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2012/2013 OHL Thread

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Welcome back!


The London Knights are your defending OHL Champions.

The lockout has created the potential for an interesting year.

Shall we start with some previews with the teams that are typically followed around here?


Went and saw the banner raised last night, the video was cut a little short though, kind of tough to show 9000 rowdy fans the OT loss in the Memorial Cup final all over again.

Big turnover in their roster. Losses to the AHL/Other Pro leagues: Forwards - Greg McKegg, Jared Knight, Austin Watson. Defenseman Jarred Tinordi. Goalie Michael Houser.

The Knights grabbed Kevin Bailie from Oshawa to be their starter. Michael Houser had an outstanding OHL career, and left as the franchise leader in wins, so the Knights will have to protect their cage a little better this season to put together another run. They added Nikita Zadorov on defense who should fit in alright, and did something unheard of in the draft - used a 2nd round pick on a 1993 birth player - Alex Broadhurst. (this was a 96' draft). Scott Harrington has been named captain, and look for an MVP type season for Seth Griffith (hat trick in the season opener last night) Worth mentioning are Bo Horvat and Max Domi, who won gold with Canada's u18 team in the summer.


Was there a bigger story this off season than Windsor-Gate? The mighty David Branch served them with a 400,000 fine and the loss of a bunch of draft picks including 3 first rounders. Yesterday the fine was reduced to 250,000 and one less 1st rounder, and "neither the league or Windsor will make further comments on the matter". Gotta wonder who's next to get burned for recruiting violations.

The good news is this is a young team and the Spits didn't lose any key players. Kerby Rychel, Mike Clarke, and Brady Vail will have to lead the offense. 5th overall pick Josh Ho Sang is a legitimate talent who could put up some serious numbers if things go his way. Very curious about the season Nick Ebert will have, as his stock has plummeted, he was once considered the best 94 age player available in the OHL, and he was taken with the last overall pick in the NHL draft.

The Spitfires still have a long way to go, and Jaroslav Pavelka will have to steal some wins from time to time, as this is still a young club.


Nail Yakupov can be considered a tease for OHL fans. We barely got to see him play, all of 42 games. He's back in Russia.

The good news is former first overall pick Alex Galchenyuk will be back, and has been named captain. They bring back one of the league's best goalies in JP Anderson, and veteran Charlie Sarault should score a bunch. Rookie Brett Hargrave is a big forward with some nice potential.


These guys are stacked. The loss of Scott Wedgewood may hurt a bit, but Matt Mahalak looks capable.

Rakell, Noesen, Meurs, Aleardi, Wilson is a hell of a forward group. They added Gianluca Curcuruto on defense, a former first round OHL Pick (great handle "coo-coo-roo-toe")

Other Contenders

Kitchener looks stacked, look for big numbers from Fadek Faksa and Ryan Murphy.

Belleville will look to turn the corner with Brendan Gaunce leading the way and Malcolm Subban in net.

Ottawa has lost some key players but feature potential NHL first overall pick Sean Monahan

Niagara still has Ryan Strome and Dougie Hamilton for now, if they hang around they may the favourite to win it all.



Connor McDavid - Erie. Exceptional status, in the league as a 15 year old. Any other direction would have stunted this guy's development. He is ready for this league without a doubt. Speed, vision, finishing ability. Committed to a two way game. Comparisons to Steve Yzerman have been made. The real deal.

Roland McKeown - McDavid's former teammate - Defenseman - 2nd overall - Kingston.

Agressive, sound defenseman, with scoring ability. Drew Doughty has been brought up.

Jared McCann (F) in Soo, Robby Fabbri (F) in Guelph, Josh Ho Sang (F) in Windsor, Michael Dal Colle (F) in Oshawa... are players to watch.


I'll try and update as much as possible, good to be back !

Edited by Kdoogie24

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Columbus' 2nd rounder Boone Jenner is your OHL leading scorer after 3 weekends. 7 G and 8 A in 6 games. Oshawa is 5-1.

Perennial contender Ottawa has started 1-5, eagerly awaiting the return of injured goaltender and Red Wings pick, Petr Mrazek.

Windsor is a respectable 3-3, though they got crushed 8-2 in London on Friday night. Still a long way to go for the young club, lots of holes on defense and still looking for Kerby Rychel to break out.

Goalie Jordan Binnington in Owen Sound is 5-0, as the Attack have started 5-1.

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Garret Sparks (8 wins tied for league lead) and the Guelph Storm are the OHL's best after 1 month. 5 straight games scoring 6+ goals helps!

Barrie is also rolling, at 9-3-0-1.

Sarnia's Craig Hottot was suspended 10 games for this hit on Ryan Horvat

OHL Network

Erie's Connor McDavid leads all rookies with 14pts in 12gms.

Vincent Trocheck of Saginaw and Mark Scheifele of Barrie have moved into the scoring lead, with 20pts each.

Defenseman Ryan Murphy started the first 8 games with 0 goals and 1 assist. Then he went off for 8points in his last 3, including a 4 assist night in the Rangers home opener on Friday. Kitchener started their first 8 games on the road, due to ongoing renovations at the AUD which added around 1,000 new seats.

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The Sarnia Observer isn't known for its journalism or interesting interviews, but I found this to be an interesting piece on the business of junior hockey from the perspective of the owners of a middle of the road OHL franchise. I assume city council was the intended audience.

Q&A with Sarnia Sting governor Rob Ciccarelli | Hockey | Sports | Sarnia Observer

Coping with severe backlash over parking fees at Sarnia Sting games this season — a decision that has since been reversed — Sting co-owner and governor Rob Ciccarelli recently sat down with The Observer to discuss the rationale.

Ciccarelli owns the team along with brother Larry, the team president; the group also operates the RBC Centre.

Ciccarelli discussed the building — which loses roughly $250,000 per year — the Sting, and losses the Ciccarellis are enduring on the ice and in the board room.

In numbers The Observer has verified, Ciccarelli laid out what he’s lost operating the RBC Centre and the Sting, as well as his mounting frustration over the team’s inability to sustain a winner on the ice.

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Tough spot for the Ciccarelli's. They can't seem to build a sustained winner and clearly its starting to hurt them at the box office. From what I gather, tickets are on the higher end in comparison to the rest of the OHL. I don't know how the RBC Centre does with non hockey events but it can't be great. OHL Hockey definitely deserves to stay in Sarnia though, so good on them for holding strong.

On the same topic, here's an article (month old now, but still being discussed on thenoof.com) on Brampton and their situation.

Attendance is flat out embarrassing at the Bunker, just as in Mississauga at the Hershey Center. Renaming the Majors to the Steelheads has done nothing, as some recent crowd shots show an arena that is 90% empty on most nights. Branch has to be aware that this just doesn't work in the GTA, but the problem may be that the other options are somewhat thin as well. There isn't many places with OHL ready facilities other than Hamilton (Copps Coliseum) which has been explored but nothing came of it.

Could the Battalion be on the move? | Hockey | Sports | Toronto Sun

Edit: was doing some reading and thought I would post this in regards to the question of where could Brampton go. This is from the owner/webmaster of OHLarenaguide.com

The short list of potential sites as far as arenas go is:

Brantford - arena is 45 years old and very run down, reminds me a lot of the London Ice House or the Oshawa Civic Auditorium. Not a long term solution but could be a stopgap. Brantford is less than an hour from KW, Guelph, London and Hamilton.

Buffalo - is there any reason why the Sabres couldn't get involved with running a team like the Hitmen/Oil Kings situation out west? Buffalo is a great hockey town and might support more affordable hockey. HSBC Arena is huge for juniors but it may be worth a shot.

Cornwall - arena is 35 years old but very up to date. Was extensively renovated in 2008. Probably the best potential arena on the list, but the market is small and economically depressed.

Flint - crazily run down arena but geography works well. Flint Generals folded a couple of years ago and there's no high level hockey in town right now.

Hamilton - Future of the Bulldogs up in the air due to Montreal moving their affiliate to Laval in 2014. Copps is cavernous and has no atmosphere for anything but the NHL, but it satisfies all the criteria.

Newmarket - Small and spartan building, GTA problems, but at least it's farther away from Mississauga.

North Bay - Despite what the North Bay defenders say, the Memorial Gardens isn't OHL standard anymore. Extensive renovations or a new rink would be needed, but it would be a fine stopgap. Definitely the sentimental choice.

Waterloo - Won't happen. The Rec Complex is a nice newish arena but the Rangers and Storm won't allow it.

And to completely exhaust all possibilities - Toledo has a brand new downtown arena but the ECHL is pretty entrenched there, and Chatham's old barn is too old and too small even for a temporary stopgap, unless there was a truly deep-pocketed potential owner and a willing city council, which they don't seem to have.

Edited by Kdoogie24

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Has anyone followed the mess that is known as the CHLPA? Things are finally starting to get exposed, mostly regarding who the hell these guys are, and what they actually want. Pretty hilarious/bizarre story right from the start.

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Has anyone followed the mess that is known as the CHLPA? Things are finally starting to get exposed, mostly regarding who the hell these guys are, and what they actually want. Pretty hilarious/bizarre story right from the start.

I have not. Could you give a brief description?

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Quick timeline:

Announcement of the "CHLPA" gets released on a relatively unknown website called "Junior Hockey News" and follows with a Twitter account. Little revealed as to who is running it all and what they actually want. Their funding would supposedly come from an extra surcharge on ticket sales - a ridiculous claim to begin with.

Details start to emerge about how the CHLPA is going for better education packages. Georges Laraque becomes the face of the "Union" and starts appearing in interviews. One of their main gripes is that the if the CHL is going to be deemed professional, than the players are entitled to minimum wage. (a can of worms in itself)

More information comes out about how this is a bunch of lawyers who are working for free to push this forward. More recently, they are exploring the option of allowing CHL players to move onto NCAA hockey after Junior.

Their twitter account has been bizarre from the start - referencing old (sometimes 5-6 years) articles about how a player was treated unfairly and didn't receive a sufficient education package following his CHL career. Many of their facts and claims have been downright ridiculous, including Laraques last few interviews.

They claim the CHL (David Branch) won't meet with them. David Branch claims they are willing to meet, but just want to know who they actually are, what their goals and issues are, just want more information.

There are also some very unsettling stories about "agents" or "CHLPA reps" visiting closed team events/dinners, and putting forth papers for players to sign. The one story that came out had players talking about a guy who wouldn't give his last name, and was passing around papers.

Some of details of this stuff may not be 100% accurate regarding the details, but it's all very loose and weird to begin with. I am starting to get into following it now, and there are some very informative articles I can link if you guys want.

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The early stories said the PA was just interested in improving the education package to allow guys to give pro hockey a shot and go back to school if they wanted. Currently, there is an 18 month window from the end of the Junior season to take advantage of the package. That's barely one season.

Either the Edmonton Sun or Toronto Star, cant remember, had an in-depth article over the weekend. It highlighted how the PA want salaries, benefits and other things employees get in other businesses. This is going to get ugly. What are you going to have, 16 year olds living on their own when teams end the billets?

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And so it begins. If the player is successful, could we see the inevitable end of the CHL and Junior hockey as we know it?

Hockey player Joshua Desmond files suit against CHL for unpaid wages - thestar.com

A 19-year-old hockey player in Nova Scotia has filed the first in what could become a string of union-supported claims for unpaid wages against Canadian Hockey League teams.

Joshua Desmond, formerly a defenceman for the Halifax Mooseheads of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, filed a complaint with Nova Scotia’s Labour Standards Division last Friday alleging he is owed “approximately $12,000” based on average hours of work between August of last year and April of this year.

If successful, the complaint could open the door to a crush of similar claims worth potentially millions of dollars in retroactive pay.

“I am filing this complaint because I was not being paid minimum wage,” Desmond wrote by hand on the complaint form.

He earned $48 per week for approximately 41 hours of work, the complaint alleges.

Now playing for the Yarmouth Jr. A Mariners, the teen is being represented in his labour complaint by a lawyer with the newly minted Canadian Hockey League Players’ Association.

“While I was playing, I never even thought about wages,” said Desmond, who had five goals and 11 assists in 52 games with the Moosehead last year.

“But now that it’s all over with and the CHLPA has notified me of all these things I didn’t know about, it made me think about what I should do. I chose to do this.”

Dave Branch, president of the CHL, said his league is not in violation of any federal or provincial laws.

“We look upon our players as student athletes. We’ve never considered ourselves professional. We are under Hockey Canada, which is the recognized amateur sports-governing body.”

When the union first announced its plans in August, Branch issued a public statement saying, “No junior hockey league in the world has made more changes to support the best interest of its players both on and off the ice as the CHL.”

Bobby Smith, owner of the Moosehead, said the wages earned by his players is only the beginning of the benefits they receive.

Travel expenses, summer training, strength and conditioning coaches and psychologists are all part of the compact, he says.

“For me, the deal is you’re going to come and play for the Halifax Mooseheads and we’ll do everything we can to make you an NHL player,” he said in an interview. “If you don’t have it in you, we’re going to pay for your education. I think it’s a pretty darn good deal and a far better deal than anyone might get if they said they deserved minimum wage.”

Desmond’s complaint appears to be just the first.

The union is “preparing for Quebec players to take legal action with the Labour Standards Commission to ensure ... they meet the minimum conditions of work in Quebec,” said a French-language press release issued Tuesday. “Other CHL teams will soon be covered by similar approaches.”

Asked how many more claims for unpaid wages are to come, CHLPA executive director Georges Laraque said, “it depends on how negotiation goes with the league. We have lawyers working for us in every province. We can reinforce the law.”

The two sides have yet to meet.

The unpaid wages complaints are the latest — and perhaps most aggressive — strategy from the fledgling CHLPA.

Last week, the union, still uncertified in Ontario, threatened legal action in a letter to CHL president David Branch, his Ontario clubs and Hockey Canada president Bob Nicholson, alleging “blatant disregard for the bare minimum working standards that have been set for employees.”

The letter claims the league has failed to pay minimum wage, overtime, severance or vacation pay to players, allegedly in breach of Ontario labour legislation.

“In the event that these ongoing violations are not immediately rectified, please be advised that we intend to commence legal proceedings,” the union letter promises.

Laraque, president of the proposed union, says higher wages for players isn’t the ultimate goal of the organization. The real aim is a better scholarship program for the vast majority of players who will not make the NHL or otherwise have careers in professional hockey.

Currently, a player who doesn’t enrol in an educational program within 18 months of hanging up his skates loses access to the scholarship funds.

That’s not enough time, says Laraque.

Minimum-wage demands like Desmond’s are leverage for a scholarship extension, Laraque says; either the league needs to extend the time limit or face a flood of minimum-wage demands.

Branch said no requests for changes to the league’s scholarship policy have been formally tabled by the union.

The 18-month limit for enrolment in a post-secondary program was the result of consultation with parents who told the league not to make the time frame too long, he said.

“They were concerned that the longer their kids were out of school, the less likely (it was) they would return. We really feel that, unless you sign a pro hockey contract, you should go to school and get your education. It’s something that we’ll continue to have dialogue on with parents and players. We’ll see.”

The CHLPA has other legal irons in the fire, reaching into the United States.

The Star recently reported a legal opinion the union obtained from a U.S. law firm indicating it has a strong case against the CHL’s eight U.S.-based teams for breaching American competition laws.

The opinion concluded that standardized wages given to players, regardless of their abilities or experience, may well be found in court to breach U.S. law.

“It seems abundantly clear that league-wide restrictions which set compensation scales, bonuses, and other remuneration without any reliance on the market constitutes an unreasonable restraint on trade,” concluded the legal memo from the firm of Willig, Williams & Davidson.

“It is clear that the CHL, its member leagues, and member teams have restricted trade with respect to its players and has done so unreasonably.”

Payments to CHL players in all three leagues are also uniformly fixed at $35 per week for 16- and 17-year-olds, $50 for 18-year-olds, $60 for 19-year-olds, and $125 per week by age 20, the memo says.

Laraque said if negotiations with the league fail, an anti-competition lawsuit will proceed in the U.S. on behalf of players on the CHL’s eight American teams.

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The CHLPA is also pushing to have the NCAA change it's designation and how they view the CHL.

Hockey Canada randomly changed it's rulebook this year. They now consider the CHL as "Non professional", they previously were designated as professional. This is big for the CHL, but doesn't necessarily mean anything in the eyes of the NCAA.


Because the NCAA allows players in other leagues to make money and still remain eligible, as long as it is within their means. The current payments that players receive would fall under that category. What they DO NOT allow, is players that have signed pro contracts and are still competing in the league. That in turn makes all players in the league ineligible to play NCAA.

CHLPA wants players to be able to play 4-5 years in the CHL, then go play NCAA and get their education.

End result? (in theory) NHL/AHL and CHL would have to end their agreement and start allowing 18/19yr olds play in the AHL (which they can't do right now) - since getting an entry level deal+signing bonus would make them ineligible to play in the CHL under this new designation. What about NHL teams who want their high end players to develop in Junior instead of the AHL? They would put off signing them for 1 or 2 years, thus forcing the player to play for 50$/week.

edit: to expand on this, heres a few good comments from a poster on thenoof

One other point in this....most NHL will want their drafted players to develop in the CHL so those players won't be able to sign their NHL contracts therefore they will be getting their stipend of $50.00 a week and hope they don't suffer a career ending injury!


and if the NHL team waits to develop the player for 2 years in the CHL, that player after two years of waiting becomes a free agent and sign with any other NHL team! If sent to the AHL we know that a lot of these underage players are not physically ready for that grind and would more than likely get severely injured!

This could hurt the NCAA as well. They could potentially lose even more 15yr old recruits, because they will have the ability to go and try the CHL right away and see how they like it, instead of having to spend a year in Tier II leagues to maintain their eligibility.

I am completely against these guys in every way. I have friends who spent 4-5 years in the OHL. They lived the life for those years, everything was at their disposal (granted this was London, a major market with lots of cash) On top of equipment, training, billets, travel costs, etc etc, there's instances where vehicles are even provided during their time with the team. One went the AHL/ECHL route and is still playing with the Florida Everblades, his education money now burned - but im sure he weighed his options before making the choice. Another went down the ladder starting in the AHL and then spent time in the ECHL and Central League. He's now back at Western in London, playing for one of the best CIS teams in the country and getting a good education. Another Went to Western directly after his CHL career was done, played here for 4 years, and this year decided to go play pro in Austria. Just 3 different examples of guys who all played minor hockey together in London, went to the O for 4 years, and are still doing fine.

Edited by Kdoogie24

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The story continues... this "union" is going to crash and burn quite soon.

TSN Video Player

there's 2 other videos worth watching as well but arent posted in the video player. They are on the sidebar of the main page at tsn.ca

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may as well keep updating. Here's a release from Sunaya with more twists and turns.

CHLPA a tale of multiple identities? - Yahoo! Sports Canada

also: Laraque stepped down tonight. But says he'll continue until a replacement is found.

Two law firms cut ties with the organization.

Desmond - (the guy from the article that dadair linked) officially withdrew his complaint to the labour board.

things are crumbling quite quickly.

Edited by Kdoogie24

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My favorite part of the story was Laraque being show a picture of Randy Gumbley and twice Laraque said it was Derek Clarke. Then, once he's informed of the real identity he comes back saying it's Randy's brother and they look alike. It would have been great to see the look on his face when they told him who was in the picture.

I'm not a big fan of Branch, but it's funny watching him and the media expose the CHLPA one bit at a time. I'm sure TSN recorded three calls with Derek Clarke in which the third call was a different person than the first two. It would be great to hear them. Are there laws in Canada that prevent phone recordings to be made public if the person on the other end doesn't know they're being recorded?

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Gonna head to Sarnia on Monday to watch the 2nd game of the OHL leg in the Super Series

Connor McDavid was named as an injury replacement and will be playing tomorrow (Thursday) when the Russians visit Guelph.

The OHL is 18-0 vs Russia in this thing. Q is 9-6-3 and on their way to another split. WHL has a 14-3-1 mark vs them.

Nail Yakupov will return to the RBC Centre, curious to see how the fans greet him after bolting to the KHL.

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Re: Brampton/NB

North Bay deserves another shot and shouldn't have a problem selling the required amount of tickets. It was stupid to put two teams within 10 minutes of each other in the GTA, where nobody cares about junior hockey to begin with.

From what I've read, you can count the number of sellouts Brampton has had on one hand in their 15 year history. No fan base in the area, very little community involvement, poor gameday experience, and not much success on the ice outside of a playoff runs. (though I do love the uniforms!) Sucks for the few die hards, but they had to know this was coming - and they can take a trip down to the Hershey in Mississauga if they still want their fix.

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Ryan Strome has taken over the league lead in scoring, with 14g 23a in 21gms.

Sarnia has won 4 in a row and now leads the tough West division.

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Windsor dealt Derek Shoenmakers and Brandon Devlin to Peterborough for Essex native Trevor Murphy and Zach Lorentz. Basically depth for depth, but Windsor gets a bit younger. Murphy is a 95' defenseman who played alongside Aaron Ekblad in the U17 in Windsor last year.

London has won 10 in a row and heads to Owen Sound tonight for a battle of teams with the two best records in the league right now.

Fall NHL Draft rankings are out. Top 5 from OHL

Monahan (Ottawa)

Nurse (Soo)

Rychel (Windsor)

Domi (London)

Horvat (London)

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There is a team who is playing some damn good hockey right now, but i'll hold off on mentioning them until the streak ends.

Head Coach Robbie Ftorek was fired from Erie, after yet another poor start from the Otters.

Out in the WHL, the Portland Winterhawks were hit hard with CHL fines for player benefit violations.

-Fined 200,000

-9 draft picks including their next 5 first rounders

-GM/Head Coach Mike Johnston suspended for the year.

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Steve Spott, head coach of the Kitchener Rangers will lead team Canada into Russia this year.

OHL Representatives

G Jordan Subban (Belleville)

G Jordan Binnington (Owen Sound)

G Jake Paterson (Saginaw) - Wings Pick

D Ryan Murphy (Kitchener)

D Scott Harrington (London)

D Dougie Hamilton (Niagara)

F Ryan Strome (Niagara)

F Brett Richie (Niagara)

F Anthony Camara (Barrie)

F Mark Scheifele (Barrie)

F Boone Jenner (Oshawa)


G John Gibson (Kitchener)

G Garret Sparks (Guelph)

D Connor Murphy (Sarnia)

D Pat Sieloff (Windsor)

F Stephen Noesen (Plymouth) - Currently has a 10 game suspension, and IIHF may honor it. USA is appealing.

F Alex Galchenyuk (Sarnia)

F Tyler Biggs (Oshawa)

F Vincent Trocheck (Saginaw)


That team I was referring to is still playing quite well, still no official update until it ends.

Sarnia playing better as of late. Galchenyuk-Boucher-Sarault may be the best line in the league right now. Putting up some serious points.

Plymouth can't seem to put it all together. Pretty inconsistent lately.

Sean Monahan is back from a 10 game suspension, he had a good shot to make team Canada but was cut. We'll see how Ottawa responds with him back, because they have been a disaster - 9 and 23 is not a record typical of the 67s.

Windsor finally put a few wins together in a row, but still have a long way to go. Really missing a guy who can provide offense on their own.

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I've neglected giving Spits updates this year. I was a bit surprised to hear they're at the half way point already. Their two games at Plymouth were weeknight games and we haven't had a chance to get to Windsor yet (hopefully in the new year). Aside from reading game stories in the Star I've pretty much ignored hockey this year. The NHL has killed any feeling I have for the game right now.

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