|League||Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League|
|Conference||Western Ontario Conference|
|Home arena||Western Fair District Sports Centre|
|Colours||Blue, white, and black|
|General manager||Pat Powers|
|Head coach||Pat Powers|
|Affiliate(s)||Lambeth Lancers (PJHL)|
|Championships||Sutherland Cup Champions: 2013|
WOC Champions: 2012, 2013, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019
WOJHL Champions: 1981,1983,1984,1992
WJBHL Champions: 1964,1965
Big 10 West Champions: 1952
|1950–1958||London Lou Ball Juniors|
Ken Eansor is the current owner of the London Nationals. The general manager and head coach is Pat Powers. The Nationals play their home games at the Western Fair Sports Centre. The arena's seating capacity is 1,800, and features an international-sized ice surface measuring 100' X 200'.
- 1 History
- 2 Championships
- 3 Season-by-season results
- 4 Sutherland Cup appearances
- 5 Players
- 6 Awards
- 7 Arenas
- 8 Uniforms and logos
- 9 References
- 10 External links
Early days — 1950Edit
The team's life began in 1950, playing in The Big '10' Western Division out of the Ontario Arena at the Western Fair grounds. They won the Western Division title in 1952 as the London Lou Ball Juniors, after sponsor Lou Ball's clothing store. In 1956 the 'Big 10' was divided, and London became a member of the Western Ontario Junior "B" Hockey League.
Consistent representation of the city of London at the Jr. B level began in 1950 with the London Lou Ball Juniors, playing in The 'Big 10' Western Division out of the Ontario Arena at the Western Fairgrounds. The team was named after Lou Ball Clothes, which were stores owned by coach Lou Ball, and they won the championship the following season. The team was known as the London Collinson Flyers during the 1955–56 season before reverting to Lou Ball Juniors for 2 more seasons. The name changed to London Diamonds in 1958, then to Athletics in 1960. In 1961 the team was renamed again. They were called the Nationals, after sponsor Canadian National Recreation Association, an organization of Canadian National Railways employees.
The Maple Leafs — 1963Edit
In 1963 the Toronto Maple Leafs began sponsoring the Nationals. The Maple Leafs traditionally had affiliations with the Toronto Marlboros and St. Michael's Majors, however with the withdrawal of the Majors from the OHA, and the collapse of the Metro Junior A League, the Leafs were left with only one team. They decided to sponsor the junior team in London, which they wanted to play at the new London Gardens and be promoted to the Ontario Hockey Association.
The OHA initially balked at the proposition however, and so the Nationals continued to play in the Junior B league, winning the London Free Press Trophy as league champions in 1964 and 1965. For the 1965–66 season, the team was finally admitted to major junior hockey, and London's Junior B franchise moved to Ingersoll to make room for the Junior A Nationals. The Junior A team was renamed as London Knights in 1968, and the Nationals name disappeared from the London sports landscape.
The Bees, Squires and Diamonds — 1966Edit
The Junior B team returned to London under the name Bees for the 1966–1967 season, but then fell dormant for two seasons. The team was revived in 1969 as the Squires, and played under that name until 1976. The team was then known as the Diamonds from 1976–1991, before the Nationals name was revived after a long-lasting sponsorship with a diamond jeweler dissolved.
The team's time under the Diamonds name was successful, as they claimed the Southwestern Junior B Hockey League title in 1977, and the Western Ontario Hockey League title in 1981, 1983, and 1984.
Nationals Name Returns — 1991Edit
The next change came when Kent Phibbs purchased the team and changed the name back to the London Nationals, and they won the Western Jr. B championship that same year. The team uniforms were once again the blue and white of the Maple Leafs and the team remained at Nichols Arena for a few years.
Mr. Phibbs now moved the team back to the Gardens. In the summer of 1998, the team was sold again, this time to the Doug Tarry Group (London Knights). The team remained playing at the same arena, but the name had changed to the London Ice House. The team colors and logo where changed to eggplant and teal to match the affiliate and the team still played at the London Ice House. The team's most recent championship came in 2019 (4th straight) as Western Conference Champions.
Bill Weir Trophy
Western Ontario Junior B Champions
Western Junior B Champions
Sutherland Cup appearancesEdit
List of alumni who also played in the National Hockey League.
GOJHL Western ConferenceEdit
Ontario Arena, 1950–1963Edit
Original home of the London Nationals. Built on the property of the Western Fair.
London Gardens/London Ice House, 1976–2001Edit
The London Gardens (see article) was built in 1963 and served as the home of the Nationals from 1963 to its closing in 2001. The building was renamed London Ice House in 1994. The arena is currently home to the Forest City Velodrome.
Ray Lanctin Arena (Medway Arena), 2002–2005Edit
Medway Arena was renovated in 2009 after being built in 1967. Renovations include updates to the community centre, flooring and rink boards. Winter skating programs and events run throughout the winter season, and arena pad is available for lacrosse during the summer season. This facility is also equipped with a hall and kitchenette, perfect for private rentals..
Western Fair Sports Centre, 2006–presentEdit
The Sports Centre at Western Fair District is a state-of-the-art 160,000 square foot multi-use facility known as a leader amongst the many ice facilities available in London and Ontario.
Uniforms and logosEdit
The original London Nationals were modelled off their parent club, the Toronto Maple Leafs up until the change to the London Knights. The team's logo was the same Leaf as used by the parent club at the time, except with the words "London Nationals" written out across the leaf instead of "Toronto Maple Leafs" The team over went numerous logo and uniform changes with sponsors including Chester Pegg & Phibbs Incorporated. The team adopted similar colours to the Knights (Eggplant & teal) in the 1990s to look more like their Jr A affiliate. The Knight's move to more modern colours in 2002 brought the Nationals' look back to the familiar blue & white look. Today's uniforms mimic the Maple Leafs look, adopting a blue, white & black colour scheme. In 2015, the Nationals adopted a black alternate jerseys with the team's crest logo.