Collingwood Junior 'A' franchise folded in league contraction

The Board of Directors of the Ontario Junior Hockey League (OJHL) announced Sunday the continuation of the league-wide strategy regarding the reduction of the number of teams competing within the league.

The Collingwood Blackhawks, Dixie Beehives and the Orangeville Flyers have all been decommissioned by the league and will cease operations. This extensive process now brings the total number of OJHL teams that have decommissioned to nine since the 2009-2010 season. Last season the league was successful in reducing the number of teams by five, going from 36 to 31 clubs. This year's process has allowed the league to contract from 31 to 27 teams. These nine teams represent a reduction of an unprecedented 25% of the total membership of the OJHL.

The OJHL Board of Governors made a unified commitment to improving the quality of play within the league in 2009 by developing an extensive and voluntary contraction program, that teams could choose to take part in, helping to reduce the 36 team league to 24 - 26 teams.

"The OJHL Board of Governors took the extraordinary step last season with addressing one of the major concerns within the league, which was the number of teams," said OJHL Commissioner, Marty Savoy. "There are a number of areas that the OJHL Board recognized that needed to be addressed in order to drive league-wide improvement."

"The OJHL is undergoing a transformation that will make it the premier Junior A league in Canada in terms of quality of play and the future opportunity for its players," stated Collingwood Governor, Darrell Mussell. "While Collingwood has been a long-term member of the junior level of hockey, the resources and commitments necessary at this time just are not available and we want to support the OJHL in achieving its goals for the betterment of Junior A hockey in Ontario."

For more on this story, see Friday's Enterprise-Bulletin.

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