OHL Board of Governors Approve Transfer of Ownership and Relocation to Hamilton

Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League today announced the Board of Governors’ approval for the Transfer of Ownership and Relocation of the Belleville Bulls Hockey Club to Hamilton, Ontario.

The team, which has been purchased by Michael Andlauer, will be renamed the Hamilton Bulldogs and will play in the OHL’s East Division out of FirstOntario Centre starting in the 2015-16 season.

“Michael Andlauer is well known for his commitment to both the game and the community, and we welcome him to the OHL family,” said David Branch, Commissioner of the OHL. “Hamilton has a long and storied history in junior hockey and we look forward to building on this tradition starting next season.”

The City of Hamilton has a rich history of major junior hockey and will return to the OHL for the first time since the Dukes of Hamilton departed for Guelph in 1991. Former Hamilton major junior teams include the Whizzers (OHA) – 1942-43, Majors (OHA) – 1943-44, Lloyds (OHA) – 1945-46, Szabos (OHA) – 1946-47, Tiger Cubs (OHA) – 1953 to 1960, Red Wings (OHA) – 1960 to 1974, Fincups (OMJHL) – 1974 to 1976 & 1977-78, Steelhawks (OHL) – 1984 to 1988, and Dukes of Hamilton (OHL) – 1989 to 1991. The Red Wings (1961-62) and Fincups (1975-76) each won the Robertson Cup as OHL Champions and went on to win the Memorial Cup in their respective seasons.

“The Bulls have been a part of the Belleville community for over 30 years and we respect the role they have played in the community,” said Branch. “It is the OHL’s hope, as with other small cities in our league, that one day, with the right conditions, OHL hockey will return to Belleville.”

The Bulls have played in Belleville since they were granted OHL expansion in 1981 and have been owned by President and Governor Gord Simmonds since 2004.

Kevin Legros

Kevin Legros is the Executive Editor of LocalSportsReport.com and the Managing Editor of the OHL Blog. He follows all local sports in the Niagara Region including the Niagara IceDogs, where he has been a season ticket holder since the first season.

Kevin was involved in the process of planning for the IceDogs new home arena, the Meridian Centre, which included sitting as a member of the Mayor’s Task Force Committee, the St. Catharines Entertainment and Sports Complex Advocacy Committee and the Meridian Centre Fundraising Task Force Committee.