What's buzzing:

Buzzing The Net

OHL bid to move into Hamilton fizzles

Neate Sager
Buzzing The Net

View photo

.

QMJHL grad Louis Leblanc with the Bulldogs (The Canadian Press)

Forget the Ontario Hockey League returning to the Hammer.

The mayor and city council in Hamilton, Ont., do not have a sterling record on managing sports facilities and relationships with local professional teams — Guelph Tiger-Cats, to wit — but sanity seems to have won the day, for now. On Thursday, a Hamilton city committee voted to negotiate a new lease with the AHL Hamilton Bulldogs rather than explore negotiating a lease with an unnamed OHL team, reported since last season to be the Erie Otters. By no means is it a done deal, but viewed through a major junior hockey lens, it means the OHL is not returning to the city.

From Scott Radley:

An Ontario Hockey League team had been vying for the right to use the arena beginning in the fall. That will now not happen unless the Bulldogs are unable to come to agreement with HECFI.

Though the details of both the Bulldogs and the OHL's offers to the city [of Hamilton] were secret, the Bulldogs have received an annual $220,000 subsidy from the city since 2002. The OHL is reportedly not requesting any subsidy. (Hamilton Spectator)

There is less of a guarantee that Hamilton stays affiliated with the Montreal Canadiens (which has ramifications for the QMJHL's Blainville-Boisbriand Armada). Ultimately, though, it just seemed odd for the Steel City to turn away a product with a nearly two-decade track record and little sign of diminishing returns in favour of the OHL.

Major junior has filled the void in some former AHL cities — Halifax, Moncton and Saint John. But one could argue those were strong sports markets regardless of what produce was offered and that the AHL ran its course in those cities. St. John's, N.L., with lost the Baby Leafs in 2005 and got the Ice Caps back last season, was unable to make the switch. There is no knowing if Hamilton could go AHL-to-OHL without an arena suited to the latter. The bottom line is the OHL avoids having two franchises move in many seasons, if not sooner.

Neate Sager is a writer for Yahoo! Canada Sports. Contact him at neatesager@yahoo.ca and follow him on Twitter @neatebuzzthenet.

View Comments (2)
  • Raonic overcomes back problems, advances to third round at US Open

    Raonic overcomes back problems, advances to third round at US Open

    Canada's Milos Raonic is through to the third round of the U.S. Open after defeating Spain's Fernando Verdasco 6-2, 6-4, 6-7 (5), 7-6 (1). "There were sometimes doubts, should I keep going or not," Raonic said. Raonic fired 18 aces to Verdasco's … More »

    The Canadian Press - 6 minutes ago
  • Federer to face Darcis in U.S. Open second round

    Federer to face Darcis in U.S. Open second round

    World number two Roger Federer will continue his bid for a sixth U.S. Open title when he takes on Belgium's Steve Darcis in the second round at the Arthur Ashe Stadium on Thursday. Swiss Federer, who has been in sizzling form since reaching the … More »

    Reuters - 7 minutes ago
  • Pitt quarterback Voytik eyeing expanded role for Panthers

    Chad Voytik isn't offended by the term ''game manager,'' though the Pittsburgh quarterback might be the only one. Consider it a defense mechanism developed from having to quiet doubters who wonder how a largely nondescript 6-foot-1, 215-pound … More »

    AP - Sports - 9 minutes ago
  • Tennis-U.S. Open Order of play on Thursday

    Sept 2 (Reuters) - Order of play on the main showcourts at the U.S. Open on Thursday (prefix numbers denotes seeding): Arthur Ashe Stadium (1500 GMT/11 AM ET) 20-Victoria Azarenka (Belarus) v Yanina Wickmayer (Belgium) (1700 GMT/1 PM ET) Kateryna … More »

    Reuters - 9 minutes ago
  • Special Report: Renowned U.S. drug-rehab program spun out of control

    Special Report: Renowned U.S. drug-rehab program spun out of control

    By Kristina Cooke and Robin Respaut NEW YORK (Reuters) - Martin Szczupak had already been in and out of rehab when, for a misdemeanor possession charge, a judge sent the 21-year-old heroin addict to a century-old estate in the wooded hills of … More »

    Reuters - 9 minutes ago