The Ontario Hockey League (OHL) is one of the three Major Junior ice hockey leagues which constitute the Canadian Hockey League. The league is for players aged 15–20.
The OHL also operates under the Ontario Hockey Federation (OHF) of Hockey Canada.
The league was formed in 1974, out of the Major Junior A Tier I division of the Ontario Hockey Association.
For the first four seasons of the league's existence (as the Ontario Major Junior Hockey League), Clarence "Tubby" Schmalz was the league's commissioner. Then, for one season (1978-79), 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 (which became the league's official name prior to the 1981-82 season). Branch was appointed on August 11, 1979, and assumed the commissioner's role on September 17, 1979. Since 1980 the league has grown rapidly into a high profile marketable product, with many games broadcast on television and radio.
There are currently 20 teams in the OHL; 17 are based in the Canadian province of Ontario, two teams in the American state of Michigan and one team in the American state of Pennsylvania. Out of the 17 teams based in Ontario, 12 teams are in Southern Ontario, two teams are in Eastern Ontario and 3 teams are in Northern Ontario.
The three largest arenas in the OHL are Ottawa's Canadian Tire Centre, London's Budweiser Gardens, and the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium Complex in Kitchener.
The Mississauga Steelheads:
The Mississauga Steelheads are a junior ice hockey team in the Ontario Hockey League, based in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. The team was originally known as the Toronto St. Michael's Majors, whose hockey program was founded and operated by St. Michael's College School in 1906. The current franchise was revived in 1996, and was relocated to Mississauga in 2007 after spending 10 years in Toronto. The team was known as the Mississauga St. Michael's Majors from 2007-2012, until owner Eugene Melnyk sold the team, to Elliott Kerr, a local businessman.
The Ottawa 67's:
The Ottawa 67’s are a junior ice hockey team based in Ottawa, Ontario. They have played in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) since 1967, Canada's centennial year. The current coach is Jeff Brown.
The Ontario Hockey Association granted the city of Ottawa an expansion franchise on February 16, 1967. Four months later, the team was given the nickname 67's, in honour of Canada's centennial year. Three local businessmen — Bill Cowley, Howard Darwin and Bill Touhey as well as Alderman Howard Henry — helped bring junior hockey back to Canada's capital. The 67's filled the void left by the departure of the Ottawa Junior Canadiens and the Hull-Ottawa Canadiens in 1963.
The Niagara Ice Dogs:
The Niagara IceDogs are a major junior ice hockey team in the Ontario Hockey League based in St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada. The franchise was originally known as the Mississauga IceDogs and founded in 1996. The team was relocated to St. Catharines and played its inaugural season in the Niagara region during the 2007–08 OHL season after spending 9 seasons in Mississauga. The team is owned by Bill and Denise Burke.
The Mississauga IceDogs inaugural season began in 1998-99, and the team struggled, winning only 4 of 68 games. In their first three seasons, the IceDogs won a total of 16 games, in 204 games played. The nine season tenure in Mississauga saw the IceDogs finish with a .301 win percentage in 612 regular season games and win one Central Division and Eastern Conference Championship.Relocation
On July 12, 2006, Eugene Melnyk, who owned the Toronto St. Michael's Majors, bought the Mississauga IceDogs. After the 2006–07 season, Melnyk sold the IceDogs, and moved the Majors to the Hershey Centre in Mississauga. The team approached the City of St. Catharines about moving the team into Jack Gatecliff Arena. St. Catharines City Council voted on a leasing arrangement on April 23, 2007, which passed. The OHL Board of Governors approved the deal on June 5, 2007.