Following a season with no junior hockey in Brantford, there is an application before the Ontario Hockey Association to bring a junior B franchise back to the city.
Interim CEO Karen Phibbs confirmed that there is an application before the OHA’s membership services department to bring a Brantford team to the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League’s Midwestern Conference next fall.
“(The membership services department) will be going over the application submitted,” Phibbs said. “There will be a questionnaire and an investigation to compile a report for the (OHA) board of directors.”
Just who is behind the application will have to remain a secret for now.
“We have no information to divulge as far as the identity of the applicants,” Phibbs said. “That would be appropriate after membership services prepares its report for the board.”
Brantford’s GOJHL franchise – the Brantford Golden Eagles – flew the coop after last season. Ownership cited concerns with facilities at the Wayne Gretzky Sports Centre and moved the franchise to Caledonia. Specifically, the team said dressing rooms were not accommodating for a junior hockey team.
Brantford Mayor Chris Friel said the city has provided a letter of support to the application.
“We will remain supportive,” Friel said. “(The applicant) has to recognize that there are limitations, physical limitations, in the building, but as long as they are willing to work with us, we are more than willing to work with them.”
Any discussion about accommodations at the Gretzky centre would not come until after the OHA approves the franchise, Friel said.
Phibbs said the league has to go through its due diligence before making a decision on the expansion team.
“There are a whole series of questions that could come out of the interview process,” Phibbs said.
The OHA will consider the impact on other franchises and the current zones for player recruitment.
The Caledonia Pro-Fit Corvairs still have claim to the Brantford area to draw for their talent pool.