We are excited to announce that the Hamilton Huskies (Alliance) and Hamilton Jr Bulldogs (OMHA) are uniting to form a NEW AAA Minor Hockey Association.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Effective the 2019-20 season, the Hamilton Huskies and Hamilton Jr. Bulldogs entered into a pilot program. This pilot was designed to keep players within the City of Hamilton playing in Hamilton and allow the players the freedom to participate with the organization of their choice. This program showed how two organizations with competing agendas and from different Member Partners can work together to achieve a goal of keeping City of Hamilton players within the city. A key element of the success of this pilot was ongoing communication between the two organizations and dialogue about how to make hockey in Hamilton more competitive for both organizations while offering the best programming for our players. These conversations have led us to our new pilot that is outlined below.
The Hamilton Huskies (Alliance Hockey) and Hamilton Jr. Bulldogs (Ontario Minor Hockey Association) will unite for a three (3) year pilot project to form a new AAA hockey association within the City of Hamilton, which will be formally known as the Hamilton Steel Hockey Club. This pilot project has been endorsed by Alliance Hockey, Ontario Minor Hockey and the Ontario Hockey Federation. Below are some common questions we feel people may have regarding this pilot and hopefully offer greater into why this pilot is happening.
Why the merger and new identity?
The Hamilton Steel Hockey Club will promote City of Hamilton players playing within our city by offering one (1) competitive AAA program and players will not have to leave the City of Hamilton to access such programming. This pilot will also help to ensure players are participating in the proper hockey category (AAA/AA/A) allowing all players to develop while enjoying the game. It is our belief that this will help keep players playing in the game longer.
The pilot will also allow the new AAA Hockey Club the ability to offer high-performance coaching and player development. As it currently stands both organizations are competing for coaches, development coaches and for access to ice-time within the City of Hamilton, which limits each organization’s ability to offer high-performance programs.
Who is included in the Pilot?
A player who is currently residing within the Hamilton Huskies geographical area or any player currently residing within the Hamilton Jr. Bulldogs geographical area will be included in the pilot and be eligible to try out with a permission to skate. These areas include:
- All City of Hamilton Residents
- Caledonia Residents
- Hagersville Residents
When does the Pilot begin?
The pilot will start for the 2023-2024 season and last for three (3) hockey seasons.
What happens after three (3) years?
The Pilot will be evaluated by all stakeholders including Alliance Hockey, OHF and OMHA throughout the pilot. This process will determine if the pilot is providing the best opportunities for residents within the Hamilton AAA zone.
At the conclusion of the pilot, if the conclusion is that this is best for the participants, then this will be a permanent change.
What happens if a player is released by the new AAA hockey club?
That player may return to their home Association or they can request an OHF AAA waiver. They would then be eligible to tryout for another AAA team as per the policies of their member partner. (OMHA or Alliance hockey)
Can a player from outside of the Hamilton AAA zone tryout for the team?
The Hamilton Steel will be a member of OMHA. Only players who have an OHF AAA waiver from their home centre, will be eligible to tryout as per OHF AAA Waiver policy.
Who can AP for the new AAA hockey club?
The Ontario Hockey Federation has agreed to allow any player playing in Hamilton to AP for the new club, therefore this would include:
- Ancaster Minor Hockey
- Caledonia Minor Hockey
- Dundas Minor Hockey
- Glancaster Bombers
- Glanbrook Minor Hockey
- Hamilton Huskies
- Flamborough Sabres
- Stoney Creek Minor Hockey
- Hagersville Minor Hockey
Who will sit on the board for the new AAA hockey club?
The new Board of Directors will include both Hamilton Huskies and Hamilton Jr. Bulldogs current members.
Which league will the new AAA team play out of?
The Hamilton Steel Hockey Club will be playing within the Ontario Minor Hockey Association and be part of the South Central AAA (SCTA) league.
What age groups will the new AAA hockey club be offering?
The Hamilton Steel Hockey Club will be offering teams from U10-U18 (AAA only).