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Allan Cup Hockey League seeks expansion into Burlington

The potential new owner will need to put up at least $100,000 to get the team off the ground and on the ice
The Allan Cup Hockey League is looking to expand into Burlington

Burlington hockey fans could have a new team to cheer for, as Allan Cup Hockey League organizers are searching for expansion teams. 

Burlington is high on the target list for the league, due to the city’s proximity to other teams and residents’ passion for the game. 

“The biggest successes have been in markets like Dundas and Stoney Creek,” Cosmos Sports and Entertainment president Cary Kaplan said. “Burlington is a prime location for a team in this league, it’s hard to think of too many locations that would be as good as Burlington.”

Cosmos is leading the search for a potential owner in Burlington. 

Kaplan added the city is a strong hockey market, with fans of the Eagles, Barracudas, and Cougars. 

Concerns have been raised about competing with junior hockey in some markets, but Kaplan said it’s nearly impossible to find a market in southern Ontario that doesn’t have an existing junior franchise. The Ontario Junior Hockey League itself has 24 teams, ranging between Buffalo, New York, and Lindsay, Ontario. 

The Allan Cup on the other hand only has four teams in Brampton, Dundas, Stoney Creek, and Wentworth. 

“It’s hard to find a city of 10,000 or more that doesn’t have a junior hockey team, but there’s not a lot of senior hockey,” Kaplan said. “When you say senior hockey it can be deceiving, it’s really former AHL, ECHL, European, and some players who had a few games in the NHL. It’s a good mix.”

The Allan Cup Hockey League has existed in some form since 1890, with the Ottawa Hockey Club winning the title in the inaugural season. The Burlington Mohawks won the cup in 1957 and 58. 

Kaplan is adamant that finding the right person to fund the team is key to long-term success. The potential future owner will need to put up at least $100,000. 

“Compared to other leagues, not that most people would be familiar with this, it’s lower than virtually every other hockey league to join,” Kaplan said. “You have to have the financial wherewithal to want to do this, and be able to invest in running a proper hockey team.”

Officials haven’t had any bites from potential owners interested in Burlington, but have heard from interested parties from King City and Orangeville. The Allan Cup does require the teams have arenas that are up to certain standards, so not every city will be able to host a team. 

“You have to have the equipment, marketing, and all the operations to be at a reasonable standard,” Kaplan said. “When we get interested parties, we’ll walk through the budgets and opportunities there.”

The hope is for two new teams to be playing in September, and Richmond Hill has already signed on as a new team. Kaplan is hopeful that a potential owner will be able to get a team on the ice as soon as possible.

“We are very excited in expanding our ever-growing ACH league and each team will be provided the opportunity to challenge for the Allan Cup also known as the senior amateur hockey champions of Canada,” commissioner Rick Richardson said in a statement. 

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Chris Arnold

About the Author: Chris Arnold

Chris Arnold has worked as a journalist for half a decade, covering national news, entertainment, arts, education, and local features
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