UPDATE: Tecumseh Denied Hockey Franchise
It looks like the expansion of the Great Lakes Junior C hockey league into Tecumseh won’t happen after all.
An appeal by five of the nine teams in the league was denied by the Ontario Hockey Association (OHA), however, the Ontario Hockey Federation (OHF) yesterday overruled that decision.
In an email to BlackburnNews.com, OHA CEO Scott Farley says the association is “extremely disappointed” by the rationale that was given and the way the appeal was conducted. “The OHA maintains that it acted in accordance with our rules and that the OHA Board has final determination of all matters relating to membership and new entries.”
General Manager of the Lakeshore Canadiens Mark Seguin, which was part of the appellant group, says they had their reasons for keeping Tecumseh out.
“We have a constitution that protects the teams in the league and the assets of each organization,” says Seguin. “Historically, this league has not been able to sustain more than nine teams, so we wanted to make sure that it was a viable league for the nine teams and the quality of the product stayed in tact.”
The application submitted to the OHA by the Tecumseh Chiefs met and exceeded all requirements, including addressing concerns over play availability, revenue implications for all teams and presented a “sold and realistic business plan,” Farley says.
The OHA’s Board of Directors meets this Thursday where they’ll likely make recommendations on how to proceed, and could appeal the OHF’s ruling if they so choose. One option the OHA is considering is to appeal the decision to Hockey Canada.
— with files from Jason Viau