billsportsmaps.com

November 8, 2012

Canadian Hockey League: location maps for WHL, OHL, and QMJHL teams (60 teams) and 2011-12 attendance data. Plus the top 3 highest drawing teams, the top 10-highest percent-capacities, and the Shawingan Cataractes – the 2012 CHL Memorial Cup winners.

Filed under: Canada,Hockey — admin @ 9:14 pm

Please note: I have made 4 more recent map-and-posts related to the Canadian Hockey League…

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (May 2016), here:
Ligue de Hockey Junior Majeur du Québec (LHJMQ) [English: Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL)]: location-map with: 2015-16 attendance data, QMJHL titles & CHL/Memorial Cup titles listed/+ illustrations for the 2 QMJHL teams with the best attendance in 2015-16 (the Quebec Remparts & the Halifax Mooseheads), and the 2 QMJHL teams with the best-percent-capacity figures in 2015-16 (the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies & the Val-d’Or Foreurs).

2016 Memorial Cup, here:
2016 CHL Memorial Cup tournament (in Red Deer, Alberta/ May 20 to May 29) – the 4 teams: Red Deer Rebels (host team), Brandon Wheat Kings (WHL), London Knights (OHL), Rouyn-Noranda Huskies (QMJHL): photo-illustrations with standout players in 2016 playoffs/+ 2016 CHL location-map.

Western Hockey League (April 2016), here:
Western Hockey League (WHL): location-map with: 2015-16 attendance data, WHL titles & CHL/Memorial Cup titles listed/+ illustrations for the 4 WHL teams with the best attendance in 2015-16 (Calgary Hitmen, Portland Winterhawks, Edmonton Oil Kings, Spokane Chiefs), and the 3 WHL teams with the best-percent-capacity figures in 2015-16 (Kelowna Rockets, Red Deer Rebels, Prince Albert Raiders).

Ontario Hockey League (April 2016), here:
Ontario Hockey League (OHL): location-map with: 2015-16 attendance data, OHL titles & CHL/Memorial Cup titles listed/+ illustrations for the 6 OHL teams with the best-percent-capacity figures in 2015-16 (Oshawa Generals, London Knights, Kitchener Rangers, Barrie Colts, Guelph Storm, Niagara IceDogs).

canadian-hockey-league_whl_ohl_qmjhl_2012_segment_.gif
WHL, OHL, and QMJHL teams (60 teams)



WHL standings‘ (whl.ca).
OHL standings‘ (ontariohockeyleague.com).
QMJHL standings‘ (theqmjhl.ca).

From the CHL official website, from Nov. 7 2012, ‘CHL Announces BMO CHL Mastercard Top 10 Rankings, November 7, 2012‘.

The Canadian Hockey League is an umbrella-organization for the 3 Canadian major junior hockey leagues, the Western Hockey League (WHL), the Ontario Hockey League (OHL), and the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL). The leagues are the top echelon of junior hockey on Canada and are for players aged 16 to 20 years old. Every June, the NHL has an entry draft where WHL, OHL, AND QMJHL players figure prominently.

There are 52 Canadian-based teams in the CHL, and 8 teams in the CHL that are based in the United States. The 5 American-based teams in the WHL are the Everett Silvertips (from Everett, Washington); the Seattle Thunderbirds (from Seattle, Washington); the Tri-City Americans (from Kennewick/Pasco/Richland, Washington); the Spokane Chiefs (from Spokane, Washington); and the Portland Winterhawks (from Portland, Oregon). The 3 American-based teams in the OHL are the Saginaw Spirit (from Saginaw, Michigan); the Plymouth Whalers (from Plymouth Township, Michigan); and the Erie Otters (from Erie, Pennsylvania). The one American-based team in the QMJHL, from Lewiston, Maine, folded after the 2010-11 season. The franchise remained dormant for the 2011-12 season, then the city of Sherbrooke in southern Quebec was awarded the franchise and the Sherbrooke Phoenix began play in 2012-13.

The Memorial Cup has been awarded to a Canadian junior hockey club since 1919. The Memorial Cup tournament as a three-team tournament dates to 1972 {see this, ‘List of Memorial Cup champions‘ en.wikipedia.org)}. The inclusion of a 4th team/host-city team began in 1982-83. The winners of the WHL, OHL, and QMJHL play in a 4-team round-robin tournament along with the team from the host-city (the host city changes each year). The format now has an initial 3-games-per-team round robin stage, followed by a semifinals which has second place in the round robin versus third, followed by the final which has the semifinal winner versus first place in the round robin. The inclusion of the fourth team/host-city team was done to boost attendance at the tournament (and recent tournaments being played to near capacity [see second paragraph below] show that this decision was a good one). From cbc.ca, ‘Shawinigan takes Memorial Cup in OT win over London‘.
From National Post.com, from May 28, 2012, by Bill Beacon, ‘Cataractes win Memorial Cup in overtime over Knights‘.

The Shawingan Cataractes were 2012 CHL Memorial Cup champions. The hockey club, from Shawingan, Quebec, had been the only franchise that was a founding member of the QMJHL when the league was formed in 1969-70 that had never claimed Canada’s top junior hockey prize. Shawingan is the only team in the QMJHL still operating in the same city of its founding. The Shawingan Cataractes play at Centre Bionest de Shawinigan, a 4,125-seat multi-purpose arena, which opened in 2008. Shawingan is 134 km. (83 mi.) north-east of Montreal and 116 km. (72 mi.) south-west of Quebec City. Shawinigan, QC has a metro area population of around 52,000 {2011 figure}. The most famous citizen of Shawingan is Jean Chrétien, Prime Minister of Canada from 1993 to 2003. The most notable former Shawingun Catarctes player in the NHL these days is Buffalo Sabres’ right-winger Jason Pominville, who was an NHL All-Star in 2011-12. He played for Shawingan from 1998-2002. 39 former Shawingan players have played in the NHL.
The Cataractes averaged 3,258 per game in 2011-12 (at 78.9 percent-capacity).

    2012 CHL Memorial Cup champions: Shawingan Cataractes.

shawingun-cataractes_2012-chl-memorial-cup_champions_shawingun-quebec_e.gif
Photo credits above –
Photo of 2012 Memorial Cup semifinal game by JC Pinheiro for sportsnet.ca.
Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images via sports.nationalpost.com/2012/05/27/cataractes-win-memorial-cup-in-overtime-over-knights/.
cldshawinigan.qc.ca.
Shawingan Cataractes players with Memorial Cup trophy by (Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images) at cbc.ca.

On May 27, 2012, the Shawinigan Cataractes defeated the London Knights 2-1 in overtime to win the Canadian Hockey League’s Memorial Cup, and also become the sixth team in CHL history (since 1983) to win the Canadian Junior Hockey championship as the host team without having won their league title that season. Host teams that didn’t win their league that season get a big break in being allowed to enter the tournament, but they still have to get by the 3 league champions to win the Memorial Cup title. The first time a host-city won the CHL title without having won their league that season was in the first year of the 4-team format, in 1983, when the Portland Winterhawks were champions. The second time was when the Soo Greyhounds did it in 1993. The third time was when the Ottawa 67s did it in 1999. The fourth time was when the Kelowna Rockets did it in 2004. The fifth time was when the Vancouver Giants did it in 2007. That was when a record was set for highest attendance for the tournament – the 2007 tournament in Vancouver set a new Memorial Cup attendance record with 121,561 fans attending the nine games (for a 13,506 per game average). Since then, the Memorial Cup has played to 90%-to-100%+ capacity in Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario in 2008; in Rimouski, Quebec in 2009; in Brandon, Manitoba in 2010; in Missisauga, Ontario in 2011; and in Shawingan, Quebec in 2012. This season, in May 2013, the Memorial Cup tournament will be played in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, at the 15,195-capacity Credit Union Centre there in central Saskatchewan {see this ‘2013 Memorial Cup‘.(en.wikipedia.org)}. So there might be a new Memorial Cup attendance record set, especially if another team from Saskatchewan gets in to the tournament.

Lists of CHL titles, including WHL titles, OHL titles, and QMJHL titles…
MEMORIAL CUP CHAMPIONS‘ (tsn.ca).
List of Memorial Cup champions‘ (en.wikipedia.org).
WHL titles, ‘Ed Chynoweth Cup‘ (en.wikipedia.org).
OHL titles, ‘J. Ross Robertson Cup‘ (en.wikipedia.org).
QMJHL tirles, ‘President’s Cup (QMJHL)‘ (en.wikipedia.org).

List of CHL franchise post-season droughts‘ (en.wikipedia.org).

    The 3 highest-drawing teams in Canadian Junior Hockey – the Quebec Remparts, the London Knights, and the Calgary Hitmen.

Quebec Remparts. The original Quebec Remparts were a QMJHL team that played from 1969-70 to 1984-85, and were initially a very successful team. The Remparts were eastern Canadian champions in 1970–71. It was this team, which featured future Hockey Hall of Famer Guy Lafleur, that won a Memorial Cup title in 1971. The team also won the QMJHL title (called the President’s Cup) 5 times.

The present-day Quebec Remparts’ franchise was originally located in the Quebec City suburb of Beauport and were a QMJHL team called the Beauport Harfangs, who played in a 2,000 seat arena in Beauport. That was in the 1990-91 to 1996-97 time period. In 1995, the former-WHA-and-NHL team the Quebec Nordiques moved to Denver, Colorado, USA (becoming the Colorado Avalanche) and left the citizens of Quebec City without a pro hockey team to support. Two years later the Beauport Harfangs moved from the eastern suburbs a few kilometers west to Quebec City proper, into the Nordiques’ old arena, the Colisée de Québec, a 15,176-capacity arena built in 1949 which is now called the Colisée Pepsi. So the Quebec Remparts inherited the Nordiques’ arena. But it took a while for the Quebec Remparts to inherit the Nordiques’ fan base, because when the Beauport Harfangs first moved to downtown Quebec City and became the Quebec Remparts (II),, they were only drawing in the mid-2,000-per game range. By 2001-02 the Remparts were averaging 3,349 per game. By 2003-04 the Remparts were averaging 5,932 per game. Two seasons later, in 2005-06, the Remparts drew 8,603 per game and surpassed the Halifax Mooseheads as the highest-drawing QMJHL team. The Quebec Remparts have been drawing above 10,000 per game since 2006-07 and they reached their peak attendance in 2009-10, drawing an astounding 12,089 per game. Twelve thousand per game to watch junior hockey! Quebec City is the 7th-largest metropolitan area in Canada and has a metro population of around 765,000 {2011 figure}. Quebec City might be, from a purely mathematical viewpoint, viewed as too small a city to support a major league sports franchise. But that pure numbers viewpoint fails to factor in Canadian hockey culture, and anyway, Winnipeg is slightly smaller than Quebec City and the Winnipeg Jets (II) had no trouble at all selling out their NHL games in their first season in 2011-12. If a junior hockey team in Quebec City can draw over 10,000 per game for several years in a row now, then Quebec City can surely fill their arena for an NHL team if and hopefully when the NHL finally puts a team back where it belongs in Quebec City. The name ‘Remparts’ means curtain walls in French, and is a nod to the history of the city – the ramparts surrounding Old Quebec are the only remaining fortified city walls that still exist in Canada or in the USA. The current head coach and general manager of the Quebec Remparts is 2006 Hockey Hall of Fame inductee Patrick Roy, the great goaltender who won Stanley Cup titles with the Montreal Canadians and the Colorado Avalanche. 37 former Quebec Remparts players from the first incarnation of the team played in the NHL, including Hockey Hall of Famers Guy Lafluer and Michel Goulet. 19 former Beauport Harfangs/Quebec Remparts (II) players have played in the NHL, including LA Kings’ Cup-winner and left-winger Simon Gagné.
The Quebec Remparts averaged 10,525 per game in 2011-12.
quebec-city_quebec-remparts_colisee-pepsi_.gif
Photo credits above – gocanada.about.com
Jean Chiasson at pbase.com.

London Knights. Established in 1965. This was in the era when some junior hockey teams in Canada were affiliated with NHL teams as farm teams, and before the OHL existed [NHL-team-sponsorship of Canadian junior hockey teams ended in 1967-68; and the OHL was established in 1968-69]. The London Nationals, est. 1965 were owned by the Toronto Maple Leafs for their first 3 seasons, and sported a variation of the Leafs’ logo {see it here (en.wikipedia.org)}. In 1968 the franchise was sold and the teams’ colors became green and gold and their name was changed to the London Knights. The Knights’ name was submitted by a London, Ontario native named Brian Logie and was the winner of the team’s name-the-team contest. The London Knights played at the London Gardens (later called the Ice House), a 5,075-seat arena that was built in 1963 and was the Nationals/Knights’ home from 1965 to 2002. Then in 2002, the London Knights moved into their current home, the 9,100-seat John Labatt Centre, usually referred to as the “JLC”. The name was changed to Budweiser Gardens in 2012, but some folks and media outlets, like the site that posted the photo from the 2012 OHL finals (below) still call it the Labatt Centre (nativist impulse). The London Knights are owned by NHL veterans Dale Hunter and Mark Hunter. Dale was head coach until being hired by the Washington Capitals as head coach in Nov. 2011; while his brother Mark has been the general manager of the Knights and is now the head coach as well. An impressive 158 former London Nationals/London Knights players have played in the WHA and/or the NHL. There are 2 former London Knights players in the Hockey Hall of Fame – Leafs’ great center Daryl Sittler (on London from 1967-70) and North Stars and Capitals right-winger Dino Ciccarelli (on London from 1976-80). Another notable London Knight player in recent times was 3-time Cup winner at Detroit, the Red Wings’ right-winger Brendan Shanahan (who played for the London Knights from 1985-87). A notable present-day NHL player who played for the London Knights is Anaheim Ducks’ right-winger Corey Perry, who played for the Knights from 2001-04. Corey Perry, who won the Cup with the Ducks in 2007, is also the all-time leading scorer of the London Knights. Blackhawks’ scoring machine and 2010 Cup-winner, the American-born Patrick Kane, also played for the London Knights (in 2006-07). So did another US-born player, Islanders’ centre John Tavares (in 2008-09). Those last three players mentioned, along with Daryl Sittler, Brendan Shanahan, and Columbus Blue Jackets’ right-winger Rick Nash, are among the 21 London Knights players who were selected in the 1st round of the NHL draft.
[Note- there is another illustration and more team/city info for the London Knights further down in this post in the next section at 5th-highest percent-capacity].
The London Knights averaged 8,525 per game in 2011-12.
london-knights_2012-ohl-champions_.gif
Photo credits above -
123rf.com.
Adam Colvin at en.wikipedia.org

Calgary Hitmen. Established in 1994, the team has been owned by the NHL’s Calgary Flames since 1997. Like the Flames, the Calgary Hitmen play their home games at the Saddledome, which was opened in 1983 and which has a capacity of 19,289 seated. Bret “The Hitman” Hart, a local-born professional wrestler, was in the original ownership group of the Calgary Hitmen and was the inspiration for the team’s name. Calgary, Alberta is the fifth-largest metro area in Canada (Calgary metro population is 1.2 million {2011 figure}). Since 2005-06 the Calgary Flames have been playing to sell-out crowds of 19,289, and for the last 8 seasons the Calgary Hitmen have been averaging over 7,000 per game, with a peak of 10,061 per game in 2004-05. In other words, Calgary really supports their hockey teams. 36 Calgary Hitmen player have gone on to play in the NHL. Two Hitmen alumni have won Stanley Cup titles – Andrew Ladd has gone on to win two Stanley Cup titles since playing for the Hitmen: with the Carolina Hurricanes in 2006 and the Chicago Blackhawks in 2010. His former Hitmen teammate, Ryan Getzlaf won the Cup with the Anaheim Ducks in 2007. The Calgary Hitmen have won 1 WHL title (in 1999).

The Calgary Hitmen averaged 7,428 per game in 2011-12.
calgary-hitmen_saddledome_h.gif
Photo credits above –
Gorgo at en.wikipedia.org.
visitcalgary.com.

    The teams that fill their arenas the best – the 10 WHL, OHL, and QMJHL teams with the highest percent-capacity figures in Canadian Junior Hockey.
    The Kelowna Rockets – highest percent-capacity in Canadian Junior Hockey at 101.0%-capacity.

1. at 101.0%-capacity (and 6,072 per game), the Kelowna Rockets (WHL). Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada. Kelowna, BC metro population is around 173,000 {2011 figure}. Kelowna, BC is 273 km. (169 mi.) east of Vancouver, BC. Kelowna Rockets (WHL) est. 1991. 36 former Kelowna Rockets players have played in the NHL. Kelowna Rockets, 3 WHL titles (last in 2009). 1 CHL Memorial Cup title (in 2004).
kelowna-rockets_canadian-hockey-league_whll_best-percent-capacity_kelowna-bc_k.gif
Image and photo credits above -
kelowna.ca.
reginapatsalumni.net/2010_07_01_archive.html.
Aidan Rice at en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Prosperaplace.
http://www.lre.usace.army.mil/newsandevents/publications/publications/soolocks-saultste-marie/aerialpicture2/.


2. at 100.9%-capacity (and 6,236 per game) the Kitchener Rangers (OHL). Kitchener, Ontario, Canada. Kitchener-Waterloo, ON metro population is around 477,000 {2011 figure}. Kitchener, ON is 90 km. (56 mi.) north-west of Toronto, ON. Kitchener Rangers (OHL) est. 1963. The Kitchener Rangers played to standing-room-only last season [2011-12], and the city of Kitchener (the arena’s owner) expanded the arena by 973 seats during the off-season to a 7,241 seated capacity [Note: thanks to commenter Chris (see comment #3 below) for pointing this out to me]. The city of Kitchener hopes to soon build a new arena with a capacity of 10,000 or so. The Kitchener Rangers are a publicly owned hockey team, governed by a 40-person Board of Directors made up of season ticket subscribers. Former Kitchener Rangers players include Hall of Famers Scott Stevens, Bill Barber, Paul Coffey, Larry Robinson and Al MacInnis. 136 former Kitchener Rangers players have played in the National Hockey League. Kitchener Rangers, 4 OHL titles (last in 2008). 2 CHL Memorial Cup titles (in 1982 and in 2004).
kitchener-rangers_kitchener-memorial-auditorium-complex_e.gif
Photo credits above -
Jenn Wilson Photography via kitchener.cityseekr.com.
In midst of NHL absence, local talent shines‘ (theimprint.ca).


3. at 100.6%-capacity (and 2,817 per game), the Niagara Ice Dogs (OHL). St. Catherines, Ontario, Canada. St. Catherines, ON metro population is around 392,000 {2011 figure}. St. Catherines, ON is 56 km. (34 mi.) east of Hamilton, ON. Niagara Ice Dogs (OHL) est. 1998. There are 4 former Ice Dogs players who have played in the NHL including 22-year-old Blues’ defenseman Alex Pietrangelo, who played full seasons for St. Louis in 2010-11 and 2011-12.
niagara-ice-dogs_st-catherines-ontario_d.gif
Photo credits above –
my.opera.com.
mrc.ca/mrc_projects.
Ryanz4 at en.wikipedia.org
stadiumjourney.com/stadiums/gatorade-garden-city-complex.
Bob Tymczyszyn/St. Catherines Standard at stcatharinesstandard.ca/2011/11/28/city-staff-recommend-new-spectator-facility-and-ice-rink-read-report.


4. at 100.0%-capacity (and 4,006 per game), the Medicine Hat Tigers (WHL). Medicine Hat, Alberta Canada. Medicine Hat, AB population is around 60,000 {2011 figure}. Medicine Hat, AB is 267 km. (166 mi.) south of Calgary, AB. Medicine Hat Tigers (WHL) est. 1970. 99 former Medicine Hat players have played in the NHL, including southern-Alberta-born right-winger Lanny MacDonald, who played for Medicine Hat from 1971-73 (see photo of his banner in the Tigers’ arena, below) and who went on to play 16 seasons in the NHL with Toronto, Colorado, and Calgary, finishing of in 1989 as captain of the Stanley Cup winning 1988-89 Calgary Flames. MacDonald was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1992. Medicine Hat Tigers, 5 WHL titles (last in 2007). 2 CHL Memorial Cup titles (in 1987 and 1988).
medicine-hat-tigers_f.gif
Photo credits above –
activerain.com/overview-of-medicine-hat-alberta.
sportsroadtrips.blogspot.com/2012/02/brandon-wheat-kings-2-at-medicine-hat.html.
ohlarenaguide.com.


5. at 97.3%-capacity (and 8,859 per game), the London Knights (OHL). London, Ontario, Canada. London, ON metro population is around 474,000 {2011 figure}. London, ON is 166 km. (103 mi.) west of Toronto, ON. London, ON is also 166 km. (103 mi.) east of Detroit, MI, USA. London Knights (OHL) est. 1965. London Knights, 2 OHL titles (last in 2012). 1 CHL Memorial Cup title (in 2005).
london-knights_budweiser-gardens_m.gif
Image and photo credits above -
penguins.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=642843.
Go Knights Go!!‘, photo by Dude with a Canon at flickr.com.
London Knights logos, http://www.sportslogos.net/logos/list_by_team/369/London_Knights/.


6. at 96.0%-capacity (and 2,976 per game), the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada (QMJHL). Boisbriand, Quebec, Canada. Boisbriand, QC is 22 km. (13 mi.) north-west of Montreal, QC and is an off-island suburb of Montreal. Boisbriand, QC has a population of around 23,000 and is part of Greater Montreal [metro population, 3.8 million {2011 figures}]. Blainville-Boisbriand Armada (QMJHL) est. 2011 (when the Verdun, Montreall-based QMJHL franchise named Montreal Junior Hockey Club moved about 28 km. north-west to become the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada).
blainville-boisbriand-armada_centre-d-excellence-sports-rousseau_f.gif
Photo credits above -
Quevillon at .flickr.com.


7. at 88.1%-capacity (and 2,283 per game), the Prince Albert Raiders (WHL). Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, Canada. Prince Albert, SK population is around 42,000 {2011 figure}. Prince Albert, SK is 515 km. (320 mi.) east of Edmonton, AB. Prince Albert, SK is 306 km. (190 mi.) north of Regina, SK. Prince Albert Raiders (WHL) est. 1982. 56 former Prince Albert Raiders (WHL) players have played in the NHL, including future-Hall of Famer and 5-time All-Star and 1999 Stanley Cup winner (with Dallas) Mike Modano, the longtime centre for the Minnesota North Stars/Dallas Stars. Modano is from Michigan, and has the NHL record for the most goals by a player born in the United States, with 561 goals. Circa 1986-89, Modano simultaneously played for an elite midgets team in Michigan called Detroit Compuware Ambassadors, while also playing in the WHL for the Prince Albert Raiders (1986-89). That era was right after Prince Albert won their only national title in 1985. Modano was drafted #1 by the Minnesota North Stars in 1988 (one of only 5 Americans to do so). Prince Albert Raiders, 1 WHL title (in 1985). 1 CHL Memorial Cup title (in 1985).
prince-albert-raiders_northern-saskatchewan_d.gif
Photo credits above -
ca.epodunk.com.
raiderhockey.com/article/raiders-host-4th-annual-raider-day.


8. at 87.5%-capacity (and 4,375 per game), the Soo Greyhounds (OHL). Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario , Canada. Sault Ste. Marie, ON population is around 79,000 {2011 figure}. Sault Ste. Marie, ON is 498 km. (309 mi.) north-west of Toronto, ON. Sault Ste. Marie, ON is 470 km. (292 mi.) north of Detriot, MI, USA. Soo Greyhounds (OHL) est. 1962. There are 6 members of the Hockey Hall of Fame that have played for a team known as the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds. New York Rangers legends Bill Cook and Bun Cook played for the Greyhounds of the Northern Ontario Hockey Association (NOHA) from 1921–25, and were instrumental in helping the Rangers win their first Stanley Cup title in 1928. Canadiens’ and Black Hawks’ goaltender Tony Esposito played for the Greyhounds of the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League (NOJHL) in 1962–63, and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1988. 31 Soo Greyhounds from the first era played in the NHL [1919 to 1945, 1949 to 1958 (NOHA )]. 5 Soo Greyhounds from the 1960s-early 1970s time period played in the NHL, including Jerry Korab and Ivan Boldirev [1962 to 1972 (NOJHL)]. The present-day Soo Greyhoinds’ franchise dates back to 1962 (see last sentence). That Soo Greyhounds team switched leagues after the 1971-72 season and joined the precursor-league to the present-day OHL in 1972. Since 1972, 86 former Soo Greyhounds players have played in the NHL [1972 to present (OHA / OMJHL / OHL)]. Wayne Grezsky is one of these Greyhounds alumni. The Great One played for the Soo Greyhounds in 1977-78 as a 16-year old and broke the league scoring record with 70 goals and 112 assists for 182 points in 64 games (2.84 pts. per game). Gretzky then went on to the short-lived Indianapolis Racers of the WHA (because the NHL did not allow the drafting of teen-aged players back then). After the briefest of spells at Indianapolis (8 games), Gretzky was sold to the WHA’s Edmonton Oilers in late 1978 and the rest was history, including winning 4 Stanley Cup titles with Edmonton and becoming the all-time NHL points leader (with 2,957 points in 20 NHL seasons). The Soo Greyhounds of the 1972-to-present era have three former players in the Hockey Hall of Fame – Wayne Gretzky (a 1999 Hall of Fame inductee), Paul Coffey (in 2004), and Ron Francis (in 2007). In total, spanning 87 seasons, 123 Soo Greyhounds players have made it to the NHL. Soo Greyhounds, 3 OHL titles (last in 1992). 1 CHL Memorial Cup title (in 1993).
soo-greyhounds_sault-ste-marie-ontario_m.gif
Photo credits above -
lre.usace.army.mil/newsandevents/publications/publications/soolocks-saultste-marie/aerialpicture2/.
http://www.ohlarenaguide.com/greyhounds.htm.


9. at 86.3%-capacity (and 5,613 per game) the Windsor Spitfires (OHL). Windsor, Ontario. Windsor, ON metro population is around 319,000 {2011 figure}. Windsor, ON is across the Detroit River from Detroit, MI, USA (6 km. east of Detroit). Windsor, ON is 329 km. (204 mi.) west of Toronto, ON. Windsor Spitfires (OHL) est. 1975. 96 former Windsor players have played in the NHL. Windsor Spitfires, 3 OHL titles (last in 2010). 2 CHL Memorial Cups (in 2009 and 2010).
windsor-spitfires_wfcu-stadium_e.gif
Photo credits above -
os2voice.org.
robsarenatour.com.


10. at 84.0%-capacity (and 3,752 per game), the Moose Jaw Warriors (WHL). Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Canada. Moose Jaw, SK metro population is around 35,000 {2011 figure}. Moose Jaw, SK is 605 km. (376 mi.) east of Calgary; and it is 66 km. (41 mi.) west of Regina, SK. Moose Jaw Warriors (WHL) est. 1980. 42 former Moose Jaw Warriors players have played in the NHL, including 1989 Flames’ Cup-winning pocket-dynamo right-winger and fan favorite Theo Fleury, an Oxbow, Saskatchewan native.
moose-jaw_warriors_mosaic-place_d.gif
Photo credits above –
bcrealestateconvention.com.
ibackpackcanada.com.
voicevicroyals.blogspot.com/2012/01/preview-victoria-at-moose-jaw.html.

Here is a great site – OHL Arena Guide.com, http://www.ohlarenaguide.com/.

___
Thanks very much to Hans Hornstein’s Hockey Attendance Page at www.mib.org/~lennier/hockey/leagueatt.cgi.
Thanks to the contributors to the pages at en.wikipedia.org, ‘Canadian Hockey League‘.

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