Greater Toronto Hockey League

The Greater Toronto Hockey League (GTHL), formerly known as the Metro Toronto Hockey League, is a minor level ice hockey organization based in the Greater Toronto Area of Ontario. The league was founded in 1911 as the Beaches Hockey League by Fred C. Waghorne, Sr., and it is the largest minor hockey organization in the world. The league is sanctioned by the Ontario Hockey Federation and Hockey Canada.

Greater Toronto Hockey League
GTHL Logo.jpg
PresidentDon West
Founded1911
No. of teams50
HeadquartersToronto, Ontario
Websitehttp://www.gthlcanada.com

HistoryEdit

Early yearsEdit

The Greater Toronto Hockey League was founded in 1911 by Frank D. Smith. Its first season consisted of 5 teams and 99 players. Smith was 17 years old when he founded the organization, and would continue to oversee the operation for 50 years. He was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1962 in part for his contributions to minor hockey in Toronto.[1][2]

The League's name underwent several changes over its history. Originally called the Beaches League, it was renamed to the Toronto Hockey League (THL) shortly after its inception. It was renamed again in 1972 to the Metropolitan Toronto Hockey League before settling on the current Greater Toronto Hockey League moniker in 1998. The League saw increases in membership during its first few years. During World War I, the then THL maintained its numbers due to having younger age divisions, such as peewee and bantam, where the players were too young to participate in the war.[3] By the 1960s, The league had over 20,000 members on teams across Toronto.

The GTHLEdit

In 2011, the Greater Toronto Hockey League and its affiliates consisted of 2,800 teams and around 40,000 players. It is currently the largest youth ice hockey organization in the world in terms of members.[3][4] The league has expanded its area of operation over the years from primarily the city of Toronto to many of its surrounding municipalities.[3] Currently, there are 51 separate associations that operate under the GTHL. These associations provide teams for the various age groups and divisions that make up the league.[5] Around 275 GTHL alumni have gone on to play in North American professional ice hockey leagues, such as the National Hockey League and the defunct World Hockey Association.[4]

The GTHL is a not-for-profit organization, however its operating costs are high.[3] In 2011, league expenses were in excess of $9 million per year.[2] The high costs of operating teams has been an issue for the league, with some teams having trouble paying for the increasing costs of ice in the Toronto area.[6] The costs for someone to play on a AAA GTHL team, its highest level of play,[5] is approximately $6,000 per player.[4]

In 2011, the GTHL along with Hockey Canada changed its rules regarding hits to the head. Stricter rules were placed on what constituted a hit to the head, and the severity of punishment for instances of it was increased.[7]

Current teamsEdit

  • Amesbury Attack
  • Amesbury Avalanche
  • Avenue Road Ducks
  • Don Mills Flyers (AAA)
  • Don Mills Mustangs
  • Duffield Devils
  • Forest Hill Hockey Association
  • Goulding Park Rangers
  • Greater Toronto Capitals
  • Hillcrest Canadiens
  • Humber Valley Sharks
  • Humberview Huskies
  • Leaside Flames
  • Markham Islanders
  • Markham Majors (AAA)
  • Mississauga Beast
  • Mississauga Blackhawks
  • Mississauga Jets
  • Mississauga North Stars
  • Mississauga Rebels (AAA)
  • Mississauga Senators (AAA)
  • Mississauga Terriers
  • North Toronto Hockey
  • North York Knights
  • North York Rangers (AAA)
  • Reps (AAA)
  • Scarborough Ice Raiders
  • Scarborough Young Bruins
  • Streetsville Tigers
  • Ted Reeve Thunder
  • Toronto Aces
  • Toronto Aeros
  • Toronto Avalanche
  • Toronto Colts
  • Toronto Eagles
  • Toronto East Enders
  • Toronto Jr. Canadiens (AAA)
  • Toronto Marlboros (AAA)
  • Toronto Nationals (AAA)
  • Toronto Red Wings (AAA)
  • Toronto Royals
  • Toronto Shamrocks
  • Toronto Titans (AAA)
  • Toronto Wolverines
  • Vaughan Kings (AAA)
  • Vaughan Panthers
  • Vaughan Rangers
  • West Hill Golden Hawks
  • West Mall Lightning
  • West Toronto Renegades
  • Willowdale Blackhawks
  • York Mills
  • York Toros

Former teamsEdit

  • Bay Street Bulls
  • Bert Robinson
  • Cedar Hill Colts
  • Clairlea
  • Don Valley Maple Leafs
  • Don Valley Villagers
  • Dorset Park Bruins
  • Etobicoke Canadiens
  • Etobicoke Reps
  • Faustina
  • Forest Hill Lions
  • Foster's Firebirds
  • George Bell
  • Hillcrest Summit
  • Leaside Kings
  • Mississauga Hornets
  • Neil McNeil
  • North York Flames
  • Northern Etobicoke
  • Port Credit Schooners
  • Royal Nationals
  • Scarboro Lions
  • Scarborough Olympic
  • Scarborough Sabres
  • Thornhill Islanders
  • Toronto Blues
  • Toronto Devils
  • Toronto Olympic
  • Toronto Stingers
  • Toronto Toros
  • Toronto Township
  • Toronto Villagers
  • Warren Park
  • Wexford Raiders

AffiliatesEdit

The GTHL serves as the parent organization for several other minor hockey leagues. These leagues coordinate "Select" League play for players in the Toronto area seeking to play at a level below "rep" teams in the GTHL.

  • North York Hockey League (NYHL) - Coordinates "select" level programs for the Toronto, Scarborough and North York area.
  • Mississauga Hockey League (MHL) - Coordinates "select" and Rep "A" level programs for the Mississauga area.

Levels of playEdit

The GTHL runs competitive leagues at the "rep" levels (AAA, AA, and A), as well as coordinating several affiliates to operate "Select" leagues throughout the city. Rep hockey in the GTHL begins at "minor Atom" (U9) age and continues through U21. House League and Select programs include children of all ages, extending from Timbits (3 or 4 years of age) all the way to U21.

All hockey is played under "Hockey Canada" rules. There is no body checking allowed at all age groups for "select" and rep "A" level in the GTHL and affiliates. Body checking is permitted for minor bantam (U13) and above for the rep "AA" and rep "AAA" levels.

Current NHL alumniEdit

On opening day for the 2017-18, approximately 8% of all NHL roster players had played in the GTHL at some point. [8] GTHL alumni who have played in the NHL in the 2017-18 and 2018-19 include:

Other notable alumniEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Legends of Hockey". Retrieved 2 April 2013.
  2. ^ a b Kalchman, Lois (15 September 2011). "Greater Toronto Hockey League Turns 100". Toronto Star. Retrieved 3 April 2013.
  3. ^ a b c d "About GTHL". Archived from the original on 18 April 2013. Retrieved 4 April 2013.
  4. ^ a b c Gillmor, Don (11 January 2013). "Is Minor Hockey Worth It?". Toronto Star. Retrieved 4 April 2013.
  5. ^ a b "League Info - GTHL". Retrieved 4 April 2013.
  6. ^ Wyatt, Charles. "Toronto minor hockey caught in profit debate". Retrieved 4 April 2013.
  7. ^ MacGregor, Roy (6 September 2012). "Hockey Canada's head shot rule goes into effect". Toronto: The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 4 April 2013.
  8. ^ "61 GTHL Alumni Start 2017-18 NHL Season – GTHL". Retrieved 2019-04-10.
  9. ^ Ferguson, Bob (2005). Who's Who in Canadian Sport, Volume 4. Markham, Ontario: Fitzhenry & Whiteside Ltd. p. 110. ISBN 1-55041-855-6.
  10. ^ "YMHC player and volunteer history". York Mills Hockey Club. Retrieved November 15, 2017.

External linksEdit