The Cornwall Royals were once, at different times, members of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and the Ontario Hockey League. The team was the same franchise that simply transferred from one league to the other. The Royals were quite successful in their relatively short history in Cornwall and produced several great NHL hockey players.
Of course, the Royals would relocate to Newmarket, where they retained the nickname. It was a short stay in Newmarket before the franchise moved to their present location in Sarnia where they are today known as the Sarnia Sting.
Test and expand your knowledge of the Cornwall Royals with the following four hockey trivia questions.
Q. What member of the 2011 Hockey Hall of Fame class was a member of the Cornwall Royals in both the QMJHL and the OHL?
A. Doug Gilmour played for the Royals in their last season in Quebec and their first two in Ontario. In his final season with Cornwall, Gilmour led the OHL in scoring, winning the Eddie Powers Trophy and was named the league’s Most Valuable Player, honoured with the Red Tilson Trophy.
Doug was a lowly seventh round pick by the St. Louis Blues at the 1982 NHL Entry Draft, 134th overall, after his first year with the OHL Royals. He went on to 1,474 regular season games in the National Hockey League from 1983-84 to 2002-03 with the Blues, Calgary Flames, Toronto Maple Leafs, New Jersey Devils, Chicago Blackhawks, Buffalo Sabres and Montreal Canadiens.
Q. In their 12 seasons in the QMJHL, how many times did the Cornwall Royals win the Memorial Cup as Canadian major junior champion?
A. The Royals won the Memorial Cup an astonishing three times in twelve years. They won in 1972 then won consecutive titles in their final two years in the QMJHL, 1980 and 1981. Cornwall is just one of eight teams to win the Memorial Cup in consecutive years.
In 1972, Cornwall beat the Peterborough Petes 2-1 in the final game. It was the Petes again in 1980, this time the final game was even closer with a 3-2 win in overtime. In 1981, the Royals took out yet another OHL team to win the championship, beating the Kitchener Rangers 5-2 in the final.
Q. What Cornwall Royals star was the first overall pick in the 1981 NHL draft?
A. Dale Hawerchuk was the first overall pick of the Winnipeg Jets in 1981 after dominating the QMJHL in 1980-81. Hawerchuk scored 81 goals and totalled 183 points, leading the league in scoring and being named not only the QMJHL MVP but the CHL MVP. 1980-81 was his second of two seasons with Cornwall.
Dale, of course, went on to enjoy a Hall of Fame career in the NHL. He played 1,188 regular season National Hockey League games between 1981-82 to 1996-97 with the Jets, Buffalo Sabres, St. Louis Blues and Philadelphia Flyers.
The current coach of the Barrie Colts in the OHL was awarded the Calder Trophy as NHL rookie of the year in 1981-82. That year, Hawerchuk scored 45 goals and assisted on 58 for 103 points over 80 regular season games with the Jets.
Q. What Cornwall Royals blue liner was named CHL Defenseman of the Year in 1989-90?
A. John Slaney scored 38 goals and totalled 97 points as an 18 year old defenseman. He was selected in the 1990 NHL Entry Draft ninth overall by the Washington Capitals. Slaney played 268 NHL games with Washington, Colorado Avalanche, Los Angeles Kings, Phoenix Coyotes, Nashville Predators, Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers.
Slaney retired from pro hockey as a player after 2010-11. His final year was spent in the Czech Extraliga with HC Plzen. Since 2011-12, he has been an assistant coach on the Portland Pirates coaching staff in the American Hockey League. It was announced recently that John is one of the newest members of the AHL Hall of Fame.