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Blacksox 12-24-2018 08:41 AM

“Going for it” and not winning it all is a not a failure. Only one team will win its last game - pushing your chips “all in” does not guarantee it will be you.

Win or lose – a run at a championship can also be viewed as team management’s show of appreciation to the fans. The Niagara IceDogs’ fan base has steadily increased over the years – and we desire a chance to cheer for a championship calibre team once in a while – successful or not!

Every single year, a team can look around the league and decide some team is better than them – sell their players and start another re-build every time things don’t seem to align perfectly.

At some point you have reward your fans, with an attempt at a championship. Gives this loyal and supportive fan base something to get excited about and look forward to.

Despite everyone predictions that after a run for a championship the IceDogs would be doomed to become a team like Sudbury, Kingston, Ottawa, Peterborough – management has been able to rebuild the IceDogs and make a another run a few years later, while remaining competitive and relevant in the years in between.

Compared to many other OHL teams, we are one of the most fortunate fan bases. The IceDogs consistently bring in exciting hockey players (through the draft or trades) for us to enjoy and get behind during the rebuild and especially the championship years.

Almost every OHL team’s fan bases are dwindling (Niagara and London being the exception) – and you have teams that never provide their fans a championship team. If you turn into one of those teams - fans are going to stop supporting a team that never wins and sells off it best players each year. How do you market and sell that? Not sure I would even continue to support that myself to be honest.

The IceDogs may not win it this year! Any team “going for it” is taking a risk! But coming up short is not a failure - fans don’t disappear. At the end, you applaud the organization, the players and the fans who cheered their hearts out – and you look forward to the next run in few years!

Win or lose, IceDogs’ fans are about to be treated to some of the best hockey this country has to offer – thankfully we have a willing and aggressive organization providing us that opportunity.

Looking forward to 2019.

Blacksox 12-26-2018 10:22 PM


IceDogs have been one of the most successful and consistent Eastern Conference playoff teams in the past 12 seasons where OHL playoffs were played.

Scoring System: Total Points (1 pt each round) ÷ 12 seasons = Average Rounds Per Year (rd/yr)
OP = Out of Playoffs

1. Niagara Ice Dogs 2008-2019
<> Rd-2, Rd-2, Rd-1, Rd-3, Rd-4 (Finals), Rd-1, Rd-1, Rd-2, Rd-4 (Finals), Rd-1, Rd-2, Rd-2 <> (25 ÷ 12 = 2.1 rd/yr)

2. Oshawa General 2008-2019
<> Rd-3, OP, OP, Rd-2 , Rd-1, Rd-2, Rd-3, Rd-4 (Finals*), Rd-1, Rd-2, Rd-1, Rd-3 <>(23 ÷ 12=1.9 rd/yr)

3. Brampton/North Bay 2008-2019
<> Rd-1, Rd-4 (Finals), Rd-2, Rd-1, Rd-2, Rd-1, Rd-4 (Finals), Rd-3, Rd-2, OP, Rd-1, Rd-1 <> (22 ÷ 12 = 1.8 rd/yr)

4. Barrie Colts 2008-2019
<> Rd-1, Rd-1, Rd-4 (Finals), OP, Rd-2, Rd-4 (Finals), Rd-2, Rd-2, Rd-3, OP, Rd-2, OP <> (21 ÷ 12 = 1.75 rd/yr)

5. Belleville/Hamilton 2008-2019
<> Rd-4 (Finals), Rd-3, OP, Rd-1, Rd-1, Rd-3, OP, Rd-1, OP, Rd-1, Rd-4 (Finals*), Rd-1 <> (19 ÷ 12 = 1.6 rd/yr)

6. Ottawa 67s 2008-2019
<> Rd-1, Rd-1, Rd-2, Rd-1, Rd-3, OP, OP, Rd-1, Rd-1, Rd-1, Rd-1, Rd-4 (Finals) <> (16 ÷ 12 = 1.3 rd/yr)

7. Mississauga St. Michaels Majors - Steelheads 2008-2019
<> Rd-1, Rd-2, Rd-3, Rd-4 (Finals), Rd-1, Rd-1, Rd-1, OP, Rd-1, Rd-3, Rd-1, Rd-1 <> (19 ÷ 12 = 1.6 rd/yr)

8. Kingston Frontenacs 2008-2019
<> OP, OP, Rd-1, Rd-1, OP, Rd-1, Rd-1, Rd-1, Rd-2, Rd-2, Rd-3, OP <> ( 12 ÷ 12 = 1.0 rd/yr)

9. Sudbury Wolves 2008-2019
<> OP, Rd-1, Rd-1, Rd-2, Rd-1, Rd-2, Rd-1, OP, OP, Rd-1, OP , Rd-2 <> (11 ÷ 12 = 0.9 rd/yr)

10. Peterborough Petes 2008-2019
<> Rd-1, Rd-1, Rd-1, OP, OP, OP, Rd-2, Rd-1, Rd-1, Rd-2, OP, Rd-1 <>(10 ÷ 12 = 0.8 rd/yr)


bones 12-27-2018 01:03 PM

Wow...very cool! Thank you pulling this together!

bones 12-27-2018 01:06 PM

I agree, let’s just enjoy supporting a great hockey team!:clapclap:

Red 12-28-2018 10:42 AM


Originally Posted by bones (Post 122364)
I agree, let’s just enjoy supporting a great hockey team!:clapclap:

Where do you suppose that support will go if the team doesn't get out of the East?

Blacksox 12-30-2018 04:04 PM


Decreasing attendance has become a league wide problem over the last 5-6 years, so it speaks volumes to the job the Burkes have done to grow this impressive junior hockey fan base in the Niagara Region.

It starts with the Business Operations team, who are out in the community marketing and selling the IceDogs – that works in conjunction with the Hockey Operations team being able to ice a competitive and quality product every year.

In their 11 seasons, the Niagara IceDogs lead all Eastern Conference teams with 23 playoff rounds – and looking to add to that total this year.

The Ice Dogs are currently 3rd in league attendance - and the only team whose attendance has steadily increased, while almost all other OHL team’s attendance has steadily decreased.

OHL 2018-19 Attendance Graph (

2013-2014 <> 2989 (Last Jack)
2014-2015 <> 4328 (1st Season Meridian Centre)
2015-2016 <> 4557 (Eastern Conference Champions)
2016-2017 <> 4804 (Year 1 Rebuild)
2017-2018 <> 4855 (Year 2 Rebuild)
2018-2019 <> 4756 (Successful 1st half. IceDogs on pace for record breaking totals in the 2nd half)


notldogsfan 12-31-2018 09:13 AM

I hate to be a stickler, but technically 5 teams can win their last game in the OHL if all of the teams that miss the playoffs win their last regular season game :P

Haha, but in all seriousness great post and Go Dogs Go!

Blacksox 01-09-2019 07:25 AM

DISCLAIMER: I was not planning on posting this so soon, but with members concerned about the future – perhaps this will allow all of us to breathe easier, just appreciate the team/players we currently have - and enjoy the ride this year!


2011 - 2012 Championship team – Core players: 1992 (OAs 91s)
• 4 years later
2015 - 2016 Championship team – Core Player: 1996 (OAs 95s)
• 3 years later
2018 – 2019 Championship team – Core Players: 1999 (OAs 98s)

If the next run is in 3 years, the core players would have to be 2002 (OAs 01). Since the IceDogs will eventually have to trade their two best 00 and 01 (and have already traded 2 of their best 01 and 02), the next run will be 4 years from now (2022-2023 season) – core players will be 2003 (OAs O2).

At the end of this season, the IceDogs can begin using their tradable assets, both drafts (OHL and IMPORT) and player trades - to start bringing in a collection of high-end 2003 and 2004 (plus groom a few 2002 OAs).

After the 2012 season, it took Marty Williamson 4 years to rebuild the IceDogs into a championship calibre team.

In 2015, Joey Burke inherited a team that Marty had “traded almost everything that was not nailed down”. And now, Joey Burke has done the same to himself.

Last time around, JB accomplished that rebuild in only 3 years – it will most likely return to the normal OHL cycle of 4 years this time.

How did JB do it?
<> signing players that they had drafted in previous years
<> made some astute trades
<> drafted well
<> replenished the barren cupboard by moving two above average assets in 98 Chris Paquette and 97 Graham Knott – for extraordinary returns .

Paquette: 2nd, 2nd, 2nd, 2nd, 3rd
Knot: 2nd, 3rd, 6th, 4th, 3rd, 3rd, 3rd

In 2019, Joey will have the luxury of dealing from a position of strength to refill the draft cupboard. He has two of the OHL’s best players in 00 Akil Thomas and 01 Phil Tomasino – both will return a king’s ransom! In addition, Burke has a group of quality 99s that he can sort out into two groups: Retain or Trade.


Niagara IceDogs have left…
2020 1st, ___,___ ,___, 5th
2021 XX, ___, 3rd, 4th,___
2022 1st, ___,___, 4th, 5th
2023 1st, ___,___, 4th, 5th, *5th (Jake McGrath)
2024 1st, ___,___, 4th, 5th
2025 1st, ___, 3rd, 4th, 5th
2026 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th
2027 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th
…and so on.

To refill the cupboards back to status quo, the IceDogs need to acquire:
<> 6 - 2nd
<> 4 - 3rd
<> 1 - 4th

NOT a difficult task to accomplish with the players available to JB:

Using previously established returns – and keep in mind some of the IceDogs' player values may even increase with a successful playoff run.
E.g., D-Jack Hanley traded to Guelph prior to training camp: Bulldogs received a 2nd, 3rd , and a 4th

<> Akil Thomas:2019 1st round pick (2003); 2-2nds and 2-3rds
<> Phil Tomasino:2019 1st round pick (2003); 4-2nds and 2-3rds
<> Jacob Paquette: 3 - 2nd
<> Drew Hunter: 2 - 2nd
<> Elijah Roberts: 1 - 2nd and 1 - 3rd
<> Also, B. Johnson, M. Phillips and O. Castleman could bring in some 3rd and 4th.

In "IceDogs Future Part B" we’ll take a closer look at the possible returning line up.


Newdawgsfan 01-09-2019 10:25 AM

Blacksox - you do it time and time again. Some of the most thoughtful, helpful, informative posts we ever see on this forum. Thanks for the time you spend on this.

Would be interesting to see some direct comparisons (after tomorrow) of the 3 in the East (Dogs; Oshawa; Ottawa) and 4 in the West (London; Guelph; Sault and Saginaw) that are obviously all in. Average ages? How many NHL drafted? Stats? Other things I cannot think of!

Quite the season ahead!

retired/sectionJ 01-09-2019 10:45 AM

I am wondering if Blacksox might think that we have enough still to bring in our player from North Bay (Walker)

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