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Bulldogs Brantford Bound

According to various sources familiar with the Hamilton Bulldogs, the team will be moving to Brantford for the 2023-24 season. The move is subject to approval from the city council, which is expected to approve the proposal during their special council meeting on Tuesday, February 7.

The report comes after over two months of searching for a temporary home following a leaked story about the miscommunication between First Ontario Centre owner HUPEG and the team last November. The arena owners told the tenants Bulldogs, Toronto Rock and Honey Badgers to relocate for two years as the arena undergoes major renovations.

As for Brantford, the Telephone City will be hosting the Ontario Hockey League for first time since 1984, when the Brantford Alexanders competed from 1979 to 1984 at the soon-to-be Bulldogs home arena – the 3,000-seat Brantford Civic Centre.

In order to prepare for the Bulldogs transition to the new city, Brantford is committing over $3 Million from the casino fund with the Bulldogs footing the remaining balance of the proposed $7+Million dollar upgrade to the 57-year-old arena.

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Hamilton Bulldogs

Hamilton Bulldogs Commit To Rebuild

The Hamilton Bulldogs entered the second half of the 2022-23 Ontario Hockey League season hoping to rebuild the franchise and win another OHL championship.

As of January 12, the Bulldogs are seventh in the Eastern Conference, however they are only two points ahead of eighth-place Sudbury and four points ahead of their archrival Oshawa Generals.

Regardless of their ranking, the Bulldogs’ path to successfully defending their title appears to be more tough. In the weeks building up to last Monday’s trade deadline, top Eastern Conference teams Peterborough, Ottawa, Barrie, and North Bay made crucial acquisitions in preparation for a long playoff run.

Hamilton lacked the necessary resources and draught stock to be competitive, having given up a big amount of their draft cupboard to acquire Arber Xhexaj and Mason McTavish for their eventual championship run. Standing pat with the returning core from last season would have had serious implications for their future.

With that in mind, Bulldogs General Manager Matt Turek and management made the decision to build the groundwork for the future by selling many key pieces for higher-level talent and restocking their draught.

In the ten-day span, Turek traded Ryan Humphrey, Ryan Winterton, Avery Hayes, Gavin White, Brendan Anderson, and team captain Logan Morrison. In exchange, the Bulldogs acquired Luca Testa, Carson Lloyd, Nick Lardis, Sahil Panwar, Ben Bujold, and Cedricson Okitundu, as well as seven draught picks from 2023 to 2026.

For the remainder of the season, I expect the Bulldogs to remain competitive and pursue a playoff spot. With the two-year temporary relocation pending, Bulldogs fans must respect the process and continue to support the team through this important time in their history.

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2021 Hamilton Bulldogs

Bulldogs Thrash IceDogs

Ryan Winterton’s five-point performance propelled the Bulldogs to a 6-2 win over the arch rival Niagara IceDogs.

FIRST PERIOD

The opening period saw both sides control the pace, with both getting quality chances. Hamilton struck first on the powerplay at the 3:05 mark as Ryan Winterton scored his first of the year off the rebound and went past IceDogs netminder Josh Rosenzweig. Ryan Humphrey and newly-acquired Amber Xhekaj received the assists.

Bulldogs’ starting netminder Matteo Drobac had a great first period and the defence stood tall despite being outshot 11-8 in the opening frame.

SECOND PERIOD

It was all Bulldogs in the middle frame. The barrage started at the 4:29 mark as newcomer Mason McTavish hustled down to pass to Jan Mysak for his 18th of the season. It was McTavish’s first point as a Bulldog. Winterton also received an assist.

McTavish wasn’t done as he scored his first goal with the Bulldogs after shooting a rocket one-timer past Rosenzweig for a 3-0 Hamilton lead. Mysak and Winterton received the assists.

The IceDogs looked to get back into the game, but the Bulldogs’ Drobac kept the door shut with a terrific save on Brice Cooke. The Bulldogs kept pouring on the score chart at 15:32 as George Diaco finished off the beautiful tic-tac-toe sequence set up by Patrick Thomas and Winterton.

Drobac continued his fine performance by stopping former Bulldog Liam Van Loon on a breakaway. On the powerplay late in the period, Logan Morrison scored on a terrific pass by Diaco to give the Bulldogs a 5-0 lead into the intermission. With the secondary assist, Winterton registered his fifth point of the game.

THIRD PERIOD

A milder final frame came as both teams exchanged goals. Daniil Gushchin ended Drobac’s shutout bid at the 3:10 mark by shooting the puck point blank past the Hamilton netminder. Morrison responded for the Bulldogs at the 8:40 mark after receiving a nice pass from Mysak for a 6-1 lead. Noah Roberts also received credit for the assist. The IceDogs cut the lead to 6-2 at the 12:38 mark as Juan Copeland scored on a wide-open breakaway shot, fooling Drobac.

With the win, the Bulldogs take over first place in the Eastern Division. Next game for the Bulldogs is Friday night as they pay a visit to Oshawa to take on the Oshawa Generals.

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2021 Hamilton Bulldogs Hamilton Bulldogs

Bulldogs Get Their Guy

The Hamilton Bulldogs announced Jay McKee as their fifth Head Coach in the history of the franchise Tuesday.

McKee last coached with the Kitchener Rangers from 2016-2020, cultivating a .533 winning percentage as the bench boss. Behind the bench, McKee led the Rangers to three postseason appearances, notably a Western Conference Finals appearance in 2017-18.

In addition to the the hiring of the former NHL veteran, the team also announced the hiring of fellow assistant coach from the Kitchener days, Andreas Karlsson and Andrew Campbell.

For more information of this story, go to the Hamilton Bulldogs website.

The hiring of the coaching staff is a major move for the team that was falling out in the second half of last season of play.

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2021 Hamilton Bulldogs Hamilton Bulldogs

Bulldogs Season Schedule Revealed

The Ontario Hockey League and the Hamilton Bulldogs unveiled their 2021-22 season schedule Tuesday afternoon.

The schedule features a full slate of 68 games, mostly playing within the conference, and some intra-conference tilts against teams within the geographical region. Beginning October 8, the Bulldogs start their sixth season in Oshawa taking on their rival Generals. Hamilton returns to the Hammer the following night (October 9) to face the Barrie Colts at the FirstOntario Centre.

Another notable game to watch will be the return of School Day game, when the Bulldogs host the Mississauga Steelheads on March 3. The regular season concludes April 3 at home ice against the Peterborough Petes.

Season tickets are on sale now via Hamilton Bulldogs website. For more information on the schedule, go to the following link…. Bulldogs 2021 Schedule

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2021 Hamilton Bulldogs Hamilton Bulldogs

Pharand Commits to Bulldogs

The Hamilton Bulldogs received a Standard Player’s Agreement with their 2021 OHL Draft first round selection Alex Pharand.

The Sudbury native was chosen 14th overall in this past OHL Priority Selection Draft. Pharand scored 22 goals and 18 assists in 27 games for the Sudbury Nickel City Sons U16 AAA in the 2019-20 season.

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Hamilton Bulldogs Rock City

City Council Approves HUPEG Plan

There will be new blend of sports and entertainment injecting to the beleaguered downtown precinct very soon.

In the day of the Ambitious City turning 175, the city council unanimously approved the Masters Agreement with the Hamilton Urban Precinct Entertainment Group (HUPEG).

According to the press release from the city, the HUPEG ownership of First Ontario Centre, First Ontario Concert Hall, Hamilton Convention Centre and Art Gallery of Hamilton will be official effective April 1, 2022.

The plan is for HUPEG to first start renovating the 35-year-old facility (FirstOntario Centre) in Fall 2022. After the completion of FOC, the other three facilities will undergo construction.

“The Precinct Group’s proposed minimum $50 million renovation of the FirstOntario Centre includes a new exterior façade and video board, comprehensive transformation of the lower bowl, expanded concourse level, and a new flexible curtaining system for the upper bowl balcony,” stated on the release.

In addition to the renovations, HUPEG acquires two major parking lots at York Blvd and Vine Street, and the Community Living Hamilton building on 191 York.

According to city council, it is stated with the agreement, the city will save $155 Million dollars in a 30 year span.

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2019-2020 Hamilton Bulldogs

CHL cancels playoffs and Memorial Cup

The Canadian Hockey League, the major-tier level of junior hockey in Canada, has announced the forthcoming league playoffs and the Memorial Cup have been cancelled for remainder of the year.

This announcement comes in response to the ongoing situation of CONVID-19, commonly known as Novel-Coronavirus.

The official league statement can be found under this link…. https://ontariohockeyleague.com/article/statement-chl-cancels-2020-playoffs-and-memorial-cup

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2019-2020 Hamilton Bulldogs

Bulldogs Axe Vince Laise

The Hamilton Bulldogs have fired Vince Laise as their Head Coach late Tuesday afternoon. Team President and General Manager Steve Staios will take over as the bench boss for the reminder of the season and playoffs.

Laise came to Hamilton as part of the Jon Gruden’s coaching staff in the 2018 OHL Championship team. Laise was appointed Head Coach before the current season, the fourth man to held the position in the team’s short history.

Laise finished the record of 24-28-7-1 as the Head Coach. Before joining the Bulldogs in the 2018 OHL Championship coaching staff under John Gruden, Laise was previously an assistant coach with the Erie Otters, helping the team to an OHL Championship appearance in 2017.

Steve Staios makes his Head Coach debut on Thursday when Hamilton visits Peterborough to take on the Petes.

CORRECTION – Steve Staios is overseeing the coaching staff, not taking over the bench boss role as previously mentioned.

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2019-2020 Hamilton Bulldogs

My Latest Bulldogs Arena Situation Perspective

The report from the Hamilton Spectator this evening is grim, yet comes with no surprise.

The intention now pales in comparison to a typical rush hour drive on the Skyway Bridge.

Hamilton Bulldogs Owner Michael Andlauer is considering moving the hockey franchise out of Hamilton after the Hamilton City Council is expected to agree with the city staff recommendation to reject the Limeridge Mall arena plan.

https://twitter.com/radleyatthespec/status/1215039426230919168?s=21

Let’s be certain with this story, it was going to be a new arena for the Bulldogs to play in, or they depart.

Copps Coliseum is in a rigid shape of its old self. The arena lease expires in June. Last year’s report suggests it’ll cost multi-million dollars to build up to modernity.

Andlauer has invested his own money to upgrade the attractions of the arena. He acted in good faith with the city despite the regressive attitude the latter implemented to the former.

The two sides kept in dialogue about the arena situation since the current team moved from Belleville in March 2015.

Yet, the city doesn’t cooperate and now it seems that the coveted 25-Year-Old hockey brand (from American Hockey League days in 1996) is in its last legs. This time, there’s more then certain there won’t be a miracle to pull off.

Reports suggest Bulldogs could go to Burlington. I don’t think it’s feasible, but with the regional credibility on the line, it could be the saving grace for the team to keep locally.

The city made their intentions clear tonight. Let’s enjoy this team while it lasts until the next course of action commences.

Update — Owner Michael Andlauer said on his letter to the Bulldogs Season Ticket Holders the team will play at the Copps next season.