The Collingwood Colts officially took their first strides, March 11, after Collingwood council unanimously approved their bid to bring a Tier II Junior ‘A’ hockey team back to the town.
The Colts’ ownership group, which includes Howie Campbell, owner of the Ontario Hockey League’s Barrie Colts, Dave Steele, who will be the president of the new Ontario Junior Hockey League club, and Russel Urbanoski, owner of Nutrafarms Inc., is in the process of purchasing the Kingston Voyageurs and moving them to the Eddie Bush Memorial Arena for next season.
Collingwood council chose the Jr. ‘A’ Colts bid over a second bid made by group looking to bring an expansion Jr. ‘B’ team to the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League.
“We believe at this time a Junior ‘A’ team in Collingwood will be successful in a number of ways, not just on the ice,” Campbell said in a release after the initial bid was made. “We feel it’s a good time to bring junior hockey back to Collingwood and that (Collingwood) is ready for a Junior ‘A’ team.”
The Collingwood Colts will also serve as an affiliate club of the OHL’s Barrie Colts.
“When (Steele) approached us with the idea of purchasing a Junior ‘A’ team, we were intrigued,” Campbell added. “It gives us the ability to recruit players and keep them in our organization right up until they sign pro-level contracts.
“We love the idea of being able to offer young players the chance to develop all through minor hockey levels, up to Junior ‘A’ and the OHL, without having to leave the area.”
The Collingwood Colts will participate in the Hockey Canada sanctioned OJHL, which is part of the Canadian Junior Hockey League (CJHL), and will have a chance to compete for the RBC Cup, a national championship tournament.
“It’s a national league with a high profile and we know that Collingwood is ready for that,” Steele said.
photo: Howie Campbell, owner of the Barrie Colts, is part of a group bringing Junior ‘A’ hockey back to Collingwood. Collingwood council unanimously approved their bid, March 11, that will see them purchase the Kingston Voyageurs of the Ontario Junior Hockey League and move them to the Eddie Bush Memorial Arena for next season. Barrie Colts photo