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Markham Waxers Suspend Operations

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Markham Waxers suspend operations August 2, 2012 7:06 AM

As TJHN reported in June, the Markham Waxers have been experiencing some serious financial problems. Big plans were in the works to celebrate 50 years of Waxer hockey during the 2012-2013 OJHL season, those plans are now on hold.

Nearly 72 hours after releasing the 2012-2013 OJHL schedule, the league was forced to make an announcement yesterday, the board of directors said the Waxers will not operate as one of its teams in the upcoming season. The major factor in the league’s ruling were financial in nature as the team could not fulfill its requirements within a specific time-frame.

“Due to circumstances that have arisen in the past 48 hours and the failure to comply with various financial and operational related obligations, the OJHL board of directors voted unanimously to suspend the Markham Waxers for the entire 2012-2013 season,” Marty Savoy, league commissioner, said in a press release.

With the club suspending operations, players the Waxers had returning and had recruited to play for them in the upcoming season are now free agents.

In order for the Waxers to rejoin the OJHL, the team would have to provide proof of financial stability. If the team can do that, it would likely start from scratch as an expansion team. Given the OJHL’s contraction plan that has been implemented over the last few years it remains to be seen if the league would expand back to Markham.

The OJHL has always had a strong relationship with Markham, so the leagues loyalty to the community may keep an expansion door open for the next few months. However, the longer the Waxers remain idle, the less likely it will be that the OJHL allows an expansion in Markham. It will also be interesting to see if Waxers owner Bruce Jackson would be involved in such a purchase and if the OJHL would allow his involvement again.

Jackson has publicly admitted that he had gotten in too deep and underestimated the financial burdens of owning a team. Many of those financial obligation have been said to be left over from old ownership that were not disclosed at the time of his purchase.

Jackson though remained optimstic about the club’s future and was quick to note they remain a member of the league saying “The Markham Waxers Junior A Hockey team has been suspended, but not destroyed. We will regroup and prepare ourselves to compete in the 2013 season, as a smarter, stronger organization,”.

With the Waxers’ absence for the upcoming season, the league now has 22 teams with North-East Conference requiring re-alignment and will now see two, five-team divisions, comprised of the following:

NORTH DIVISION – Aurora, Lindsay, Newmarket, Pickering, Stouffville.

EAST DIVISION – Cobourg, Kingston, Trenton, Wellington, Whitby.

Over the coming days, the league will be releasing a new 2012-13 OJHL schedule for the North-East Conference.

Joseph Kolodziej

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