GMHL Looses Another Team

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GMHL Looses another team

The Greater Metro Junior Hockey League has lost another team.

Based out of the Toronto area, the GMHL has been called an "outlaw" league by most. The phrase outlaw is just a little bit over the top, "renegade" may be the more appropriate phrase. Playing outside of the confines of Hockey Canada and for one season USA Hockey, the GMHL has for the most part been a survivor in a harsh environment.

For the last few seasons, teams were added to the league lineup on a fairly regular basis. It does not seem to be the case this season.

The Elliot Lake Bobbcats, arguably the most well run team in the league has signed on to play in the GMHL and now the Deseronto Storm are leaving as well.

After six years in the GMHL the Storm are choosing Junior C over the GMHL. Citing travel costs as the largest factor in the decision, Desoronto will not play closer to home in the Empire Junior C league.

The Empire League, which has been down to five teams for the last two seasons after the Frontenac Flyers folded following an 0-40 season in 2009-10, wanted to return to six teams.

The Storm have had both good and rough times in the GMHL as one of the league’s founding teams in 2006.

The GMHL has been blacklisted by the OHA because it operates independent of Hockey Canada’s membership.

Deseronto won the league championship in 2009-10. A year later, after a 23-18-0-1 regular-season record and posting one playoff series win over the Bobcaygeon Bucks, the franchise came within a week of folding.

A group headed by Adam Maracle, now the team president, stepped up to purchase the Storm for $15,000 from the Town of Deseronto just days before a dispersal draft of the Storm players was to be held.

Maracle is now the head coach. The Storm took the Sturgeon Falls Lumberjacks to a fifth and deciding game in the second round of the playoffs this year. It was the best test the Lumberjacks would get before going on to take the league championship.

Storm fans, instead of having their closest road trip about three hours away, will now be within a half hour of Napanee and Picton.

What does this mean for the GMHL? Two of its best operators in such a short period of time have decided to join the Hockey Canada family, who can be next?

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