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2015-16 OHL Season

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This is the 2015-16 Ontario Hockey League season.  This is the league's 46th season dating back to its' founding as the Ontario Major Junior Hockey League.

There are currently 20 teams in the OHL; 16 are based in the Canadian province of Ontario,three teams in the American state of Michigan and one team in the American state of Pennsylvania. Out of the 18 teams based in Ontario, 15 teams are in Southern Ontario, and 3 teams are in Northern Ontario.

The 20 OHL clubs play a 68 game unbalanced schedule, which starts in the third full week of September, running until the third week of March. Ninety per cent (90%) of OHL games are scheduled between Thursday and Sunday to minimize the number of school days missed for its players. Ninety-five per cent (95%) of the players in the league are attending high school or college.

The Flint Firebirds were forced to move a March 16th game against the London Knights to the Dow Event Center in Saginaw, Michigan due to a burst pipe at the Dort Federal Credit Union Event Center.

The Flint Firebird FiascoEdit

On November 8th, the owner of the Flint Firebirds fired the head coach, John Gruden after the team pulled out a come from behind overtime victory over the defending Memorial Cup champions earlier.  According to published reports the issue was the amount of ice time that owner, Rolf Nilson's 17 year old son was receiving.  Upon hearing of the removal of the coach the whole 24 members of the team quit, not wanting to play for anyone else but Coach Gruden.  Among those quitting the team were the owner's son, Håkon Nilsen.  The whole team went into the team's front office and threw their jerseys on the ground, quit the team and then walked out.  OHL commissioner David Branch was scheduled to meet with the ownership of the franchise on Monday November 9th to try to salvage anything out of what is a very bad situation for all involved.  After the meeting the owner issued a release through the OHL's website stating that he made "an irresponsible mistake" and the coaches were reinstated and meetings were held between the league commissioner, ownership, coaches and players.

The Firebirds organization made news headlines again on February 17th when the owner fired Coach (and now GM since January) Gruden and assistant coach Dave Karpa and named director of operations Sergei Kharin interim head coach. The way the handling of the terminations was handled (mainly involving communication to the players and the league) has lead to the league looking into the terminations. Commissioner Branch was in contact with the team's captain, Alex Peters and was planning on meeting with the rest of the players and parents within a few days. At the time of the firings the team was in 9th place in the conference with a 11-31-6 record and lost 8 of their last ten games. The team was actually on a pace for a better record than in 2014-15.

The league made the following announcements after the initial phase of their investigation: The owner and his appointees on the  management and coaching staff (including interim coach Sergei Kharin). The team is to provide counseling services for the players and that the management team is to co-operate with the commissioner and the league  for the rest of the investigation. The league and the commissioner have said they will take any appropriate actions to remedy the situation.

On April 6, 2016 the league annouced that owner Rolf Nilsen was suspended as for five years and fined $250,000 as a result of an investigation conducted by the league.  The report stated that Nilsen had violated an agreement he signed with the league on November 11, 2015.  The team was also penalized with the forfeiture of the team's first round pick in the OHL Priority Selection (the third pick overall in the draft).  The release stated if Nilsen violates any of the terms of the order from the league he will be required to sell 100% of his ownership interest in the Firebirds. Nilsen may file for re-instatement to participate in hockey operations after 3 years.  The league further announced that Joe Birch who took over the hockey operations in February will continue in the position and additional staff (head coach, GM, and other hockey operational staff) would be named shortly.  The team will continue to be under the stewardship, supervision and direction of the league commissioner.

Franchise changesEdit

Current member teamsEdit

Ontario Hockey League
Eastern Conference
Division Team City Arena Capacity
East Hamilton Bulldogs Hamilton, Ontario, Canada FirstOntario Centre 17,383
Kingston Frontenacs Kingston, Ontario, Canada Rogers K-Rock Centre 5,614
Oshawa Generals Oshawa, Ontario, Canada General Motors Centre 6,125
Ottawa 67's Ottawa, Ontario, Canada TD Place Arena 9,862
Peterborough Petes Peterborough, Ontario, Canada Peterborough Memorial Centre 4,329
Central Barrie Colts Barrie, Ontario, Canada Barrie Molson Centre 4,195
Mississauga Steelheads Mississauga, Ontario, Canada Hershey Centre 5,612
Niagara IceDogs St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada Meridian Centre 5,300
North Bay Battalion North Bay, Ontario, Canada North Bay Memorial Gardens 4,043
Sudbury Wolves Sudbury, Ontario, Canada Sudbury Community Arena 4,640
Western Conference
Division Team City Arena Capacity
Midwest Erie Otters Erie, Pennsylvania, USA Erie Insurance Arena 6,833
Guelph Storm Guelph, Ontario, Canada Sleeman Centre 4,715
Kitchener Rangers Kitchener, Ontario, Canada Kitchener Memorial Auditorium Complex 7,777
London Knights London, Ontario, Canada Budweiser Gardens 9,046
Owen Sound Attack Owen Sound, Ontario, Canada Harry Lumley Bayshore Community Centre 3,500
West Flint Firebirds Flint, Michigan, USA Dort Federal Credit Union Event Center 4,021
Saginaw Spirit Saginaw, Michigan, USA Dow Event Center 5,527
Sarnia Sting Sarnia, Ontario, Canada RBC Centre 5,500
Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada Essar Centre 4,928
Windsor Spitfires Windsor, Ontario, Canada WFCU Centre 6,450


Eastern Conference
East Division
Kingston Frontenacs 68 46 17 - 3 2 252 189 1018 97
Ottawa 67's 68 36 29 - 2 1 234 219 638 75
Peterborough Petes 68 33 28 - 2 5 240 259 788 73
Oshawa Generals 68 27 33 - 4 4 197 235 756 62
Hamilton Bulldogs 68 25 35 - 8 0 197 260 782 58
Central Division
Barrie Colts 68 43 22 - 0 3 295 207 1051 89
North Bay Battalion 68 35 23 - 6 4 240 227 727 80
Niagara IceDogs 68 35 26 - 4 3 213 198 895 77
Mississauga Steelheads 68 33 30 - 2 3 215 229 901 71
Sudbury Wolves 68 16 46 - 5 1 183 328 978 38
Western Conference
Midwest Division
Erie Otters 68 52 15 - 1 0 269 183 655 105
London Knights 68 51 14 - 2 1 319 182 1037 105
Kitchener Rangers 68 44 17 - 5 2 256 197 729 95
Owen Sound Attack 68 32 25 - 8 3 209 222 796 75
Guelph Storm 68 13 49 - 4 2 156 297 1004 32
West Division
Sarnia Sting 68 42 19 - 5 2 254 192 889 91
Windsor Spitfires 68 40 21 - 6 1 253 200 880 87
Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds 68 33 27 - 7 1 243 233 605 74
Saginaw Spirit 68 24 36 - 5 3 209 282 799 56
Flint Firebirds 68 20 42 - 4 2 184 279 825 46

2016 J. Ross Robertson Cup PlayoffsEdit


The OHL playoffs consist of 16 teams,the top 8 from each conference. The teams play a best-of-seven game series, and the winner of each series advances to the next round. The final two teams eventually compete for the J. Ross Robertson Cup.

The J. Ross Robertson Cup champion advances to the 2016 Memorial Cup which is scheduled to be held in Red Deer, Alberta and be hosted by the Red Deer Rebels.  All of the games will be held at the ENMAX Centrium. This will be the 98th Memorial Cup championship and will determine the champion of the Canadian Hockey League.   The tournament wlll match up the champions of the three member leagues of the Canadian Hockey League (the Western Hockey League, the Ontario Hockey League, and the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and the host Red Deer Rebels.

Eastern Conference QuarterfinalsEdit

Western Conference QuarterfinalsEdit

Eastern Conference SemifinalsEdit

Western Conference SemifinalsEdit

Eastern Conference FinalEdit

The Niagara IceDogs win the Bobby Orr Trophy as Eastern Conference Champions

Western Conference FinalEdit

  • defeated Erie Otters 4 games to none (7-4, 6-1, 5-1, 5-1)

The London Knights win the Wayne Gretzky Trophy as Western Conference Champions

J. Ross Robertson Cup FinalEdit

The J. Ross Robertson Cup champion London Knights advance to the 2016 Memorial Cup which is scheduled to be held in Red Deer, Alberta and be hosted by the Red Deer Rebels.

2016 OHL champs London Knights

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