This week’s edition of SSSFS is dedicated to shameless self-promotion. I’m going to link you up with some of the hockey related articles I have at online zines. They’re not all based on the Ontario Hockey League but they are about hockey. Some may even be interesting!
In 1976-77, the Montreal Canadiens made NHL history. Many team records that were set that year still stand today. Team records that still stand include most points (132), most wins (60), most goals for (387) and fewest losses (8). The record for fewest losses still stands today as an NHL record and must be considered unbreakable with the addition of overtime and shootouts which have eliminated ties.
Every sports fan knows which teams have dominated league championships through history. The Yankees in baseball. The Steelers in football. The Celtics and Lakers in basketball. The Canadiens in hockey. But, does anyone know which teams are the greatest losers? Does anyone know which teams have been the bridesmaids in their respective league championships the most often? Does anyone really care? Well, if you do care read on. After all, this is the kind of useless trivia that can start a conversation at boring get-togethers.
The Spengler Cup is an invitational ice hockey tournament that is held in Davos, Switzerland each year between Christmas and New Year’s. The trophy donated by Doctor Carl Spengler of Davos was awarded for the first time in 1923. That year it was awarded to Oxford University, a team that had Lester B. Pearson on the roster. Pearson would later become Prime Minister of Canada.
When it comes to producing professional grade hockey goaltenders, often it is Quebec’s QMJHL that is the world leader. The Ontario Hockey League does still produce some top notch goalies, though. Many OHL netminders move on to the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL). Four of these OHL grads have made a mark for themselves in the ECHL record books.
The world of hockey has always been represented greatly by graduates of the Ontario Hockey League. The East Coast Hockey League (ECHL) is no exception to this. There are currently ten OHL alumni holding or sharing scoring records in the ECHL.
It the modern age of the NHL with 30 teams competing for 16 playoff spots, it is inconceivable that a team could win the Stanley Cup with a losing record during the regular season. In the modern era, teams with a better than .500 record often do not even make the playoffs.
As with any collectible of value, eventually fakes will begin to circulate. The most valuable hockey card today is an O-Pee-Chee Wayne Gretzky rookie card. It is valued at up to $1500 in mint condition. The highest price it has ever fetched to date is $80,000. Of course, there are many fakes out there.
It is often argued who the best National Hockey League teams of all-time are. It is hard to compare the 1930 Boston Bruins with the 1977 Montreal Canadiens when the rules, conditions, equipment, training and number of teams change at a constant pace.
As with most sports leagues, the OHL (OHA Major Junior A) has had many franchise changes in its history. The league is fairly stable now with 20 teams that are in no real threat of shutting down or moving.
Since 1968-69, the London Knights have provided the hockey world with some of the best junior hockey and junior hockey players. Known for the NHL stars they’ve produced like Darryl Sittler, Dennis Maruk, Craig Simpson, Jason Allison, Dino Ciccarelli, Brendan Shanahan and more recently Rick Nash, Corey Perry, Steve Mason and Patrick Kane. The Knights are also known for the tough guys they’ve produced over the years.
Adult pickup hockey, or shinny, is still growing exponentially in Canada. Once a sport that was played as a youth and hardly ever played after the age of 19, now is so popular with adults that some arenas in major cities have been built specifically for adult hockey. In saying that, there are a lot of adults that are picking up the game for the first time in their 20s, 30s, 40s and beyond. Like any sport, many non-participants have been long time fans of the game and have watched their favourite pro team on the television for years.