If you’re a fan of ice hockey, you’ve likely heard of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL). The OHL is one of the three major junior ice hockey leagues that make up the Canadian Hockey League (CHL), and it’s considered one of the top junior leagues in the world. The league is made up of 20 teams, 17 of which are located in Ontario, Canada, with two in Michigan and one in Pennsylvania.
The OHL is a developmental league for young players aged 16-19, with a few exceptions for overage players up to 20 years old. The league’s primary goal is to develop players for the National Hockey League (NHL) by providing them with high-level competition and training. Many NHL stars, including Wayne Gretzky, Bobby Orr, and Steven Stamkos, got their start in the OHL.
The OHL has a rich history, with the league dating back to the early 1900s. Over the years, the league has produced many talented players and has become a major part of the hockey landscape in Ontario and beyond. Whether you’re a die-hard fan or just getting into the sport, the OHL is definitely worth keeping an eye on.
History of the Ontario Hockey League
The Ontario Hockey League (OHL) is one of the three major junior ice hockey leagues that make up the Canadian Hockey League. The OHL has a long and storied history, dating back to the early days of junior ice hockey in Ontario.
In 1892, the Ontario Hockey Association (OHA) was formed to oversee amateur ice hockey in the province. Over the years, the OHA grew and evolved, eventually becoming the governing body for junior ice hockey in Ontario.
In 1970, the OHA Junior A League was divided into two levels: Tier I (Major Junior A) and Tier II (Minor Junior A). The OHA was promoted to Tier I Junior A for the 1970-71 season and took up the name Ontario Major Junior Hockey League (OMJHL). In 1974, the “Major Junior A” division of the OHA became the Ontario Major Junior Hockey League (OMJHL) and began to operate independently of the OHA.
Finally, in 1980, the OMJHL became the Ontario Hockey League (OHL). Today, the OHL is one of the premier junior ice hockey leagues in the world, with 20 teams spread across Ontario, Michigan, and Pennsylvania.
The OHL has produced countless NHL players over the years, including Wayne Gretzky, Bobby Orr, Eric Lindros, and John Tavares. The league is also a major feeder system for Hockey Canada, with many OHL players going on to represent Canada at the international level.
Teams in the Ontario Hockey League
The Ontario Hockey League (OHL) is one of the three major junior ice hockey leagues in Canada. The league is made up of 20 teams, with 17 based in Ontario, two in Michigan, and one in Pennsylvania. The league is for players aged 16-19, with exceptions for overage players of 20 years of age.
The majority of the teams in the OHL are based in Canada, with 14 teams in Southern Ontario and three teams in Northern Ontario. Some of the Canadian teams in the league include:
- Kingston Frontenacs
- Oshawa Generals
- Ottawa 67’s
- Peterborough Petes
- Barrie Colts
- Mississauga Steelheads
- Niagara IceDogs
- North Bay Battalion
- Sudbury Wolves
- Erie Otters
- Guelph Storm
- Kitchener Rangers
- London Knights
- Owen Sound Attack
The OHL also has two teams based in Michigan and one team based in Pennsylvania. These teams play against the Canadian teams in the league. Some of the American teams in the league include:
- Saginaw Spirit
- Sarnia Sting
- Flint Firebirds
Structure of the Ontario Hockey League
The Ontario Hockey League (OHL) is a major junior ice hockey league in Canada with 20 teams. In this section, we will discuss the structure of the OHL, including its division breakdown and playoff structure.
The OHL is divided into three divisions: the Eastern Conference, the Central Conference, and the Western Conference. Each conference is further divided into two divisions, making a total of six divisions. The division breakdown is as follows:
- East Division: Hamilton Bulldogs, Kingston Frontenacs, Oshawa Generals, Peterborough Petes, and the Niagara IceDogs.
- Central Division: Barrie Colts, Mississauga Steelheads, North Bay Battalion, and the Sudbury Wolves.
- Midwest Division: Erie Otters, Flint Firebirds, Guelph Storm, Kitchener Rangers, and the London Knights.
- West Division: Owen Sound Attack, Saginaw Spirit, Sarnia Sting, and the Windsor Spitfires.
- West Division: Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds, Soo Greyhounds, and the Saginaw Spirit.
- Midwest Division: Flint Firebirds, Guelph Storm, Kitchener Rangers, and the London Knights.
The OHL playoffs consist of 16 teams, with the top eight teams from each conference qualifying. The playoffs are divided into four rounds, with each series being a best-of-seven. The winner of each series advances to the next round until the J. Ross Robertson Cup is awarded to the OHL champions.
The OHL champions then advance to the Memorial Cup, along with the champions of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and the Western Hockey League. The Memorial Cup is a round-robin tournament that determines the national champion of junior A hockey in Canada.
Throughout the regular season, teams earn points based on wins and losses. The standings are used to determine playoff seeding and home-ice advantage in each series.
That’s the structure of the Ontario Hockey League.
Prominent Figures and Teams
The Ontario Hockey League (OHL) has produced many prominent figures in ice hockey, including players and coaches. Some of the most notable players who have played in the OHL include Wayne Gretzky, who played for the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds, and Bobby Orr, who played for the Oshawa Generals. Other notable players include Eric Lindros, who played for the Oshawa Generals, and John Tavares, who played for the Oshawa Generals and the London Knights.
In addition to notable players, the OHL has also had many successful teams. Some of the most successful teams in OHL history include the Cornwall Royals, who won three Memorial Cup championships in the 1980s, the Toronto Marlboros, who won seven Memorial Cup championships between 1955 and 1967, and the London Knights, who have won four Memorial Cup championships since 2005.
Other successful teams in OHL history include the Guelph Biltmore Mad Hatters, who won the Memorial Cup in 1952, the St. Catharines Teepees, who won the Memorial Cup in 1954 and 1956, and the Montreal Junior Canadiens, who won the Memorial Cup in 1970.
The OHL also has several individual awards that are given out each year, including the Red Tilson Trophy, which is awarded to the OHL’s most outstanding player, and the Eddie Powers Memorial Trophy, which is awarded to the OHL’s leading scorer.
Venues in the Ontario Hockey League
The Ontario Hockey League (OHL) is a major junior ice hockey league in Canada and the United States. It comprises 20 teams, with 17 in Ontario, two in Michigan, and one in Pennsylvania. These teams play their home games in various arenas across these regions.
One of the most popular venues in the league is the Budweiser Gardens in London, Ontario. It is the home of the London Knights and can seat up to 9,100 spectators. The arena is known for its state-of-the-art facilities, including luxury suites, a club lounge, and a video scoreboard.
Another notable venue in the OHL is the Erie Insurance Arena in Erie, Pennsylvania. This arena is home to the Erie Otters and can hold up to 6,833 fans. The arena’s facilities include a video scoreboard, a club lounge, and luxury suites.
Some OHL teams play their home games in high schools or colleges. For example, the TD Place Arena in Ottawa, Ontario, is located on the campus of Carleton University and is the home of the Ottawa 67’s. Similarly, the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium Complex in Kitchener, Ontario, is located on the campus of Kitchener-Waterloo Collegiate and Vocational School and is the home of the Kitchener Rangers.
Other OHL teams play their home games in community centers, such as the Harry Lumley Bayshore Community Centre in Owen Sound, Ontario. This arena is home to the Owen Sound Attack and can hold up to 3,500 spectators. It is known for its intimate atmosphere and is a popular venue for local hockey fans.
Media and the Ontario Hockey League
The Ontario Hockey League (OHL) has a strong media presence, with coverage from both traditional and digital media outlets. The league’s official website, ontariohockeyleague.com, provides comprehensive coverage of all OHL teams, including up-to-date statistics, standings, and news. The website also offers live streaming of games through OHL Live, a subscription-based service that allows fans to watch games online.
In addition to the official website, the OHL has partnerships with various media outlets to provide coverage of the league. The OHL All-Star Game, for example, is broadcasted on television by Cogeco Sports, a regional sports network that covers Ontario and Quebec. The game is also broadcasted on radio by various stations across the province.
The OHL also has a strong social media presence, with accounts on all major platforms including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. The league uses social media to share news, highlights, and behind-the-scenes content, as well as to engage with fans and promote the league.
Ontario Hockey League and the Community
The Ontario Hockey League (OHL) is not just a league for young players to develop their skills in ice hockey. It is also an active member of the community, working with various organizations to promote and support local initiatives.
The OHL and its teams participate in a variety of community outreach programs, including hospital visits, charity events, and youth hockey clinics. They also partner with local businesses and organizations to support fundraising efforts, such as auctions and raffles, to raise money for important causes.
In Northern Ontario, the OHL has a significant presence with two teams, the Sudbury Wolves and the North Bay Battalion. These teams are actively involved in the community, supporting local charities, and participating in community events. The Wolves, for example, have a program called “Wolves Care,” which focuses on supporting local charities and community organizations.
The Battalion, on the other hand, has a program called “Battalion Buddies,” which allows young fans to meet and interact with players.
The OHL also recognizes the importance of education and provides opportunities for players to continue their studies while playing hockey. The league has a scholarship program that provides financial assistance to players who wish to pursue post-secondary education. This program helps players to prepare for their future careers, both on and off the ice.
Overall, the OHL is an integral part of the communities in which it operates. Its commitment to community outreach, education, and local initiatives demonstrates its dedication to supporting and improving the lives of those around it.