed by fire not once, but twice in the franchise history. In June 1928 the Bradley Arena was destroyed by fire. Then 25 years later, the Hambly Arena was also destroyed by fire.
From 1928–1930 the team played out of nearby Whitby until the Hambly Arena was constructed. When the Hambly Arena burned down in 1953 the Oshawa Generals were disbanded. When the team was resurrected in 1962 they played both at Maple Leaf Gardens and also in the Bowmanville Community Arena (now demolished) for two seasons until moving until the Civic Auditorium.
The early years
Before Oshawa joined the OHA in 1908, it was part of the Midland Hockey League. Its games were played out of the Oshawa Curling Club located by the Oshawa Creek in the vicinity of present day Valleyview Gardens, Kinsmen Stadium and Children's Arena. Since the curling club controlled its use and thus when games could or could not be played, a new location was sought.
A new outdoor rink was built 4 blocks away, where the present day Oshawa Armouries stand at the corner of Simcoe St. and Richmond St. This would be the team's home until 1908.
Bradley Arena 1908–1928
The Bradley Arena, nicknamed "The Big Rink" opened up in 1908 on Duke St. in downtown Oshawa. Its namesake was Ed Bradley, a prominent local businessman who was responsible for organizing the team and bringing Junior Hockey to Oshawa.
The arena was packed to the rafters many nights when Oshawa played there for the 1920s league championships versus Orillia and Owen Sound. In June 1928, the predominantly wooden structure succumbed to an overnight fire.
Hambly Arena 1930–1953
The Oshawa Arena (later known as the Hambly Arena) opened in 1930 and was built in large part to the contributions of Colonel Robert Samuel McLaughlin. It was the first brick facade and steel support structure for hockey in Oshawa. Shortly after training camp in 1953, the arena would suffer the same demise as its predecessor and burned to the ground on September 15.
Civic Auditorium 1964–2006
The Oshawa Civic Auditorium opened in 1964, built on fundraising by citizens of Oshawa. The first scheduled OHA game was December 15, 1964 vs. the St. Catharines Black Hawks. The Generals prevailed by a score of 6 to 4 in front of 4,109 fans attending the game.
In 1987 the Civic Auditorium played host to the Memorial Cup. The Generals contested for the cup against the Medicine Hat Tigers and the Longueiul Chévaliers.
The last championship the Generals won was played at the Civic in May 1997. The Generals upset the 1st place Ottawa 67's in the OHL final, 4 games to 2. The sixth game ended 8 seconds into the first overtime on a goal from Marc Savard.
The Generals played the first five home games of the 2006–07 season in the Civic Auditorium before moving into their new arena. The final game played was October 29, 2006 versus the Kingston Frontenacs, the Generals won 8 to 6.
General Motors Centre 2006–Present
On March 10, 2005, Oshawa City Council approved what was then known as the "Downtown Sports & Entertainment Facility Project" after many years of waiting for a new arena. Groundbreaking for the new facility at the corner of Athol and Mary Streets in downtown Oshawa took place on June 22, 2005. The building will be operated by Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment.
On October 5, 2006, the Oshawa Generals announced a naming rights deal which will see the arena named the General Motors Centre. The inaugural game was played November 3, 2006, against the Owen Sound Attack.
- Babe Brown, Bobby Attersley, and Bill Kurelo (1978). A History of the Oshawa Generals, Volume One. Chimo Publishing; Toronto, ON, Canada.
- Babe Brown, and Bill Kurelo (1993). A History of the Oshawa Generals, Volume Two. General Printers; Oshawa, ON, Canada.
- Richard M. Lapp and Alex Macaulay (1997) The Memorial Cup: Canada's National Junior Hockey Championship. Harbour Publishing; Madeira Park, BC, Canada.
- www.oshawagenerals.com Official web site
- Ontario Hockey League Official web site
- Canadian Hockey League Official web site
- Gens Firm The Official fan club web site
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