Friday, January 27, 2006

Ontario Hockey League Outlook

I guess with the NHL in full swing, a lot of the hockey writers, press, and fans seem to be ignoring the other hockey leagues. The AHL and CHL both reportedly experienced a minor growth of attention when the NHL shut down. So, in an effort to enforce my stand as a blog celebrating a vast interest in all things hockey and not just NHL, here's some thoughts on the Ontario Hockey League. My favorite teams, St. Mikes, Erie, and Mississauga, once enjoyed being on top are now settling towards the bottom of the league record-wise. I'm not going to capsule all the teams in the OHL, but here's a glance at my favorite teams. Feel free to offer your take on the OHL or other teams in the league on my comments section.

Erie is celebrating their 10 year anniversary from 1996 and are sporting a really awesome alternate jersey (which is currently #1 on my team jersey wish list). They stand in last place in the Midwest division after 47 games earning only 37 points. But their rough position doesn't quite count them out just yet. They are only 2 points out of the last qualifying position for the OHL playoffs.

St. Mikes may not be at the basement of their Central division, but they too aren't playing up to their potential given the past history of success. They've got 51 points after 47 games which is still well behind a strong Barrie Colts team. They also have yet to find an answer for London who dominated all last year.

I'm probably the only American who knows how to spell "Mississauga" correctly, and this community really loves their IceDogs. Owned by Oilers defenceman Chris Pronger, the IceDogs sit at the bottom of the Central division after 46 games and have traded players with Owen Sound and several others over the past couple of months. The one bright spot is the players who are being awarded player of the month and all star honors.

All three teams look to rebuild after losing a lot of players to the NHL draft. It will be interesting to see what the OHL will shape out to be this year. Will the London Knights again represent the OHL in the Canadian Hockey League's Memorial Cup Tournament?
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