Cambridge Winter Hawks Heading To OJHL In 2013 2014

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Cambridge Winter Hawks heading to OJHL in 2013-2014

So much for OJHL contraction. After recent contraction plans have been put in place and acted upon, the Cambridge Winter Hawks are saying goodbye to Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League, and hello to the OJHL.

In the coming weeks, the Winter Hawks will be filing a letter of intent to join the Ontario Junior Hockey League for the 2013-14 season. It’s a coming home of sorts for the Winter Hawks, as the team began as a tier II squad in the nine-team Ontario Junior Hockey League in 1982-83 before moving to the Midwestern Junior B Hockey League.

The move falls in line with the Ontario Hockey Association’s "Tomorrow’s Game" plan. While the plan – to split the junior hockey into a Premier League (junior A), Development 1 (junior B) and Development 2 (junior C and D) – has been slow to develop, teams have already been told to get their standard operating procedures in place for the movement.

Whether "Tomorrow’s game" will be in place by 2013 – it was supposed to be fully implemented this past season – is a moot point, as the Winter Hawks plan on moving to set themselves up to play in the OJHL.

Once a letter of intent is received by the OHA, it has to be brought to the board of directors. That meeting is said to be taking place April 25th.

In past years, the OJHL was thought to have been watered down with too many teams, giving marginal players a chance to play junior hockey. Now, teams are starting to decommission themselves or merge with other franchises to meet operating standards. At the end of this season, the Brampton Capitals, Huntsville Otters and Vaughan Vipers ceased operations. The league has trimmed 13 teams since 2009-10.

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