What do Brad Gratton and Sean McMorrow have in common? Both played for six different Ontario Hockey League teams during their playing days. Gratton played in the OHL from 1986-87 to 1989-90, wearing the jerseys of the Hamilton Steelhawks, Kingston Canadians / Raiders, Belleville Bulls, Windsor Spitfires, London Knights and Hamilton Dukes. In total, he played 223 regular season games in the OHL, contributing 209 points.
Never drafted, Brad played pro from 1991-92 to 2000-01 in a long list of leagues. In North America, he played in the ECHL, Colonial Hockey League, WPHL and CHL. Across the Atlantic, he played in Great Britain, Austria, Germany and Finland. 1992-93 found Gratton playing for the Streatham Redskins of the BHL, scoring 68 goals and assisted on 97 for 165 points in just 28 games.
2011-12 was Brad’s first year as Head Coach of Rødovre Mighty Bulls of Denmark’s AL-Bank Ligaen. In the 40 game regular season schedule, Rødovre improved by 23 points over the previous season, finishing fourth in the nine team league. The Mighty Bulls were bounced in the quarter-finals. The last championship by the team was in 1998-99. Gratton had OHL alumnus Sebastian Dahm between the pipes and will again in 2012-13. Dahm played three years in the OHL from 2005-06 to 2007-08 with the Belleville Bulls, Sarnia Sting, Sudbury Wolves and Niagara IceDogs.
Gratton will coach Denmark’s Under-20 squad at the 2013 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championships. After making it to the elite group in 2012 and going winless, Denmark has been relegated to Division 1A for 2013. The tournament will be held in Amiens, France and Denmark will compete against Belarus, Norway, Slovenia, Austria and France.
Of course, the Gratton name runs pretty deep in the OHL. Besides Brad, brother Josh and cousins Chris and Danny have also played in the league.
Josh Gratton is the only one still actively playing. He spent three years in the OHL from 2000-01 to 2002-03 with the Sudbury Wolves, Kingston Frontenacs and Windsor Spitfires. Josh has 86 games of NHL experience under his belt, between 2005-06 and 2008-09 with the Philadelphia Flyers and Phoenix Coyotes. 2011-12 was Gratton’s third year in Russia’s KHL and his first with Barys Astana. His first two were spent with Vityaz Chekhov.
Chris Gratton played nearly 1,100 regular season games in the NHL between 1993-94 and 2008-09 with the Tampa Bay Lightning, Philadelphia Flyers, Buffalo Sabres, Phoenix Coyotes, Colorado Avalanche, Florida Panthers and Columbus Blue Jackets. Originally a third overall pick by the Lightning at the 1993 NHL Entry Draft, Chris played two years in the OHL with the Kingston Frontenacs, 1991-92 and 1992-93. He was the recipient of the Emms Family Award in 1991-92 as the OHL’s top rookie.
Danny Gratton played four years in the Ontario Hockey League from 1982-83 to 1985-86 with the Oshawa Generals, Ottawa 67’s and Belleville Bulls. Danny was the 10th overall pick at the 1985 NHL Entry Draft by the Los Angeles Kings but only played seven NHL games, all with the Kings. He played pro until 1997-98 in North America, Austria, Switzerland, Italy and Great Britain.