The Peterborough Petes have been a mainstay in the Ontario Hockey League for over fifty years. The team has played out of the 4,000+ seat Peterborough Memorial Centre since the beginning and has developed many NHL stars like Bob Gainey, Steve Yzerman, Larry Murphy and Chris Pronger. Gainey, Yzerman and Murphy are in the Hockey Hall of Fame with Pronger destined to join them. Take a glance at the history of the Peterborough Petes, by the numbers.
The Petes have been Memorial Cup champions just once, despite making nine appearances at the tournament. Peterborough won in 1978-79, the second of three consecutive Mem Cup tournaments for the team. The Petes took out the WHL’s Brandon Wheat Kings in the final game by a score of 2-1 in overtime. The team was led on the blue line by Larry Murphy, a defenseman that was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2004. Despite the championship, Peterborough players were left off the All-Star team roster and just Chris Halyk won an individual award, honoured with the George Parsons Trophy for sportsmanship.
Wayne Gretzky played three games for the Peterborough Petes in 1976-77 as a fifteen year old, contributing three assists. Gretzky played the following season with the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds and set the current record for most points by an OHL rookie before embarking on a rather memorable National Hockey League career.
The Petes have shown their gentlemanly side over the years with six different players winning the William Hanley Trophy as the OHL’s most sportsmanlike player. These players include: Andre Lacroix, Mickey Redmond, Doug Jarvis, Scott Tottle, Mike Ricci and, most recently in 2009-10, Ryan Spooner. None of this group would go on to win the Lady Byng Trophy in the National Hockey League.
Peterborough has earned the Robertson Cup nine times as the league’s playoff champion. Most recently, Peterborough won in 2005-06 with a sweep of the London Knights in the finals. The Petes won the Robertson three times in a row in 1977-78, 1978-79 and 1979-80. Peterborough was the first team since the 1940’s to win in three consecutive seasons and has been the only to accomplish this feat since.
The 1995-96 season marked the team’s 40th anniversary. To celebrate, Peterborough hosted the Memorial Cup tournament. The Petes qualified with a Robertson Cup victory over the Guelph Storm in a series that went the full seven games. Peterborough then lost in the Memorial Cup final game to the QMJHL’s Granby Predateurs by a 4-0 score.
Scott Tottle scored 63 goals in 1983-84 and that number remains a single season team record. Tottle played three years with the Petes from 1982-83 to 1984-85. He was drafted by the Vancouver Canucks in the third round of the 1983 NHL Entry Draft but played just one year of pro hockey with the AHL’s Fredericton Express.
Peterborough’s highest regular season point total was 99 in 2005-06. The team finished first in the East Conference and won the Robertson Cup with a victory over the London Knights to earn a berth in the Memorial Cup tournament.
The franchise was moved from Kitchener for the 1956-57 OHA season. In Kitchener, the team was known as the Canucks (before that, they were the Kitchener Greenshirts). When they first arrived in Peterborough, they were named the TPT’s.