Will Collingwood will be home to a Junior ‘A’ team or a Junior ‘B’ squad?
Collingwood council is set to vote Monday March 4th on a pair of bids from separate groups who want to house a team inside the Eddie Bush Memorial Arena.
One group, which includes Andy Pritchard and former Collingwood mayor Terry Geddes, has already been granted an application for an expansion Junior ‘B’ franchise in the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League.
The second group says they’ve purchased a team in the Ontario Junior Hockey League and are just waiting for the town to render
“The biggest issue we have now from the Colts standpoint is that when we want to bring in our young players and get them into our program there’s really no place for them to go. Especially for the kids from the North,” says Barrie Colts President and Owner Howie Campbell. “We can’t put them in Junior ‘C’, they outta play Junior ‘A’, and we don’t have a home to put the ones we’re trying to develop.”
Campbell has partnered with current Stayner Siskins Head Coach and General Manager Dave Steele in the hopes of having a successful Junior ‘A’ bid.
“(Collingwood) has several national venues when it comes to outdoor sports so it was a pretty easy consideration for me being in close proximity and seeing what that community has to offer
Steele and Campbell both say they’ve done their homework, have a franchise purchased and have been given the seal of approval on their business plan from both the Ontario Junior Hockey League and Ontario Hockey Association.
If successful the Junior ‘A’ franchise would be called the Collingwood Colts, utilizing the current Barrie Colts logo with the word “Collingwood” somewhere on the jersey. No word yet on which division they would align with.
Reports indicate if the Junior ‘B’ bid is the one that wins the team will be named the Admirals. The Admirals would be situated in the Midwestern Conference which features the Listowel Cyclones, Waterloo Siskins, Stratford Warriors, Elmira Sugar Kings, Kitchener Dutchmen, Cambridge Redhawks, Brantford 99ers and Brampton Bombers.
The Barrie Colts hosted a pre-season game in Collingwood back in September which drew 1,703 fans.
The Collingwood Blackhawks (formerly Collingwood Blues) folded in 2011 and was part of the OJHL.