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12-09-2012, 01:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
Affiliated teams or vertical organizations that ran teams from intro to junior?
Both, though the vast majority not in the formal sense. Toronto & Southern Ontario was divvied up somewhat during the 06 era, with amateur organizations who played in the then THL followed by the MTHL (now the GTHL) along with the regional amateur leagues & their teams in Southwestern Ontario, Niagara Falls through Guelph & Kitchener Waterloo, the Northeastern sectors of Simcoe, Barrie & Aurora etc. Boston, the Rangers, Chicago, Detroit & of course the Leafs all had their fingers running deeply into various amateur organizations, the Leafs the most obvious with the Marlboro's, but all of them who were fielding 'A', later 'AA' through to todays designation of 'AAA' were indeed connected through affiliation with Junior B & or Junior A teams.

Indeed, several teams were put together by formerly amateur Coaches & Administrators who retained their ties to their amateur clubs & used them as grooming grounds from places like Aurora, North York & elsewhere upon the instigation of NHL interests as improving crops of players were being spawned and developed through organizations like the Goulding Park Rangers, Willowdale Boys Club, Don Mills Civitans which then became the Flyers and for a while as well the North Stars & so on. Which organization you played for and location/region a mitigating factor in who you were to play for at the A level, and who's property youd become at the Jr.B & Jr.A levels, as there too quite obviously you had serious formal affiliations.

Interestingly as well, a few completely independent teams at the Jr.B level stocked with outliers from all over the place, rejects from the established systems, guys who mightve had attitudinal problems or whatever. Quite an interesting mixture really, and the Coaches & Scouts were from what I can recall absolutely first class, superior in fact to Jr.A, as the challenges they faced were far tougher in many ways as you can well imagine. Really bright 15 & 16 year old prospects a notch or 5 above 'A' but not quite ready for Jr.A, some guys who at 16 or 17 couldnt make the step up, be it that extra 1/2 step of speed or whatever, others happier playing locally at the Jr.B level & so on. Tough to remain competitive & consistent with call-ups to Jr.A, turnover basically every year of about 60%+ of the team, and of course, you were expected to win. Very demanding.

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