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Senior hockey in Guelph or Fergus? League looking for prospective owners

Allan Cup Hockey League looking to grow from four teams ahead of next season

Guelph and Fergus are among the cities being eyed for a future Allan Cup Hockey League (ACH) team.

The senior ice hockey league wants to grow for the upcoming season, and Cosmos Sports and Entertainment is leading the search for prospective team owners.

“There’s only four teams in the league right now, Richmond Hill just joined,” said Cosmos president Cory Kaplan. “We kind of identified certain markets – Guelph, Cambridge, Caledon, Stratford, Orangeville and a few others – as ideal locations.

“The league really should have a critical mass ultimately of eight to 10 teams, and we’re trying to be as strategic as possible.”

Kaplan said ideally, two more teams will join the loop this fall. But if the right ownership steps up in more cities, and things can be finalized quickly, it’s not out of the question to have more teams join the league as early as next season.

By the same token, he added the league may stick with four if the right owners don’t step in.

He said currently, the expansion fee is $100,000, a price that could go up as more teams join the loop.

The "sweet spot" for an arena for the ACH would fit 500 to 1,500 people.

The number of games and league schedule will be worked out over the next month, once the league has an idea of how many teams are playing.

The 2025 provincial champion will be contested between the winners of the ACH and the Ontario Elite Hockey League. That winner would go to the national championship.

The Allan Cup itself is prestigious in amateur hockey circles. Awarded since 1908, it is the oldest amateur hockey trophy in Canada and served as a replacement for the Stanley Cup, which became exclusive to professional hockey.

“It’s a different level of hockey. It’s very different than the Storm or junior A hockey,” Kaplan said.

“It’s players that are a little bit older. Some of them are former American Hockey League (players) or NHL or played in Europe and a final stop in their hockey career can be in the Allan Cup league.”

The hope is to nail down a decision by the time the Stanley Cup is handed out next month.

Anyone interested is asked to contact Cosmos Sports by email at [email protected]

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Mark Pare

About the Author: Mark Pare

Originally from Timmins, ON, Mark is a longtime journalist and broadcaster, who has worked in several Ontario markets.
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