By Doug Kennedy
This fight between the GOHL, and the OHA and the Ontario Hockey Federation has been going on for a few years now. It has reached a new level as the Junior B league has got the public involved and all hockey centres across Ontario.
The three main reasons for this are the Junior B league (GOHL) loses their best players every year to the Junior A league, for very little compensation. This and the fact that some of the Junior B teams are run better and have better talent than about 50-75 per cent of the OJHL league teams.
The next reason is the money. Teams from the OJHL sell their franchises for around one million dollars. Teams from the Junior B league are usually sold for less than half that. With the majority of the OJHL teams being owned by individuals, it is mostly about the franchise value.
Another problem is the footprint of the OJHL is restricted to mostly a couple of hours drive from Toronto. There are many parts of Ontario that deserve this level of hockey. A few examples are Stratford, Elmira, Chatham, Listowel and Sarnia. This would allow these teams to play for a national championship.
Junior B (GOHL) just hired its first commissioner, Brent Garbutt, who worked for the OJHL for a few years. The PJHL hired a commissioner two years ago, so they are a little ahead of the GOHL in running their own league. A quote from the GOHL commissioner stated “For years, the level of play in the GOHL has been equal to, or better than that of the other Junior A leagues in Ontario.”
This point is so true. One of the main problems with the location of this league is young players have to move a considerable distance from home and pay up to $10,000 to play. It will be interesting to see what happens as this will go all the way up to Hockey Canada.
A question you are probably asking is what a Junior C franchise is worth and selling for these days. They are selling these days for around $35,000.
Quinton Page from Kincardine was drafted in the sixth round (114 overall) by the Peterborough Petes this past weekend, in the OHL draft. He played for the Vaughan Kings minor midget team this past winter. Page played minor hockey in Kincardine until the atom level, then moved on to Grey Bruce AAA, before moving on to Vaughan. He scored 25 goals and had 11 assists for Vaughan in 2019-20 season. Southern tier Admirals U16 coach Steve Webb, a former OHL referee and father of ex-Petes Mitchell and Jack Webb, called Page the steal of the draft for the Pete’s on the Your TV draft show. One thing I know about is how dedicated Page is to the game of hockey.
This year’s men’s world championship victory had a Kincardine connection on the ice after winning the gold medal In overtime against Finland. Tyler Dietrich has been the video coach overseas for Team Canada since 2016. Dietrich is the son of Faye Emmerton and the grandson of Eddie Emmerton. He has been coaching in Europe the last few years.