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11-09-2012, 09:54 AM
theIceWookie's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Canada
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Originally Posted by smitty10 View Post
A very large number of second or later generation Canadians of Asian descent (all of Asia) love hockey. You're seeing more black Canadians adopting the sport too, which is great because it's such an integral part of Canadian culture. However, many first generation immigrants and people who stay in their ethnic circles (including Europeans) don't tend to embrace hockey and that's a lot of what you see in Brampton. There isn't anything wrong with this, but it doesn't make for a situation that is good for a hockey team.

Regardless, a team 45 minutes away from Toronto on the outskirts of the GTA isn't a top priority for Torontonians and even most people in the closer suburbs. Mississauga is closer and has a good following of people from the west-end, Barrie and many junior A teams reside successfully in the northern area and north of the GTA and the Gens, Pickering Panthers and Whitby Fury all play in the less populated east-end. I just don't understand how this writer thinks Toronto isn't a hockey town.

So here are a list of Junior A and above teams in the GTA:

Toronto Maple Leafs (NHL)
Toronto Marlies (AHL)
Brampton Battalion (OHL) - leaving
Mississauga Steelheads (OHL)
Oshawa Generals (OHL)
Barrie Colts (OHL)
Whitby Fury (Junior A)
Pickering Panthers (Junior A)
Aurora Tigers (Junior A)
Newmarket Hurricanes (Junior A)
Mississauga Chargers (Junior A)
Toronto Jr. Canadiens (Junior A)
Stouffville Spirit (Junior A)
St. Michael's Buzzards (Junior A)
North York Rangers (Junior A)
Toronto Lakeshore Patriots (Junior A)
Burlington Cougars (Junior A)
Oakville Blades (Junior A)
Milton Icehawks (Junior A)

And if expanded to the Golden Horseshoe, you could also include:

Guelph Storm (OHL)
Niagara Ice Dogs (OHL)
Kitchener Rangers (OHL)
Peterborough Petes (OHL)
Orangeville Flyers (Junior A)
Lindsay Huskies (Junior A)
Georgetown Raiders (Junior A)

Not a bad number of teams within around an hour drive from Toronto (excluding Hamilton and CIS teams). For a non-hockey town this is pretty impressive, IMO.
Toss in the Marlies, Bulldogs, Sabres (because we all know that they get a huge contingent of Leaf fans every game) and it begins to show why a junior team might struggle just a tiny bit to find fans.

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