Greater Metro Junior A Hockey League

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For the ACHA Division 2 hockey league, see Great Midwest Hockey League.
Greater Metro Junior A
Hockey League
Current season or competition:
2016–17 GMHL season
Greater Metro Junior A Hockey League Logo.png
Region(s) Greater Toronto Area, Midwestern Ontario, Golden Horseshoe, Central Ontario, Northeastern Ontario, and Quebec
President Bob Russell
Commissioner Ken Girard
Founded 2006
No. of teams 24
Recent Champions Tottenham Steam (2016)
Most successful club Bradford Rattlers (3)
Headquarters Bradford, Ontario

The Greater Metro Junior A Hockey League (GMHL) is a Canadian developmental Junior ice hockey league. The GMHL is not affiliated with the Canadian Junior Hockey League or a member by Hockey Canada. The league has teams in the Greater Toronto Area, Central Ontario, Northeastern Ontario, and Quebec.

As of October 2014, the league's alumni page lists 380 players from 2006 to 2014 who left the GMHL to play for NCAA colleges, various professional leagues, major junior teams, or represented their country in various IIHF World Championships.[1]


The league, founded by Bob Russell and Hockeyworks International Ltd., opened its doors in early 2006, with a unique concept and approach to improving the standard of developing young hockey players within a Junior 'A' league format setting.

A draft showcase event took place from May 5 until May 7, 2006 with players from Canada, United States, and Europe taking up residence at the Hockeyworks' World Hockey Centre near Shelburne, Ontario to take part in the league's first tryout camp.

Deseronto Thunder versus King Wild (circa 2006)

As of September 2006, it became clear that the league would operate its first season with seven teams. The original seven were the Bradford Rattlers, Deseronto Thunder, King Wild, Nipissing Alouettes, Richmond Hill Rams, South Muskoka Shield, and Toronto Canada Moose.

The league's first ever game took place on September 8, 2006 between the King Wild and the Richmond Hill Rams. The final result was a 6-0 victory for the Rams, despite being badly outshot by the Wild. The first goal in the league's history was scored by the Rams' Darren Archibald (future Vancouver Canucks prospect) on the power play during the first period. Rams' goaltender Daniel Jones picked up the historical first victory, as well as the league's first shutout in history.

Grey Highlands Bravehearts goalie during 2014–15 season.

On November 15, 2006, the GMJHL announced its affiliation with the World Hockey Association and creation of the National Junior Hockey Alliance. The affiliation resulted in a national championship between the GMJHL playoff champion and the winner of the WHA Junior West Hockey League after the 2006–07 season.

The first ever regular season of the GMJHL concluded on February 25, 2007 with the Bradford Rattlers leading the way as regular season champs with a record of 37 wins, 1 regulation loss, and 4 overtime losses. In the playoffs, the Rattlers beat the Deseronto Thunder in six games, and then the King Wild in five games to win the first ever Russell Cup as playoff champions.

In September 2007, the GMJHL started its second season with six new teams, the Douro Dukes, Elliot Lake Bobcats, Espanola Kings, Innisfil Lakers, Tamworth Cyclones, and Temiscaming Royals. The Deseronto Thunder ran into financial trouble after their first season and ownership of the team was transferred to the town. The team is now known as the Deseronto Storm.

Knights of Meaford player during 2014–15 season.

On December 11, 2007, the GMJHL announced a seven-game challenge series versus a Russian team known as the Moscow Selects. In late December and early January, the top seven teams of the GMJHL will compete against the Moscow Selects—a mixture of top Top Junior talent from the City of Moscow. The Selects played seven games, against Bradford, Innisfil, Temiscaming, Elliot Lake, Richmond Hill, Deseronto, and South Muskoka, winning each game. In March 2008, the King Wild and Richmond Hill Rams played two games each against the Mexico national ice hockey team. The Wild won both their games, while the Rams lost both of theirs.

For the 2008–09 season, the GMJHL adopted much of the National Collegiate Athletic Association's ice hockey rulebook. The GMJHL added the Minden Riverkings and the Oro-Medonte 77's to the mix, and the Dukes relocated to become the Brock Bucks. At the same time, the Quebec-based Temiscaming Royals walked away from the league to join the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League, but were replaced within weeks by the Ville-Marie Dragons.

In December 2008 and January 2009, eight teams of the GMHL hosted Kazakhstan's Under-18 Torpedo UST-Kamenogorsk squad. Victorious were the Elliot Lake Bobcats (twice), South Muskoka Shield, King Wild, Bradford Rattlers, Innisfil Lakers, and a Nipissing/Ville-Marie combined squad. The only loss for a GMHL team happened to the Toronto Canada Moose.

In the summer of 2010, the GMHL expanded in two fashions internationally. First, Canada's only All-Russian team[2] in the Shelburne Red Wings and then late in the summer they expanded to the United States through the expansion of the Jamestown Jets.

On September 17, 2010, the GMHL played its first international regulation game, in Jamestown, New York between the Jamestown Jets and Sturgeon Falls Lumberjacks, both expansion teams to the league for the 2010–11 season. Jamestown won the game 4-3. In December 2010, the GMHL named Bob Bernstein commissioner. After serving as commissioner for seven days, Bernstein was relieved of his duties and Ken Girard later resumed as full-time commissioner.

In mid-January 2011, it was announced that the town of Iron Bridge, Ontario and its 500-seat outdoor arena would host a regular season game, known as the North Shore Winter Classic, between the Elliot Lake Bobcats and Algoma Avalanche on January 29, 2011. This is the first known regulation outdoor game in Ontario in the modern era. Elliot Lake would win the game 8-2 in front of an estimated 400 fans.

At the conclusion of the 2011–12 season, the league lost the Elliot Lake Bobcats to the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League. Relocation of teams and expansion was busier than ever in 2014. The Mattawa Voyageurs moved to Sundridge to make way for an NOJHL team. The Powassan Eagles moved to Parry Sound to make way for an NOJHL team. The league expanded rapidly with a total of 15 new teams in the off-season of 2014 and 2015. There was a total of 30 teams, with a total of six teams playing in the same market (two teams per town).

The Shelburne Red Wings were sold after the 2013–14 season, and were renamed the Shelburne Stars. However, the Stars did not play in 2014–15 and changed their name to the Shelburne Sharks and began play in 2015–16. In May 2015, the Rama Aces took a leave of absence but never returned. In November 2015, the Brantford Steelfighters suspended their operations after 18 games.

The Shelburne Sharks returned as the Shelburne Stars in June 2016, but the team folded soon afterwards. The Sturgeon Falls Lumberjacks re-branded as the West Nipissing Lynx, but will remain in Sturgeon Falls. Early into the 2016–17 season, the Toronto Ice Blue Jets and the Bracebridge Blues were dropped from the schedule in the first and fifth weeks into the season, respectively.


Division Team Joined Location Arena
Almaguin Spartans 2011 South River, Ontario South River-Machar Arena
Bradford Bulls 2012 Bradford, Ontario Bob Fallis Sports Centre
Bradford Rattlers 2006 Bradford, Ontario BWG Leisure Centre
Knights of Meaford 2013 Meaford, Ontario Meaford & St. Vincent Community Centre
New Tecumseth Civics 2013 Alliston, Ontario New Tecumseth Recreation Complex
Orangeville Ice Crushers 2011 Orangeville, Ontario Alder Street Recreation Centre
Parry Sound Islanders 2008 Parry Sound, Ontario Bobby Orr Community Centre
Seguin Huskies 2013 Humphrey, Ontario Centre Dufferin Recreational Centre
South Muskoka Shield 2006 Gravenhurst, Ontario Gravenhurst Centennial Centre
Temiscaming Titans 2011 Temiscaming, Quebec Le Centre de Temiscaming
West Nipissing Lynx 2010 Sturgeon Falls, Ontario Sturgeon Falls Arena
Wiarton Rock 2006 Wiarton, Ontario Wiarton Arena & Community Centre
Kingsville Kings 2015 Kingsville, Ontario Kingsville Arena Complex
Lincoln Mavericks 2016 Beamsville, Ontario Fleming Centre
London Lakers 2015 London, Ontario London Sports Park
Niagara Whalers 2014 Port Colborne, Ontario Vale Health and Wellness Centre
North York Renegades 2014 North York, Ontario Canlan Ice Sports York
Northumberland Stars 2015 Colborne, Ontario Keeler Center
Oshawa Riverkings 2015 Oshawa, Ontario Legends Arena
St. George Ravens 2013 St. George, Ontario South Dumfries Community Centre
Tillsonburg Hurricanes 2016 Tillsonburg, Ontario Tillsonburg Community Center
Toronto Attack 2012 North York, Ontario Canlan Ice Sports York
Toronto Predators 2013 Toronto, Ontario Mattamy Athletic Centre
Tottenham Steam 2014 Tottenham, Ontario Tottenham and Community Fitness Centre

Changes for 2016–17[edit]

  • Grey Highlands Bravehearts relocating to Wiarton, Ontario.[3]
  • Expansion granted to Tillsonburg Hurricanes.[4]
  • League announces Bobcaygeon Storm, Coldwater Falcons, Grey County Grizzlies, and Haliburton Wolves are no longer league members.[5][6] Brantford Steelfighters also had membership revoked.
  • Expansion granted to Lincoln Mavericks of Lincoln, Ontario.
  • Colbourne Chiefs rebranded as Northumberland Stars after ownership change.
  • Alliston Coyotes rebranded as New Tecumseth Civics after ownership change.[7]
  • Realigned from three divisions to two 14-team North and South Divisions
  • Sturgeon Falls Lumberjacks return to league. Change of ownership and re-branded as the West Nipissing Lynx.
  • Shelburne Sharks re-brand as Shelburne Stars but folded prior to the season.
  • Toronto Blue Ice Jets were removed from the schedule in the first week of the season.
  • Bracebridge Blues were removed from the schedule after playing five games and forfeiting the sixth.

On hiatus[edit]

Regular season champions[edit]

Bolded are overall regular season champions.

Season Champion W-L-T-OTL Pts
2006-07 Bradford Rattlers 37-1-0-4 78
2007-08 Bradford Rattlers 37-4-0-1 75
Season North Champion W-L-T-OTL Pts South Champion W-L-T-OTL Pts
2008-09 South Muskoka Shield 38-4-0-1 77 Innisfil Lakers 36-6-0-1 73
Season Champion W-L-T-OTL Pts
2009-10 Elliot Lake Bobcats 35-4-0-3 73
Season North Champion W-L-T-OTL Pts South Champion W-L-T-OTL Pts
2010-11 Elliot Lake Bobcats 38-2-0-2 78 Jamestown Jets 27-12-0-3 57
Season Champion W-L-T-OTL Pts
2011-12 Temiscaming Titans 38-3-0-1 77
Season North Champion W-L-T-OTL Pts South Champion W-L-T-OTL Pts
2012-13 Temiscaming Titans 35-6-0-1 71 Bradford Rattlers 42-0-0-0 84
2013-14 Seguin Huskies 39-1-0-2 80 Bradford Bulls 32-6-0-4 68
2014-15 Temiscaming Titans 36-5-0-1 73 Tottenham Steam 37-5-0-0 74
Season North Champion Pts Central Champion Pts South Champion Pts
2015-16 South Muskoka Shield 73 Tottenham Steam 82 Kingsville Kings 78
Season North Champion W-L-T-OTL Pts South Champion W-L-T-OTL Pts
2016–17 To Be Determined 0-0-0-0 0 To Be Determined 0-0-0-0 0

Russell Cup playoff champions[edit]

Bolded are overall champions, Italics are finalist.

Year Champion Finalist
2007 Bradford Rattlers King Wild
2008 Bradford Rattlers Innisfil Lakers
2009 South Muskoka Shield Deseronto Storm
2010 Deseronto Storm South Muskoka Shield
2011 Elliot Lake Bobcats South Muskoka Shield
2012 Sturgeon Falls Lumberjacks Temiscaming Titans
2013 Bradford Rattlers Temiscaming Titans
2014 Bradford Bulls Bradford Rattlers
2015 Temiscaming Titans Seguin Huskies
Year North Central South
2016 Almaguin Spartans Tottenham Steam Kingsville Kings

College Showcase Tournament[edit]

Since 2009, the GMHL has had a mid-season prospect tournament. Generally, the top seven teams of the league compete in the tournament with an eighth team, the GMHL Selects representing the other teams in the league.

The 2012 tournament featured both the Bradford Rattlers and South Muskoka Shield being thrown out in the semifinal round. An incident, both on-ice and later off-ice, involving a player from each team and later two more players and a parent from one team entering the altercation, resulted in a police investigation[8] and one team refusing to continue. The league disqualified both teams after the game failed to continue.

Since the 2012 tournament, the league changed the format to a prospect weekend with no championship rounds.

Year Champion Finalist Score Location
2009 Bradford Rattlers Elliot Lake Bobcats 6-4 Elliot Lake, ON
2010 GMHL Selects Elliot Lake Bobcats 7-6, OT Elliot Lake, ON
2011 Sturgeon Falls Lumberjacks Elliot Lake Bobcats 4-3, OT Elliot Lake, ON
2012 Bracebridge Phantoms Toronto Attack 6-3 Rama, ON

League records[edit]

Scoring champions[edit]

Season Champion Team G-A-Pts
2006-07 Craig Peacock Richmond Hill Rams 48-34-82
2007-08 Adam Palm Bradford Rattlers 34-68-102
2008-09 Andre Leclair Nipissing Alouettes 49-61-110
2009-10 Brad Clark Deseronto Storm 59-68-127
2010-11 Alexander Nikulnikov Shelburne Red Wings 69-71-140
2011-12 Andre Leclair Temiscaming Titans 48-66-122
2012-13 Illes Gallo Bradford Rattlers 47-61-108
2013-14 Donny Danroth South Muskoka Shield 45-84-129
2014-15 Ferdinando Colella Tottenham Steam 40-85-125
2015-16 Matt Fischer Tottenham Steam 72-74-146

Goals against average champions[edit]

Season Champion Team GAA
2006-07 Andreas Götz Bradford Rattlers 2.05
2007-08 Martin Oksala Bradford Rattlers 2.11
2008-09 Shane Buckley Elliot Lake Bobcats 2.47
2009-10 Rob Sutherland South Muskoka Shield 1.70
2010-11 Matthew Perry Elliot Lake Bobcats 3.08
2011-12 Aaron Boyce Temiscaming Titans 2.42
2012-13 Alfred Metz Bradford Rattlers 1.84
2013-14 Martin Kysa Seguin Huskies 2.31
2014-15 Craig Wood Temiscaming Titans 1.84
2015-16 Wes Werner Kingsville Kings 1.20

Team records[edit]

  • Best record: 2012-13 Bradford Rattlers (42-0-0-0)
  • Worst record: 2007-08 Douro Dukes (2-40-0-0)
  • Most goals for by team, one season: 2015-16 Tottenham Steam (351)
  • Least goals for by team, one season: 2013-14 Toronto Predators (91)
  • Least goals against by team, one season: 2015-16 Kingsville Kings (71)
  • Most goals against by team, one season: 2015-16 Bobcaygeon Storm (491)
  • Largest margin of victory: Elliot Lake Bobcats 29, Ville-Marie Dragons 1 on December 6, 2008

Individual records[edit]

  • Most goals, one season: Matt Fischer (72) -- 2015-16 Tottenham Steam
  • Most assists, one season: Graham Pickard (88) -- 2015-16 Tottenham Steam
  • Most points, one season: Matt Fischer (146) -- 2015-16 Tottenham Steam
  • Lowest goals against average, one season: Wes Werner (1.20) -- 2015-16 Kingsville Kings

Former teams[edit]

Team Centre Joined Exited Status
Algoma Avalanche Thessalon, Ontario 2009 2012 Folded
Bobcaygeon Bucks Bobcaygeon, Ontario 2007 2014 Joined CIHL
Bobcaygeon Storm Bobcaygeon, Ontario 2015 2016 Membership revoked
Bracebridge Blues Bracebridge, Ontario 2012 2016 removed from schedule mid-season
Brantford Steelfighters Brantford, Ontario 2015 2015 Membership revoked, folded mid-seasn
Cambridge Bears Cambridge, Ontario 2014 2015 On hiatus
Coldwater Falcons Coldwater, Ontario 2015 2016 Membership revoked
Deseronto Storm Deseronto, Ontario 2006 2012 Joined EBJCHL
Elliot Lake Bobcats Elliot Lake, Ontario 2007 2012 Joined NOJHL
Espanola Kings Espanola, Ontario 2007 2009 Folded
Grey County Grizzlies Feversham, Ontario 2015 2015 Folded mid-season
Haliburton Wolves Haliburton, Ontario 2015 2016 Membership revoked
Innisfil Lakers Innisfil, Ontario 2007 2010 Folded
Jamestown Jets Jamestown, New York 2010 2011 Lost arena, folded
Komoka Dragons Komoka, Ontario 2015 2016 Folded mid-season
Minden Riverkings Minden Hills, Ontario 2008 2009 Folded
Nipissing Alouettes Sturgeon Falls, Ontario 2006 2009 Folded
Oro-Medonte 77's Guthrie, Ontario 2008 2011 Folded
Rama Aces Rama, Ontario 2012 2015 Folded
Richmond Hill Rams Richmond Hill, Ontario 2006 2009 Folded
Shelburne Stars Shelburne, Ontario 2010 2016 Folded
Tamworth Cyclones Tamworth, Ontario 2007 2009 Folded
Temiscaming Royals Temiscaming, Quebec 2007 2008 Joined NOJHL
Toronto Blue Ice Jets Thornhill, Ontario 2006 2016 Folded
Vaughan Stars Vaughan, Ontario 2011 2011 Membership revoked

Timeline of teams[edit]

  • League is formed with seven teams: Bradford Rattlers, Deseronto Thunder, King Wild, Nipissing Alouettes, Richmond Hill Rams, South Muskoka Shield, Toronto Canada Moose
  • Deseronto Thunder become Deseronto Storm
  • League expands by six teams: Douro Dukes, Elliot Lake Bobcats, Espanola Kings, Innisfil Lakers, Tamworth Cyclones, Temiscaming Royals
  • Douro Dukes move and become Brock Bucks
  • Richmond Hill Rams become Ontario Lightning Rams
  • Oro-Medonte 77's join league
  • Ville-Marie Dragons join league
  • Minden Riverkings join league
  • Temiscaming Royals leave league for Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League
  • Ville-Marie Dragons fold mid-season (January)
  • Tamworth Cyclones fold mid-season (January)
  • Ontario Lightning Rams leave league
  • Espanola Kings leave league
  • Nipissing Alouettes leave league
  • Algoma Avalanche join league
  • Ville-Marie Dragons move and become Powassan Dragons
  • Minden Riverkings fold mid-season (November)
  • Shelburne Red Wings join league
  • Sturgeon Falls Lumberjacks join league
  • King Wild move and become Vaughan Wild
  • Brock Bucks move and become Bobcaygeon Bucks
  • Innisfil Lakers leave league
  • Jamestown Jets join league from Northern Junior Hockey League (league's first American team)
  • Mattawa Voyageurs join league
  • Temiscaming Titans join league
  • Halton Huskies join league
  • Orangeville Americans join league
  • Vaughan Stars join league
  • Vaughan Wild move and become Lefroy Wave
  • Powassan Dragons change name to Powassan Eagles
  • Oro-Medonte 77's leave league
  • Jamestown Jets leave league
  • Grey Highlands Bravehearts relocate to Wiarton, Ontario.[19]
  • Expansion granted to Tillsonburg Hurricanes.[20]
  • Bobcaygeon Storm membership revoked
  • Coldwater Falcons membership revoked
  • Grey County Grizzlies membership revoked
  • Haliburton Wolves membership revoked
  • Brantford Steelfighters membership revoked.
  • Expansion granted to Lincoln Mavericks of Lincoln, Ontario.
  • Colbourne Chiefs rebranded as Northumberland Stars after ownership change.
  • Alliston Coyotes rebranded as New Tecumseth Civics after ownership change.
  • Sturgeon Falls Lumberjacks return to league. Change of ownership and rebranded as the West Nipissing Lynx.
  • Shelburne Sharks rebrand as Shelbourne Stars but fold prior to the beginning of the season.
  • Norfolk Vikings take 2016–17 hiatus
  • Toronto Blue Ice Jets fold just before start of season.
  • Bracebridge Blues removed from schedule after playing five games and forfeiting a sixth.


  1. ^ "Alumni". GMHL. October 2014. 
  2. ^ "Meet Canada's first all-Russian hockey team". Toronto Star. 14 May 2010. 
  3. ^ "No Name for Wiarton Team". Retrieved 2016-04-24. 
  4. ^ "Junior hockey returns to Tillsonburg". Tillsonburg News. Retrieved 2016-04-24. 
  5. ^ "President Statement: 2016-17 Season". 8 March 2016. 
  6. ^ "Is the end of the GMHL near?". The Junior Hockey News. 18 April 2016. 
  7. ^
  8. ^ "Charges pending in junior hockey game brawl". 6 December 2012. 
  9. ^ "Bracebridge lands GMHL expansion team". What′s Up Muskoka. 4 April 2012. 
  10. ^ "Outlaw hockey league expanding to Cambridge". Retrieved 2016-04-24. 
  11. ^ "Hockey league expanding to Tottenham". Retrieved 2016-04-24. 
  12. ^ " Ryan Wood General Manager GM, Tottenham Steam, GMHL, 2014-15". Retrieved 2016-04-24. 
  13. ^ "CIHL moving forward - Welcome to Hockey News North". Welcome to Hockey News North. Retrieved 2016-04-24. 
  14. ^ "Junior A hockey franchise on its way to Sundridge". Retrieved 2016-04-24. 
  15. ^ "Agreement would pave the way for new junior 'A' hockey club to operate out of Bracebridge Memorial Arena - My Muskoka Now". My Muskoka Now. Retrieved 2016-04-24. 
  16. ^ "New Jr A team in town". The Middlesex Banner. 11 February 2015. 
  17. ^ "Brantford SteelFighters Take Leave of Absence". GMHL. 6 November 2015. 
  19. ^ "No Name for Wiarton Team". Retrieved 2016-04-24. 
  20. ^ "Junior hockey returns to Tillsonburg". Tillsonburg News. Retrieved 2016-04-24. 

External links[edit]