ONTARIO JUNIOR HOCKEY LEAGUE REACHES DECOMMISSIONING GOAL
“Brampton Capitals, Huntsville Otters, Vaughan Vipers bring total reduction to 13 teams over the past 3 seasons”
March 9, 2012, Mississauga, Ontario - The Board of Directors of the Ontario Junior Hockey League (OJHL) announced today the continuation of the league-wide strategy aimed at reducing the number of teams within the league. Each of the Brampton Capitals, Huntsville Otters and Vaughan Vipers has agreed to
decommission its operations effective immediately. This latest announcement by the OJHL brings the total number of OJHL teams that have decommissioned or merged since the 2009-2010 season to 13.
Two seasons ago, the league reduced its membership by 5 to 31 member clubs. Last season, the league was successful in reducing that number by 4 to 27 clubs. This year’s process, which is ongoing, has allowed the league to further contract from 27 to 24 teams.
The 13 team reduction is unprecedented in many ways and represents a 35% reduction in the number of OJHL member clubs since the end of the 2008-09 season.
The OJHL Board of Governors made a unified commitment in 2009 to improve the quality of play within the league and to increase its sustainability by developing an extensive and voluntary contraction program, which gave teams the option to participate.
“The OJHL Board of Governors entered this process three years ago with a very aggressive goal to reduce its membership by 13 to 15 clubs and the league has now accomplished that goal with our most recent decommissioning,” said OJHL Commissioner Marty Savoy.
“The Board would like to thank the Ontario Hockey Association, the Ontario Hockey Federation and the Canadian Junior Hockey League for their unwavering support throughout the entire process. Not only has this process had a significant impact on the level of play and competition across the OJHL, but the trickle-down effect has materially improved junior hockey across Ontario at the Junior ‘B’, ‘C’ and ‘D’ levels, as well as at the Midget level, which was an integral part of the goal set out by our Board of Governors three years ago,” stated Savoy.
The Ownership of the Brampton Capitals released this statement regarding the contraction, “The Ownership Group of the Brampton Capitals regretfully announces today that it is decommissioning the long standing/storied Junior ‘A’ hockey franchise. This decision was not taken lightly and was very difficult to make. The Brampton Capitals wish to extend thanks to all of the past and present players, dedicated coaches and staff, generous volunteers and sponsors, the City of Brampton and especially the fans throughout the years. In particular, we wish to express sincere gratitude to Jimmy Doig, the "Voice of the Capitals" and Edna Pearce, the Brampton Capitals' most dedicated and longstanding fan.”
“It has been a difficult acceptance for the Otters' organization to be contracted by the OJHL”, said Huntsville
Co-Owner Jason Armstrong. “We would like to thank the league for its support and we are confident this opportunity will open new doors to a better fit for Junior hockey in Muskoka.”
“The Vipers would like to thank all those that have supported the team over the years, and this decision was not an easy one, as it has seen players move on the NHL, NCAA, CIS and other pro leagues," stated Al Doria, one of the Vaughan owners and a member of the league's Board of Directors.
Further announcements regarding the OJHL’s voluntary contraction program may follow in due course after the expiry of the final phase on March 17, 2012.
"Both the Ontario Hockey Association and the Ontario Junior Hockey League recognized the fact that in 2009 there were too many Junior teams at the ‘A’ level within the OHA," stated OHA President Brent Ladds. "The OJHL is the highest level of Junior competition under the auspices of the OHA and we applaud and fully endorse the herculean efforts of the OJHL Board of Governors to improve the quality of operations and play."
“The OJHL Board of Governors remains committed to taking all steps necessary to ensure the OJHL is the Junior ‘A’ “League of Choice” and by reaching our aggressive goal of reducing the league by 13 teams over a three-year period is demonstrable evidence of this unparalleled commitment in sport”, stated OJHL Chairman Scott McCrory.
“As Governors of the largest Junior ‘A’ league in the country, we are unified in our collective desire to be the best level of competition at the Junior ‘A’ level in Canada - for our players, our members of staff, the communities we play in and the fans and sponsors that support us, as well as the recruiters who look to the OJHL as a great source for prospects in building their respective hockey programs,” McCrory said.
About the OJHL
The Ontario Junior Hockey League is the largest Junior ‘A’ league operating under the auspices of the Canadian Junior Hockey League with 27 member clubs. Originally named the Ontario Provincial Junior ‘A’ Hockey League, it was formed out of the Central Junior ‘B’ Hockey League in 1993-94. With a long and storied history of developing players for the next level, including the CIS, NCAA, CHL, Minor Pro ranks and the NHL, the OJHL had more than 140 commitments in 2010-11, including 58 NCAA Division I scholarships.
For further information:
Ontario Junior Hockey League