Every time the guide is updated, details will appear on this page.
September 1, 2008: There hasn't been much to update lately, and honestly, I've kind of enjoyed the break from running the site. I've still tried to respond to any emails I've received, but otherwise it's been a good month where my sports energy has been entirely concentrated on baseball and soccer. However, preseason is officially underway, and although today is a gorgeous late summer day here in London, winter and hockey season will be starting soon. Today, I've got a new picture of the Tacoma Dome to show you and that should be it until I kick off the 2008-09 season shortly. Unlike in previous years, I don't have a major new feature or anything to kick off the season, although there is a little bit of new QMJHL research I've been sitting on, and the Q site will also have to be redone to incorporate the Fog Devils' sad move to Montreal. Within the next few weeks I should be doing my annual check of all the external links, updating ticket prices, and kicking off the road tripping season in early October with my first trip to Erie since 2004. Hope you've all enjoyed the off-season as much as I have, and remember - hockey's back soon!
July 26, 2008: I am very happy to remove all traces of links to the horrible, horrible beer that is Steelback off this website. The new rink in the Sault has been renamed the Essar Centre after Essar Algoma Steel, in the wake of Frank D'Angelo's brewery's bankruptcy.
July 19, 2008: Another new former WHL picture - this one of the MetraPark Arena in Billings Montana, courtesy the well-travelled Paul Buxton.
July 6, 2008: A new picture of the Victoria Memorial Arena has been added to the guide, courtesy Mickey Delmage.
June 27, 2008:This has nothing at all to do with hockey, and this site is definitely not a part of the blogosphere, but I wanted to take a moment to wish good luck to Will Leitch in his new gig at New York Magazine, and thank him for the past few years. I tend to keep this site very focused on junior hockey, but there is a wonderful community of talented writers out there who have more entertaining, insightful thoughts about sports than a million unionized, embittered hacks working at daily newspapers, and I feel privileged to have been a part of that community as a reader (and as a Deadspin commenter) for the past few years. I've never met the man, but thanks, Will, for indirectly introducing me to the sports blogging community, and good luck in your future endeavours.
June 12, 2008: One of the most enduring mysteries I've wondered about in the past few years has been exactly what the status of the Walden Community Centre was as a former OHL building. As a result of some archival research this morning, the mystery is finally solved. Check the page for details. As promised, the Rangers page is also updated.
May 31, 2008: Remember how I said I was going to re-write the Sarnia writeup back in February? I didn't! At least until now - Sarnia has been re-written. I'm also planning to re-write Kitchener soon after my recent visit (first since the 2005 playoffs), and I've taken another periodic sweep through the site updating and correcting outdated information. As always, it's difficult to edit your own work, so anyone who finds any corrections, bad information or other changes that need doing, please let me know. There currently are only two rinks left I haven't been to since the 04-05 season when I moved out East - Ottawa and Erie - and Erie for sure is on my list for next season. Come on, schedule release!
May 30, 2008: Summer... alas, the season in which there is no hockey. At least the weather makes up for it. I've got a new picture of Mercer Arena in Seattle uploaded, courtesy of Paul Buxton. The QMJHL schedule was released earlier this week as well and I've got two potential weekends in the fall lined up for making the trip to see games in Shawinigan, Montreal, and Gatineau, so we'll hope that works out. Also, for what it's worth, if the weather is nice Sunday I'm planing to make the trip to Dunn Tire Park in Buffalo to watch my first ever Triple-A baseball game, and first MiLB game since the 'AA' London Tigers left for New Jersey in 1993. I wish we still had 'AA' baseball...
May 17, 2008: What an opener to the Memorial Cup tournament last night! If the rest of the tourney is that good, we're all in for a treat. I myself am off to Kitchener today for the Chiefs-Bulls game, which should be my only game of the tournament. I've only ever seen the Rockets play from the Dub before, so I'm looking forward to seeing both another new team, and the renovations to the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium. This should be it after that for the 2007-08 season - I'll be watching the rest of the tournament on television, and then we'll be getting into summer mode around here yet again - slower updates and other sports in Picture of the Week. And I'm already looking forward to 2008-09!
April 15, 2008: Google Satellite has added satellite images for three more Ontario cities - London, Guelph and Peterborough. For those of you keeping score, this means the only remaining current or former OHL town not to have hi-res imagery is now Belleville. Links have been added to the appropriate pages.
April 13, 2008: A few more WHL updates for today. First of all, to my surprise, I've been told that the Nanaimo Islanders never actually played at the Nanaimo Civic Arena - they played at Frank Crane Arena, which is today home to the BCHL's Clippers. Pics are up, courtesy of the Creative Commons. Staying on the old WHL theme, I also received an old shot of the Estevan Civic Auditorium from Mickey Delmage; it too is posted. More currently, Joshua Little has sent in an exterior shot of the Interior Savings Centre in Kamloops, which brings the number of WHL pictures still needed down to only Brandon and Prince Albert. Finally, while my hockey travelling is likely over for the year save a trip to the Memorial Cup in May, I'm going to be heading for the Pacific Ocean for the first time in six years, leaving next week. It's baseball season again, and the Bay Area's two teams are calling! I have never been to California and I'm completely excited to go. I've also got a trip planned for Chicago and Milwaukee in August, which will bring my MLB park count up to 16 (14 current). It should be a good summer.
April 6, 2008: The host city of the 2009 Memorial Cup has been announced, and it's Rimouski, Quebec. I'm sure they'll do a great job, and it's terrific to see the Cup going to a smaller city again. In website news, I have seriously fallen behind on email again, and I have a few updates I want to post including new WHL pictures. They should be coming soon.
March 20, 2008: A new interior picture of SaskPlace courtesy reader Landis Fetch. Also, I've split the WHL page into Eastern and Western conferences to save loading times - the new Western page is here.
March 17, 2008: I've gone through and updated a lot of things that have become out of date around here - it's a little disheartening to see how quickly information gets stale. Some sad news - Barrie Arena is doomed. The city council has voted to demolish the now-closed rink this summer. Finally, I've updated the Q site with some pics from two new former arenas, check it out if you don't normally visit the Q site.
March 10, 2008: Ahhh, health. I've made a few tweaks here and there, the most noticeable of which is the update of the K-Rock Centre page into something reasonably substantial, i.e. photos and a writeup courtesy Ryan Petrynka. I've also uploaded a new interior shot of the renovated Credit Union iPlex (aka the Centennial Civic Centre) in Swift Current, courtesy of the much-appreciated Calvin Dyck. Let the record show that if I am ever in Western Canada during hockey season and have the opportunity, I will buy Calvin a beer.
March 3, 2008: This bitch of a cold is still hanging around, but I've got something too awesome to hold off on posting any longer - Ryan Tait has sent in a picture of the inside of the Palace of Auburn Hills - and better still, it's in hockey livery.
March 1, 2008: Apologies to anyone who's emailed this past week as I have been battling a cold and haven't had the energy to work on the site. An update is hopefully coming today or tomorrow, and I also will try to catch up on responding to email.
February 24, 2008: I unexpectedly found my way to Sarnia last night to take in the Sting-Knights game, and my thoughts are coming. In the meantime, picture of the week is updated.
February 22, 2008: We bid welcome tonight to the CHL's newest hockey arena - the brand new K-Rock Centre. It's a bare-bones page for now, but the intrepid Duct Tape of OHLPhotos.com will be attending the second game in the new rink on Sunday and has promised to take some pictures for me. So he's awesome. The old Memorial Centre page has been converted to a former rinks page, but that's not all bad, since the famous Circle K can finally make an appearance on this website. Finally, my most excellent Albertan correspondent Calvin Dyck has submitted a new photo of the interior of the Medicine Hat Arena.
February 18, 2008: Lots of updates today. First of all, the Kingston Memorial Centre's career as an OHL arena is in the books, with the new K-Rock Centre set to open next Friday. I wish I could have gotten there for the last game, but my office moved this past week and I simply wasn't able to leave work early on Friday to make the trip. I'll have a new page for the new rink online next Friday, and I'm hoping for some outside contributions for pictures and such since it's very unlikely I'll be able to make the trip to the new rink during the 2007-08 season. My travels for this year's regular season are probably over, but I'm still planning to get out to some playoff games.
That said, I was in Belleville last night for the Knights-Bulls game, and what a game it was! I was very happy to get back to the Yardmen as it's one of my favourite rinks in the league - intimate, small-town fans, the OHL's best-dressed team, and the league's best wings at Slapshot's just down the street. A re-written writeup and a new picture are posted. I also stopped in Oshawa on the way to Belleville to take advantage of the beautiful sunshiny day, and thus I finally have a new exterior shot of the GM Centre. The number of current rinks I haven't seen a game at since before moving to Newfoundland is now down to four - Erie (Dec. 10/04), Sarnia (Feb. 28/05), Kitchener (Apr. 27/05) and Ottawa (May 12/05). This officially means that all of the above are on my list for next year, or possibly the playoffs in the case of Sarnia or Kitchener. Once I've been to those again and have them fresh in mind, I'm planning to re-jig my rankings a little bit to better reflect the current situation and the influx of many video scoreboards into the league. For the record, I did update Belleville to reflect their video board, but the grade hasn't changed due to the fact that they don't use it very well. I was also in Brampton last week and have re-written the writeup a little bit. We also have a new entrant to the Hall of Fame.
Finally, my condolences to the Windsor Spitfires organization and to the family of team captain Mickey Renaud, who died tragically in his home this morning.
February 10, 2008: I've rewritten some of the Wolves and London Gardens pages. Now, off to Brampton with me! Looking forward to this afternoon's game.
February 3, 2008: Back from Windsor Arena after last night's game, and boy, did I miss that place - I can't believe I let it get to be three years since my last visit. I'm going to miss the cramped old barn when it's gone. I've redone the writeup, and also posted a new picture on the Picture of the Week page since I like the current ones I have on the Spits page. Also, I've been promising a Saginaw writeup update for a month and a half now and I've finally posted it. I'm off to Brampton next Sunday and Belleville the weekend after that, and that's going to be it for the regular season!
January 31, 2008: Sad news passed on by Jeremy Smith (apparently not the one who plays for the Whalers) - Barrie Arena has closed. The old rink's future is up in the air, and it's uncertain whether it'll be retrofitted or simply demolished. For those of you keeping score, with the imminent loss of the Water Street Arena in Cornwall, that drops the number of pre-war rinks in Ontario to five - Galt, Stratford, St. Catharines, Windsor, and one I just discovered - McIntyre Arena in Schumacher (Timmins).
January 27, 2008: Back from the Hershey Centre today after seeing the Knights win, and I've updated both the front page montage with the new Majors logo, and the Majors page itself with new thoughts. I still want to update the Saginaw page as mentioned in the previous post, but that'll have to wait until I'm a little more awake. In other news, I'm entering a stretch of four roadies in four weeks, with Windsor, Brampton and Belleville coming in February, so stay tuned for what I sincerely hope will be crisp new photos and witty, compact prose.
January 3, 2008: The pressures of the real world really suck sometimes. I've gotten way behind on answering emails and I also want to rewrite the Saginaw writeup after my visit in December, but my time lately has been even more precious than normal and I've been neglecting the site to a shameful degree. If you wrote recently and haven't heard back, my apologies, and I will respond as soon as I can. In other news, my trip to Kingston/Gatineau/Ottawa for February has been scrapped based upon financial and time constraints, but I'm still planning to do the game in Belleville on the Saturday instead. My travel schedule has been updated, and hopefully I can get to all the things I've been planning to do this weekend, when I finally have a weekend with no real plans.
December 31, 2007: Happy new year to all. I'm back from Chicago after a whirlwind visit between Christmas and now, and I've increased my NHL and AHL totals by one apiece following games at the United Center and the Rosemont Horizon. The United Center was awesome - the place was sold out, with 21,715 fans cheering boisterously just like they used to on TV when I was a kid. Hearing the rendition of the Star-Spangled Banner with the crowd screaming non-stop throughout was enough to bring goosebumps. The Horizon, on the other hand, was just weird - the place was built right under the flightpath of one of O'Hare's runways, so the building is necessarily low to the ground. As a result, it has the shallowest seats I've ever sat in, and in a mostly empty upper deck, a person six rows in front of you could block the view. The crowd was loud though. Picture of the Week will resume next Sunday with some shots from the trip, and I look forward to more travels in 2008, starting with another AHL trip to Rochester in two weeks.
December 10, 2007: A new picture of the Prospera Centre in Chilliwack, home of the Bruins, courtesy of the glorious public domain. Off to Saginaw this weekend, by way of Bronner's Christmas Wonderland... am I insane trying to go there a week before Christmas?
November 25, 2007: After three roadies in three weeks, I've updated the writeups for Owen Sound, Plymouth and Guelph. Many of the writings here were done by a much younger person, and I am in the process (as I rediscover the league again this season) of updating my old rantings into what I hope is better, more mature, more evenly-considered and more interesting reads. I hope you like what I've done.
November 10, 2007: John "J-Dog" McIsaac joins the Hall of Fame.
November 7, 2007: Welcome, readers of the Cornwall Standard-Freeholder! If this is your first visit, please consider having a look at my Water Street Arena page on this site's sister site, the QMJHL Arena & Travel Guide. Yesterday, I was quoted in a story about the future of the Water Street Arena in the newspaper, which you can read here. For those of you outside the Cornwall area, the city is currently deciding whether to renovate or demolish the old rink, one of the last large pre-war arenas in Ontario. Hopefully a few people in the area can be swayed by the history and character of the old rink - it would be a shame to lose it.
October 31, 2007: Oh yeah... I guess I was in North Bay recently too. New pictures are posted, and the writeup has been expanded. Also, I was off work unexpectedly today thanks to a massive sinkhole that knocked the power out at my office, so I walked down to the JLC and took a new exterior shot.
October 27, 2007: The Top 20 has been updated to include the Jack Gatecliff Arena. Where does it slot in? Check the new rankings to find out.
October 23, 2007: Well, I'm back from the far north. Abitibi was awesome, and it's not very often you get to hear someone say that! After getting home, I totalled up my CHL total thus far, and discovered that I have been to exactly 75 CHL arenas past and present. Sweet Jesus. Anyway, a new profile from Jack Gatecliff Arena, home of the IceDogs, has been added to the Guide, which brings my total yet again to 20/20! Not only that, but I'm also at 50% now for the Q, with 9/18 in the books. Check out the Foreurs and Huskies pages over the next few days, as they will be updated as well.
October 17, 2007: New Google Satellite images of the arenas in Barrie (old and new), Cornwall, North York, Kingston and Newmarket. Check them out! I'll be heading out tomorrow afternoon to complete all 20 for a third time, with a visit to the Jack Gatecliff Arena in St. Catharines. Can't wait to see the place! I'll be in the company of the Ultimate Sports Road Trip. Then, it's north I go - Val-d'Or on Friday and Rouyn-Noranda on Saturday. It's a pointless hockey trip into the middle of nowhere and I am pumped.
October 14, 2007: A new entrant to the Hall of Fame. Welcome to Glen Allin!
October 7, 2007: Future developments updated on the Colts and the Greyhounds pages.
September 27, 2007: I seem to be falling behind on the updating schedule this year... see, kids, this is what happens when you get a real job. Ah, to be a college student again, to sleep until 11 AM every day and have eight daily hours of free time! At any rate, ticket prices are updated for the new season. Lousy OHL... getting more expensive every year. The Whalers are still the big bargain of the league (and moreso with a strong Canadian dollar), while several teams are now at the $17 mark for an adult admission.
September 14, 2007: Great Mookie Wilson, is it the fifth season of the OHL Arena & Travel Guide already? As you've probably already noticed from the front page, there was a reason for the sparse updates over the summer - I was working on the QMJHL Arena & Travel Guide. I sincerely hope you enjoy it. As a result of the new site's launch, all of the Q stuff on this site is now gone and will remain separate there, but everything else - WHL, ticket stubs, Picture of the Week - is staying put. The new site will be pure Q, while this one will remain its OHL/CHL/anything else I feel like hybrid you've come to know. Ticket prices for the 2006-07 season will be updated before the season begins this Friday. I'm looking forward to this year immensely - trips are already planned to Gatineau/Ottawa, Kingston, Windsor, and St. Catharines, as well as a potentially ridiculous sojourn in a month's time to northwestern Quebec. Enjoy the new site, and enjoy the season!