Junior B Hockey Franchise Approved by League To Return To Collingwood

The downtown Eddie Bush Memorial Arena was filled for an exhibition game featuring the Barrie Colts earlier this season.

Friday night could once again be Junior B Hockey Night in Collingwood.

The Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League has awarded a franchise to Collingwood, confirmed in a letter dated January 9th by league commissioner Greg Best.

The league currently operates three divisions … the Golden Horseshoe Conference, the Western Conference and the Mid-Western Conference.

If a realignment of teams/divisions doesn’t occur, Collingwood will play in the Mid-Western Conference against teams from Waterloo, Listowel, Stratford, Elmira, Kitchener, Cambridge, Brantford and Brampton.

Teams compete for the Sutherland Cup, first awarded in 1934 and emblematic of Junior B supremacy in the Ontario Hockey Association. Listowel won the league championship last year.

The Waterloo Siskins have won the most Sutherland Cup Championships with 11.

Speaking on the Jr B new franchise for Collingwood former Mayor Terry Geddes said the announcement is exciting for the community and comes as a result of close to 10 years of commitment by many Collingwood hockey enthusiasts who never gave up.

“Junior B is a perfect fit for our community. Our legendary history is here and Junior C. There isn’t a hockey fan in Collingwood who does not recall the excitement that the Collingwood Blues brought to the town. This is not a team transfer but a new franchise allowing us to start from scratch. Most importantly it is a division that will provide so much opportunity for us to put a home town product on the ice. First game should recognize all those players that played Junior B and C. When we told told of the approval by the Commissioner I felt elated. We were chasing a Junior A situation out of desperation to get a team. We no longer need to do that.”

Geddes says the time proven successful hockey franchises in Collingwood have been Intermediate and Senior “A” and Junior “C” and Junior “B.”

The Collingwood Junior B Blues played in front of big crowds in the downtown Collingwood arena in the mid-1970’s. Pictured above is former Team President and General Manager Bill Reddick, team captain Bill Switzer and assistant captain Myles McCauley.

Collingwood Blues In Junior B Final Series against St. Mary’s

You may remember the Collingwood Junior B Blues defeated the Siskins on route to an appearance in the league finals in 1976.

That Year, the Blues lost a heart breaking seven game final series to St. Mary’s. The turning point of that final was a game six loss on home ice that sent the series back to St. Mary’s for a winner-take-all game seven.

The Town of Collingwood still has to throw its support behind the arrival of a new Junior B franchise but the all-important hurdle of obtaining the green light from the league has been cleared.

The name of the proposed new Collingwood Junior “B” hockey team has not been announced as of yet.

Yes, Friday night could once again be Hockey Night in Collingwood.

Visit triple W dot GOJHL dot CA for more information on league teams, scoring stats and standings.

Is it time to bring junior hockey back to Collingwood?

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