Ontario Hockey League

Wayne Gretzky started wearing his famous #99 shortly after joining the Soo Greyhounds of the OHL.

CHIN

© Ottawa Citizen Collection/Hockey Hall of Fame


In 1898, the Ontario Hockey Association started a "junior" division for players under the age of twenty. The J. Ross Robertson Cup was first awarded to the OHA Junior "A" champions in 1934 and is still the league’s championship trophy today. The OHA operated its junior league until 1974, when the league became a separate entity and was renamed the Ontario Major Junior Hockey League and eventually, simply the Ontario Hockey League. Junior hockey in Canada flourished over the years, and the OHL played a major role in the development of young hockey players, producing thousands of the country’s top hockey players, from Bobby Orr to Wayne Gretzky to Joe Thornton.


In 1898, the Ontario Hockey Association started a "junior" division for players under the age of twenty. The J. Ross Robertson Cup was first awarded to the OHA Junior "A" champions in 1934 and is still the league’s championship trophy today. The OHA operated its junior league until 1974, when the league became a separate entity and was renamed the Ontario Major Junior Hockey League and eventually, simply the Ontario Hockey League. Junior hockey in Canada flourished over the years, and the OHL played a major role in the development of young hockey players, producing thousands of the country’s top hockey players, from Bobby Orr to Wayne Gretzky to Joe Thornton.


© 2001, CHIN. All Rights Reserved.

In 1966, with seven teams based in Alberta and Saskatchewan, the Western Hockey League was born. Originally known as the Canadian Major Junior Hockey League, it was renamed the Western Canada Hockey League in 1967. With a franchise transfer into Portland, Oregon in 1976 and the league expanding into Seattle the next year, the league officially dropped the "Canadian" from its name, becoming the WHL. Currently the league has eighteen franchises in four provinces and two states. Like the Ontario League, the WHL is the premier league for developing young hockey players in Western Canada and has produced many top NHLers, like Joe Sakic, Theo Fleury and Brad Stuart.
In 1966, with seven teams based in Alberta and Saskatchewan, the Western Hockey League was born. Originally known as the Canadian Major Junior Hockey League, it was renamed the Western Canada Hockey League in 1967. With a franchise transfer into Portland, Oregon in 1976 and the league expanding into Seattle the next year, the league officially dropped the "Canadian" from its name, becoming the WHL. Currently the league has eighteen franchises in four provinces and two states. Like the Ontario League, the WHL is the premier league for developing young hockey players in Western Canada and has produced many top NHLers, like Joe Sakic, Theo Fleury and Brad Stuart.

© 2001, CHIN. All Rights Reserved.

Darcy Tucker

Darcy Tucker captured an amazing three Memorial Cup championships while playing for the Kamloops Blazers.

CHIN

© Doug MacLellan / Hockey Hall of Fame


Learning Objectives

The learner will:

  • Investigate the role that hockey plays in Canada’s national identity
  • Explore the history of hockey in Canada
  • Identify significant people involved in hockey in Canada
  • Examine the evolution of non-professional hockey in Canada
  • Explore the major amateur leagues, tournaments and awards available to male and female athletes

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