Los Angeles Kings
The Los Angeles Kings are a professional ice hockey team based in Los Angeles. They are members of the Pacific Division of the Western Conference of the National Hockey League; the team was founded on June 5, 1967, after Jack Kent Cooke was awarded an NHL expansion franchise for Los Angeles on February 9, 1966, becoming one of the six teams that began play as part of the 1967 NHL expansion. The Kings played their home games at The Forum in Inglewood, California, a suburb of Los Angeles, for thirty-two years, until they moved to the Staples Center in Downtown Los Angeles at the start of the 1999–2000 season. During the 1970s and early 1980s, the Kings had many years marked by impressive play in the regular season only to be washed out by early playoff exits, their highlights in those years included the strong goaltending of Rogie Vachon, the "Triple Crown Line" of Charlie Simmer, Dave Taylor and Hall of Fame player Marcel Dionne, who had a famous upset of the uprising Edmonton Oilers in a 1982 playoff game known as the Miracle on Manchester.
In 1988, the Kings traded with the Oilers to get their captain Wayne Gretzky, leading to a successful phase of the franchise that raised hockey's popularity in Los Angeles, helped raise the sport's profile in the American Sun Belt region. Gretzky, fellow Hall of Famer Luc Robitaille and defenseman Rob Blake led the Kings to the franchise's sole division title in 1990–91, the Kings' first Stanley Cup Final appearance in 1993. After the 1993 Finals, the Kings entered financial problems, with a bankruptcy in 1995, which led to the franchise being acquired by Philip Anschutz and Edward P. Roski. A period of mediocrity ensued, with the Kings only resurging as they broke a six-year playoff drought in the 2009–10 season, with a team that included goaltender Jonathan Quick, defenseman Drew Doughty, forwards Dustin Brown, Anze Kopitar and Justin Williams. Under coach Darryl Sutter, hired early in the 2011–12 season, the Kings won two Stanley Cups in three years: 2012, over the New Jersey Devils, 2014, against the New York Rangers while Quick and Williams won the Conn Smythe Trophy.
When the NHL decided to expand for the 1967–68 season amid rumblings that the Western Hockey League was proposing to turn itself into a major league and compete for the Stanley Cup, Canadian entrepreneur Jack Kent Cooke paid the NHL $2 million to place one of the six expansion teams in Los Angeles. Following a fan contest to name the team, Cooke chose the name Kings because he wanted his club to take on "an air of royalty," and picked the original team colors of purple and gold because they were colors traditionally associated with royalty; the same color scheme was worn by the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association, which Cooke owned. Cooke wanted his new NHL team to play in the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena, home of the Lakers, but the Los Angeles Coliseum Commission, which manages the Sports Arena and the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum to the present day, had entered into an agreement with the WHL's Los Angeles Blades to play their games at the Sports Arena. Frustrated by his dealings with the Coliseum Commission, Cooke said, "I am going to build my own arena...
I've had enough of this balderdash."Construction on Cooke's new arena, the Forum, was not yet complete when the 1967–68 season began, so the Kings opened their first season at the Long Beach Arena in the neighboring city of Long Beach on October 14, 1967, defeating another expansion team, the Philadelphia Flyers, 4–2. The "Fabulous Forum" opened its doors on December 30, 1967, with the Kings being shut out by the Flyers, 2–0. While the first two seasons had the Kings qualifying for the playoffs, afterwards poor management led the Kings into hard times; the general managers established a history of trading away first-round draft picks for veteran players, attendance suffered during this time. The Kings made a few key acquisitions to resurge as a contender. By acquiring Toronto Maple Leafs winger Bob Pulford, who would become the Kings' head coach, in 1970, Finnish center Juha Widing in a trade from the New York Rangers, Montreal Canadiens goaltender Rogie Vachon in 1971, the Kings went from being one of the worst defensive teams in the league to one of the best, in 1974 they returned to the playoffs.
After being eliminated in the first round of the playoffs in both 1973–74 and 1974–75, the Kings moved to upgrade their offensive firepower when they acquired center Marcel Dionne from the Detroit Red Wings. Behind Dionne's offensive prowess, the strong goaltending of Rogie Vachon, the speed and scoring touch of forward Butch Goring, the Kings played two of their most thrilling seasons yet, with playoff match ups against the then-Atlanta Flames in the first round, the Boston Bruins in the second round, both times being eliminated by Boston. Bob Pulford left the Kings after the 1976–77 season after constant feuding with owner Jack Kent Cooke, General Manager Jake Milford decided to leave as well; this led to struggles in the 1977–78 season, where the Kings finished below.500 and were swept out of the first round by the Maple Leafs. Afterwards Vachon would sign with the Detroit Red Wings; the following season, Kings coach Bob Berry tried juggling line combinations, Dionne found himself on a new line with two young unknown players: second-year right winger Dave Taylor and left winger Charlie Simmer, a career minor-leaguer.
Each player benefited from each other, with Simmer being the gritty player who battled
The Pittsburgh Penguins are a professional ice hockey team based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. They are members of the Metropolitan Division of the Eastern Conference of the National Hockey League; the Penguins are one of two NHL franchises in Pennsylvania. The cities' proximity has led to a rivalry known as the "Battle of Pennsylvania"; the club is owned by Mario Lemieux and Ronald Burkle, who purchased the Penguins in 1999 and brought the club out of bankruptcy. The franchise was founded in 1967 as one of the first expansion teams during the league's original expansion from six to twelve teams; the Penguins played in the Civic Arena known as The Igloo, from the time of their inception through the end of the 2009–10 season, when they moved to the Consol Energy Center, renamed PPG Paints Arena. The 1992–93 Penguins won the franchise's first-ever Presidents' Trophy for being the team with the most points at the end of the regular season. In addition to their eight division titles, they have qualified for six Stanley Cup Finals, winning the Stanley Cup five times – in 1991, 1992, 2009, 2016, 2017.
Along with the Edmonton Oilers, the Penguins are tied for the most Stanley Cup championships among non-Original Six teams and sixth overall. With their Stanley Cup wins in 2016 and 2017, the Penguins became the first back-to-back champions in 19 years and the first team to do so since the introduction of the NHL salary cap, they became the fifth team to accomplish this feat multiple times. Before the Penguins, Pittsburgh had been the home of the NHL's Pirates from 1925 to 1930 and of the American Hockey League Hornets franchise from 1936 to 1967. In the spring of 1965, Jack McGregor, a state senator from Kittanning, began lobbying campaign contributors and community leaders to bring an NHL franchise back to Pittsburgh; the group focused on leveraging the NHL as an urban renewal tool for Pittsburgh. The senator formed a group of local investors that included H. J. Heinz Company heir H. J. Heinz III, Pittsburgh Steelers owner Art Rooney, the Mellon family's Richard Mellon Scaife; the projected league expansion depended on securing votes from the then-current NHL owners.
The effort was successful, on February 8, 1966, the National Hockey League awarded an expansion team to Pittsburgh for the 1967–68 season. The Penguins paid $2.5 million $750,000 more for start-up costs. The Civic Arena's capacity was boosted from 10,732 to 12,500 to meet the NHL requirements for expansion; the Pens paid an indemnification bill to settle with the Detroit Red Wings, which owned the Pittsburgh Hornets franchise. The investor group named McGregor president and chief executive officer, he represented Pittsburgh on the NHL's Board of Governors. A contest was held. Mark Peters had the winning entry, a logo was chosen that had a penguin in front of a triangle, which symbolized the "Golden Triangle" of downtown Pittsburgh." The Penguins' first general manager, Jack Riley, opened the first pre-season camp for the franchise in Brantford, Ontario, on September 13, 1967, playing the franchise's first exhibition match in Brantford against the Philadelphia Flyers on September 23, 1967. The Pens, along with the rest of the expansion teams, were hampered by restrictive rules which kept most major talent with the existing "Original Six" teams.
Beyond aging sniper Andy Bathgate, All-Star defenseman Leo Boivin and Ranger veteran Earl Ingarfield, the first Penguins team was manned by a cast of former minor leaguers. A number of the players had played for the Hornets the previous season: Bathgate, wingers Val Fonteyne and Ab McDonald, goaltenders Hank Bassen and Joe Daley. George Sullivan was named the head coach for the club's first two seasons, McDonald was named the team's first captain. On October 11, 1967, league president Clarence Campbell and McGregor jointly dropped the ceremonial first puck of the Penguins' opening home game against the Montreal Canadiens. On October 21, 1967, they became the first team from the expansion class to defeat an Original Six team, as they defeated the Chicago Black Hawks 4–2. However, the Penguins went 27–34–13 and finished in fifth place in the West Division, missing the playoffs and ending with the third worst record in the league; the team's best player proved to be longtime Cleveland Barons AHL goaltender Les Binkley, who recorded a 2.88 goals against average and was second in the league in shutouts with six.
Defensive winger Ken Schinkel won the team's sole league honor, being named to represent the Penguins in the NHL All-Star Game. Bathgate retired at season's end. McDonald, who led the team in goals and was second in team scoring, was gone at season's end, traded to the St. Louis Blues in exchange for center Lou Angotti; the next season, 1968–69, saw the team slip in the standings in the midst of a sharp drop in form by Binkley, into sixth place and with the league's worst record. Several changes were made to try to improve the team, resulting in Boivin and several others being traded, new players—including longtime future Pens star Jean Pronovost—making their debuts. No captain
National Hockey League
The National Hockey League is a professional ice hockey league in North America comprising 31 teams: 24 in the United States and 7 in Canada. The NHL is considered to be the premier professional ice hockey league in the world, one of the major professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada; the Stanley Cup, the oldest professional sports trophy in North America, is awarded annually to the league playoff champion at the end of each season. The National Hockey League was organized on November 26, 1917, at the Windsor Hotel in Montreal after the suspension of operations of its predecessor organization, the National Hockey Association, founded in 1909 in Renfrew, Ontario; the NHL took the NHA's place as one of the leagues that contested for the Stanley Cup in an annual interleague competition before a series of league mergers and folds left the NHL as the only league left competing for the Stanley Cup in 1926. At its inception, the NHL had four teams—all in Canada, thus the adjective "National" in the league's name.
The league expanded to the United States in 1924, when the Boston Bruins joined, has since consisted of American and Canadian teams. From 1942 to 1967, the league had only six teams, collectively nicknamed the "Original Six"; the NHL added six new teams to double its size at the 1967 NHL expansion. The league increased to 18 teams by 1974 and 21 teams in 1979. Between 1991 and 2000, the NHL further expanded to 30 teams, it added its 31st team in 2017 and has approved the addition of a 32nd team in 2021. The league's headquarters have been in New York City since 1989 when the head office moved there from Montreal. After a labour-management dispute that led to the cancellation of the entire 2004–05 season, the league resumed play in 2005–06 under a new collective agreement that included a salary cap. In 2009, the NHL enjoyed record highs in terms of sponsorships and television audiences; the International Ice Hockey Federation considers the Stanley Cup to be one of the "most important championships available to the sport".
The NHL draws many skilled players from all over the world and has players from 20 countries. Canadians have constituted the majority of the players in the league, with an increasing percentage of American and European players in recent seasons; the current NHL Champions are the Washington Capitals, who defeated the Vegas Golden Knights four games to one in the 2018 Stanley Cup Finals. The National Hockey League was established in 1917 as the successor to the National Hockey Association. Founded in 1909, the NHA began play one year with seven teams in Ontario and Quebec, was one of the first major leagues in professional ice hockey, but by the NHA's eighth season, a series of disputes with Toronto Blueshirts owner Eddie Livingstone led team owners of the Montreal Canadiens, Montreal Wanderers, Ottawa Senators, Quebec Bulldogs to hold a meeting to discuss the league's future. Realizing the NHA constitution left them unable to force Livingstone out, the four teams voted instead to suspend the NHA, on November 26, 1917, formed the National Hockey League.
Frank Calder was chosen as its first president, serving until his death in 1943. The Bulldogs were unable to play, the remaining owners created a new team in Toronto, the Arenas, to compete with the Canadiens and Senators; the first games were played on December 19, 1917. The Montreal Arena burned down in January 1918, causing the Wanderers to cease operations, the NHL continued on as a three-team league until the Bulldogs returned in 1919; the NHL replaced the NHA as one of the leagues that competed for the Stanley Cup, an interleague competition back then. Toronto won the first NHL title, defeated the Vancouver Millionaires of the Pacific Coast Hockey Association for the 1918 Stanley Cup; the Canadiens won the league title in 1919. Montreal in 1924 won their first Stanley Cup as a member of the NHL; the Hamilton Tigers, won the regular season title in 1924–25 but refused to play in the championship series unless they were given a C$200 bonus. The league refused and declared the Canadiens the league champion after they defeated the Toronto St. Patricks in the semi-final.
Montreal was defeated by the Victoria Cougars of the Western Canada Hockey League for the 1925 Stanley Cup. It was the last time a non-NHL team won the trophy, as the Stanley Cup became the de facto NHL championship in 1926 after the WCHL ceased operation; the National Hockey League embarked on rapid expansion in the 1920s, adding the Montreal Maroons and Boston Bruins in 1924. The Bruins were the first American team in the league; the New York Americans began play in 1925 after purchasing the assets of the Hamilton Tigers, were joined by the Pittsburgh Pirates. The New York Rangers were added in 1926; the Chicago Black Hawks and Detroit Cougars were added after the league purchased the assets of the defunct WCHL. A group purchased the Toronto St. Patricks in 1927 and renamed them the Maple Leafs; the first NHL All-Star Game was held in 1934 to benefit Ace Bailey, whose career ended on a vicious hit by Eddie Shore. The second was held in 1937 in support of Howie Morenz's family when he died of a coronary embolism after breaking his leg during a game.
The Great Depression and the onset of World War II took a toll on the league. The Pirates became the Philadelphia Quakers in 1930 folded one year later; the Senators became the St. Louis Eagles in 1934 lasting only one
National Hockey League All-Star Game
The National Hockey League All-Star Game is an exhibition ice hockey game, traditionally held during the regular season of the National Hockey League, with many of the League's star players playing against each other. Each team plays with four players; the Game's proceeds benefit the pension fund of the players. The NHL All-Star Game, held in late January or early February, marks the symbolic halfway point in the regular season, though not the mathematical halfway point which, for most seasons, is one or two weeks earlier. Since 2007, it is held in late January. On November 18, 2015, the NHL announced significant changes to the All-Star Game format, starting with the 2016 game: instead of one game pitted against two teams, there would be four All-Star teams based on the league's four divisions, competing in a single-elimination tournament; the format of all three games in the tournament will be three-on-three, with 10-minute halves each. If a tie remains after 20 minutes it will directly go to a three-round shootout plus extra rounds as needed to determine the winner.
In 2016, the Atlantic Division All-Stars faced the Metropolitan Division All-Stars in one semifinal, while the Central Division All-Stars played against the Pacific Division All-Stars in the second semifinal. The winners of these two games meet in an All-Star Game Final. Since 2017, the format was changed: the division that wins the NHL All-Star Skills Competition during the previous night gets to pick which team they will play first in the semifinals. From 1947 to 1968, the All-Star Game saw the previous season's Stanley Cup champions take on a team of All-Stars from the other clubs. There were two exceptions during this period: The 1951 and 1952 games instead featured two teams of All-Star players, one consisting of players on American-based teams and the other with players consisting of players on Canadian-based teams. Beginning in 1969, the format was geographic with the Wales/Eastern Conference All-Stars playing the Campbell/Western Conference All-Stars, where the "first team", or starting line, including the starting goaltender, voted in by fans, while the remainder of the teams' rosters are chosen by the NHL's Hockey Operations Department in consultation with the teams' general managers.
Since 1996, the head coaches for the two All-Star teams have been the coaches of the two teams that are leading their respective conferences in point percentage. Prior policy saw the two head coaches that appeared in the previous year's Stanley Cup Finals coaching the All-Star teams; the 1998 All-Star Game was held in the same year as the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, providing the NHL to show its players from all over the world. To this extent, the NHL had the All-Star teams consist of a team of North Americans playing against a team of stars from the rest of the world; the North America vs. World All-Star format lasted through the 2002 Game, the same year as the 2002 Winter Olympics, before reverting to the Eastern vs. Western Conference format in 2003. During the 2010–11 season, the NHL announced a change to the way the teams were selected, modeled after drafts in fantasy sports; the conference vs. conference approach was replaced by a player draft conducted by the All-Star players themselves to determine the rosters for each team.
The captains for each team now select players from a combined pool of both fan balloting and the NHL Hockey Operations Department. The change in format was a joint effort by the League and the National Hockey League Players Association; this format lasted through the 2015 game. The All-Star Game is preceded by the NHL All-Star Skills Competition, a competition showing the various talents of both the all-stars. Beginning in 2007, the All-Star weekend featured the NHL YoungStars Game, an exhibition game featuring rookies, playing under modified rules. In 2011 this game was eliminated in favor of having the rookies compete in the skills competition; the first official All-Star Game was held during the 1947–48 NHL season. Prior to that, there have been several occasions when All-Star Games were played; the first All-Star game in ice hockey predates the NHL. It was played on January 2, 1908, before 3,500 fans at the Montreal Arena between the Montreal Wanderers and a team of All-Stars players from the teams the Eastern Canada Amateur Hockey Association.
It was held in memory of Montreal Wanderers player Hod Stuart, who had drowned three months after the Wanderers won the Stanley Cup in 1907. The proceeds of that game went to Stuart's family. On December 12, 1933, Toronto's King Clancy tripped Boston's Eddie Shore, in retaliation, Shore hit the Leafs' Ace Bailey from behind, flipping him over backwards. Bailey hit his head on the ice so hard. Bailey lived for 60 more years, but his playing career was over. Shore was suspended for 16 games of a 48-game season for the hit; as a benefit for Bailey and his family, the NHL held its first All-Star game on February 14, 1934. The game was held at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto, during which Bailey's #6 uniform was retired by the Leafs, it was the first number to be retired in the NHL. The game saw the Leafs battle against an All-Star team made of players from the other seven teams, which the Leafs won 7–3. One of the more memorable moments before the game was when Bailey presented Shore with his All-Star jersey, showing to the public that Bailey had forgiven him for his actions.
Bailey presented a trophy to NHL President Frank Calder before the game in the hope that the trophy would go to the
Winger (ice hockey)
Winger, in the game of ice hockey, is a forward position of a player whose primary zone of play on the ice is along the outer playing area. They work by flanking the centre forward; the name was given to forward players who went up and down the sides of the rink. Nowadays, there are different types of wingers in the game — out-and-out goal scorers, checkers who disrupt the opponents, forwards who work along the boards and in the corners, they tend to be smaller than defenseman. This position is referred to by the side of the rink that the winger takes, i.e. "left wing" or "right wing." The wingers' responsibilities in the defensive zone include the following: getting open for a pass from their teammates intercepting a pass to the opposing defenceman attacking the opposing defencemen when they have the puckWingers should not: play deep in their defensive zone help out their teammates along the boards Wingers should be playing high in the zone, always be vigilant for a breakout pass or a chance to chip the puck past the blue line.
When wingers receive a pass along the boards, they can exercise a number of options: Bank the puck off the boards or glass to get it out of the zone Redirect or pass the puck to a rushing forward Shoot the puck out to the centre line to another forward who can either set up an attack, or dump the puck into the offensive zone to summon a line change Carry the puck themselves into the offensive zone to attempt a breakaway or an odd man rush Wingers are the last players to backcheck out of the offensive zone. On the backcheck, it is essential. Once the puck is controlled by the opposing team in the defensive zone, wingers are responsible for covering the defenceman on their side of the ice. Prior to the puck being dropped for a face-off, players other than those taking the face-off must not make any physical contact with players on the opposite team, nor enter the face-off circle. After the puck is dropped, it is essential for wingers to engage the opposing players to prevent them from obtaining possession of the puck.
Once a team has established control of the puck, wingers can set themselves up into an appropriate position. Some wingers are employed to handle faceoffs. Rover Centre Defenceman Forward Goaltender Power forward List of NHL players
Nova Scotia is one of Canada's three Maritime Provinces, one of the four provinces that form Atlantic Canada. Its provincial capital is Halifax. Nova Scotia is the second-smallest of Canada's ten provinces, with an area of 55,284 square kilometres, including Cape Breton and another 3,800 coastal islands; as of 2016, the population was 923,598. Nova Scotia is Canada's second-most-densely populated province, after Prince Edward Island, with 17.4 inhabitants per square kilometre. "Nova Scotia" means "New Scotland" in Latin and is the recognized English-language name for the province. In both French and Scottish Gaelic, the province is directly translated as "New Scotland". In general and Slavic languages use a direct translation of "New Scotland", while most other languages use direct transliterations of the Latin / English name; the province was first named in the 1621 Royal Charter granting to Sir William Alexander in 1632 the right to settle lands including modern Nova Scotia, Cape Breton Island, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick and the Gaspé Peninsula.
Nova Scotia is Canada's smallest province in area after Prince Edward Island. The province's mainland is the Nova Scotia peninsula surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, including numerous bays and estuaries. Nowhere in Nova Scotia is more than 67 km from the ocean. Cape Breton Island, a large island to the northeast of the Nova Scotia mainland, is part of the province, as is Sable Island, a small island notorious for its shipwrecks 175 km from the province's southern coast. Nova Scotia has many ancient fossil-bearing rock formations; these formations are rich on the Bay of Fundy's shores. Blue Beach near Hantsport, Joggins Fossil Cliffs, on the Bay of Fundy's shores, has yielded an abundance of Carboniferous-age fossils. Wasson's Bluff, near the town of Parrsboro, has yielded both Triassic- and Jurassic-age fossils; the province contains 5,400 lakes. Nova Scotia lies in the mid-temperate zone and, although the province is surrounded by water, the climate is closer to continental climate rather than maritime.
The winter and summer temperature extremes of the continental climate are moderated by the ocean. However, winters are cold enough to be classified as continental—still being nearer the freezing point than inland areas to the west; the Nova Scotian climate is in many ways similar to the central Baltic Sea coast in Northern Europe, only wetter and snowier. This is true in spite of Nova Scotia's being some fifteen parallels south. Areas not on the Atlantic coast experience warmer summers more typical of inland areas, winter lows a little colder. Described on the provincial vehicle licence plate as Canada's Ocean Playground, Nova Scotia is surrounded by four major bodies of water: the Gulf of Saint Lawrence to the north, the Bay of Fundy to the west, the Gulf of Maine to the southwest, Atlantic Ocean to the east; the province includes regions of the Mi'kmaq nation of Mi'kma'ki. The Mi'kmaq people inhabited Nova Scotia at the time the first European colonists arrived. In 1605, French colonists established the first permanent European settlement in the future Canada at Port Royal, founding what would become known as Acadia.
The British conquest of Acadia took place in 1710. The Treaty of Utrecht in 1713 formally recognized this and returned Cape Breton Island to the French. Present-day New Brunswick still formed a part of the French colony of Acadia. After the capture of Port Royal in 1710, Francis Nicholson announced it would be renamed Annapolis Royal in honor of Queen Anne. In 1749, the capital of Nova Scotia moved from Annapolis Royal to the newly established Halifax. In 1755 the vast majority of the French population was forcibly removed in the Expulsion of the Acadians. In 1763, most of Acadia became part of Nova Scotia. In 1769, St. John's Island became a separate colony. Nova Scotia included present-day New Brunswick until that province's establishment in 1784, after the arrival of United Empire Loyalists. In 1867, Nova Scotia became one of the four founding provinces of the Canadian Confederation; the warfare on Nova Scotian soil during the 17th and 18th centuries influenced the history of Nova Scotia. The Mi'kmaq had lived in Nova Scotia for centuries.
The French arrived in 1604, Catholic Mi'kmaq and Acadians formed the majority of the population of the colony for the next 150 years. During the first 80 years the French and Acadians lived in Nova Scotia, nine significant military clashes took place as the English and Scottish and French fought for possession of the area; these encounters happened at Port Royal, Saint John, Cap de Sable and Baleine. The Acadian Civil War took place from 1640 to 1645. Beginning with King William's War in 1688, six wars took place in Nova Scotia before the British defeated the French and made peace with the Mi'kmaq: King William's War, Queen Anne's War, Father Rale's War, King George's War, Father Le Loutre’s War The Seven Years' War called the French and Indian War The battles during these wars took place Port Royal, Saint John, Chignecto, Dartmouth and Grand-Pré. Despite the British conquest of Acadia in 1710, Nova Scotia remained occupied
Ontario Hockey League
The Ontario Hockey League is one of the three major junior ice hockey leagues which constitute the Canadian Hockey League. The league is for players aged 16–21. There are 20 teams in the OHL; the league was founded in 1980, when its predecessor league, the Ontario Major Junior Hockey League formally split away from the Ontario Hockey Association, joining the Canadian Major Junior Hockey League and its direct affiliation with Hockey Canada. The OHL traces its history of Junior A hockey back to 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. Since 1980 the league has grown into a high-profile marketable product, with many games broadcast on television and radio. Leagues for ice hockey in Ontario were first organized in 1890 by the newly created Ontario Hockey Association. In 1892 the OHA recognized junior hockey - referring to skill rather than age.
In 1896 the OHA moved to the modern age-limited junior hockey concept, distinct from senior and intermediate divisions. Since the evolution to the Ontario Hockey League has developed through four distinct eras of junior-aged non-professional hockey in Ontario. In 1933, the junior division was divided into two levels, Junior A and Junior B. In 1970 the Junior A level was divided into two levels, Tier I and Tier II. In 1974 the Tier I/Major Junior A group separated from the OHA and became the independent'Ontario Major Junior Hockey League'. In 1980, the OMJHL became the'Ontario Hockey League.' From 1974 until 1978, Clarence "Tubby" Schmalz was the league's commissioner. For one season, 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. Branch was appointed on August 11, 1979, assumed the commissioner's role on September 17, 1979. Cornwall Royals 1981-1992 - moved to Newmarket Newmarket Royals 1992-1994 - moved to Sarnia Niagara Falls Flyers 1980-1982 - moved to North Bay as Centennials North Bay Centennials 1982-2002 - moved to Saginaw Brantford Alexanders 1980-1984 - moved to Hamilton as Steelhawks Hamilton Steelhawks 1984-1988 - moved to Niagara Falls as Thunder Niagara Falls Thunder 1988-1996 - moved to Erie Guelph Platers 1980-1989 - moved to Owen Sound as Platers and as Attack 2000 Toronto Marlboros 1980-1989 - moved to Hamilton as Dukes Dukes of Hamilton 1989-1991 - moved to Guelph as Storm Detroit Junior Red Wings 1992-1995 - renamed as Whalers and moved to Plymouth in 1997 and to Flint in 2015 as Firebirds Brampton Battalion 1998-2013 - moved to North Bay as Battalion Mississauga IceDogs 1998-2007 - moved to Niagara as IceDogs Toronto St. Michael's Majors 1996-2007 - moved to Mississauga as St Michael's Majors and 2012 as Steelheads Belleville Bulls 1981-2015 - moved to Hamilton as Bulldogs 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 percent of OHL games are scheduled between Thursday and Sunday to minimize the number of school days missed for its players. 20% of players on active rosters in the National Hockey League have come from the OHL, about 54% of NHL players are alumni of the Canadian Hockey League. The J. Ross Robertson Cup is awarded annually to the winner of the Championship Series; the Cup is named for John Ross Robertson, president of the Ontario Hockey Association from 1901 to 1905. The OHL playoffs consist of the top 16 teams in 8 from each conference; the teams play a best-of-seven game series, the winner of each series advances to the next round. The final two teams compete for the J. Ross Robertson Cup; the OHL champion competes with the winners of the Western Hockey League, the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, the host of the tournament to play for the Memorial Cup, awarded to the junior hockey champions of Canada. The host team of the tournament is alternated between the three leagues every season.
The most recent OHL team to win the Memorial Cup was the Windsor Spitfires in 2017. The Memorial Cup has been captured 17 times by OHL/OHA teams since the tournament went to a three-league format in 1972: The Cup was won 16 times by OHA teams in the period between 1945 and 1971: The OHL's predecessor, the OHA, had a midget and juvenile draft dating back to the 50s, until voted out in 1962. In 1966 it was resumed. Starting in the 70s the draft went through several changes; the draft was for 17-year-old midgets not associated with teams through their sponsored youth programs. In 1971 the league first allowed "underage" midgets to be picked in the first three rounds. In 1972 disagreements about the Toronto team's rights to its "Marlie" players and claims to American player Mark Howe led to a revised system. In 1973 each team was permitted to protect 8 midget area players. In 1975 the league phased out the area protections, the 1976 OHA midget draft was the first in which all midget players were eligible.
In 1999 the league changed the draft to a bantam age. It is a selection of players who are residents of the province of Ontario, the states of Michigan and New York, other designated U. S. states east of the Mississippi Missouri. Prior to 2001