Shootout
By Victor Fernandes Erie Times-News staff blogger
Staff writer Victor Fernandes has ice in his veins. Hockey – he plays it, coaches it and provides the region's best coverage of it.   Read more about this blog.
 Phone: 814-870-1716
Posts tagged ‘david branch’
Posted: October 5th, 2013

LINEUPS
(* denotes starters)
ERIE OTTERS
Forwards
Burakovsky-McDavid-Brown*
Fox-Curtis-Hodgson
Evans-Strome-Murphy
Wood-Pettit-Betz

Defense
Pelech-Raddysh*
Felker-Abraham
Dermott-Donnay

Goaltenders
Oscar Dansk*
Devin Williams

Scratches: D Cory Genovese (suspension), RW Joel Wigle (shoulders), LW Stephen Harper (suspension), C Quentin Maksimovich (healthy)

BRAMPTON BATTALION
Forwards
Robinson-Paul-Goodrow*
Praplan-Amadio-MacLeod
Clarke-McKenzie-Henriksson
Steege-Lewis-Gomes

Defense
Jarvis-McIvor*
Raycroft-Duda
Tessier-Bruce

Goaltenders
Brendan O’Neill*
Jake Smith

Scratches: D Kyle Wood, D Dylan Blujus, D Zach Bell, D Brenden Miller, LW Mike Baird, RW Matthew Santos

* What to watch: The Otters’ home opener is the first event in the newly renovated arena. … They are 10-6-1 in home openers. … D Cory Genovese begins serving a five-game suspension for a game misconduct in last Saturday’s loss to Windsor. … LW Stephen Harper serves a one-game suspension for his match penalty against the Spitfires. … RW Joel Wigle (shoulders) doesn’t expect to play. … RW Connor Brown is tied for sixth in the OHL with nine points. … Rookies Dylan Strome and Travis Dermott made their home debuts. … The Battalion moved to North Bay, Ontario, from Brampton, Ontario, before the season. … The Otters played their inaugural game in Erie – an 8-2 road win – against the North Bay Centennials (now Saginaw Spirit). … The Otters last played a club from North Bay on Nov. 3, 2001 – a 3-0 win at the Centennials. … The fourth annual Otter Home Opener Party, which was free to the general public, took place at the corner of Ninth and French Streets. … As part of the festivities, the players arrived at the arena’s west-end main entrance in a limousine shortly after 5 p.m. … The pregame ceremony featured David Branch, OHL commissioner and CHL president, Erie Mayor Joseph Sinnott and Erie County Executive Barry Grossman.

*** Don’t forget to follow real-time updates from the game here and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/goeriehockey ***

Posted: September 18th, 2013

Here are a few tidbits from OHL Commissioner David Branch‘s season-opening conference call today…

* Rules changes: Two new rules have been implemented for the 2013-14 season – covering the puck with a hand, or directing the puck with a hand on a face-off, will lead to minor penalties. The NHL adopted the same rules a season ago. Branch also said the league will look into two changes this season pertaining to the dimensions of the net and size of goaltenders’ leg pads.
Nets in the NHL are now shallower in the back, which gives skaters more room behind it. Branch specifically pointed to the thinner netting on top of the goals, which would benefit the video review process. Meanwhile, the NHL has reduced leg pads from 55 percent of the distance from the center of the goaltender’s knee to the pelvis to 45 percent. Branch pointed to the need for OHL goaltenders to begin utilizing equipment they will use on the NHL level, since the OHL and NHL share the same equipment suppliers.
* Fighting back: Branch also said the league’s 1-year-old fighting rule, which features suspensions for players and fines for clubs for individual totals that exceeded 10 fights, reduced the number of fights in the league by roughly 25 percent from the 2011-12 season. Branch praised players “with now responsible they’ve been.” Parents especially support this rule, Branch said.
He also announced that the number concussions have dipped, yet he didn’t have specific numbers handy.
* Joining the festivities: Branch said Sherry Bassin, Erie Otters managing partner and general manager, has invited him to participate in the festivities surrounding the club’s home opener against North Bay on Oct. 5.
“He’s telling me that the arena that’s going to be in Erie now will be among the very best in the OHL,” Branch said. “He’s extremely proud of that.”

- Victor Fernandes

Posted: June 11th, 2013

Canadian Hockey League teams have one more chance to select goaltenders in the CHL Import Draft.
On Tuesday, the league announced goaltenders won’t be eligible for the annual draft of European-born players starting in 2014. Goaltenders born in 1994 and 1995 can be chosen in the first round of this year’s two-round draft, which will be held July 3. The decision, which was approved by the CHL’s Board of Directors at a meeting in May, is in apparent response to the need to create more opportunities for Canadian-born goaltenders at the major junior level.
“The goaltender position is the most important in our game,” CHL president David Branch, who also serves as Ontario Hockey League commissioner, said in a prepared statement. “In partnership with Hockey Canada, the CHL has identified the need to further develop Canadian goaltenders by providing increased opportunities for them to compete in our league and succeed at the next level.”
European-born goaltenders currently with teams in the CHL’s three leagues – the OHL, Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and Western Hockey League – or selected in next month’s draft can continue to play until their eligibility expires. The Erie Otters, who have the fifth overall pick in this coming draft, already have Swedish goaltender Oscar Dansk on the roster. The Otters selected Dansk third overall in the 2012 CHL draft. They also enjoyed past success with European-born goaltenders, including Jaroslav Janus (No. 2 overall in 2007) and Ramis Sadikov (No. 36 overall in 2009).

Posted: May 15th, 2013

Sherry Bassin continues to deny reports of the Erie Otters’ impending move to Ontario. First, it was Hamilton. Now it’s the Chatham-Kent region.
“Absolutely no truth to it,” Bassin, the OHL club’s managing partner and general manager, said in response to a Chatham-Kent Sports Network report Tuesday stating that a deal has been reached to sell the franchise to a “prominent local businessman.”
Bassin previously has denied reports of the franchise’s potential move to Hamilton, including a report that he has spoken with Michael Andlauer, owner of the AHL’s Hamilton Bulldogs, about purchasing the Otters. “Everytime I turn around, I’m going to five different places,” Bassin said.
According to the Chatham-Kent Sports Network report, an announcement regarding the Otters likely would be made following the Memorial Cup, the CHL’s annual championship tournament, which begins Friday and runs through May 26 in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Bassin said he continues to receive inquiries about the Otters. “That’s it,” Bassin said, referring to not moving any closer to selling the franchise. Bassin said franchises can’t be sold and moved without approval from the OHL through a lengthy league-mandated process. “The process is so complicated. It’s so involved,” he said.
David Branch, OHL commissioner and CHL president, wasn’t immediately available for comment Wednesday, since he was traveling to Saskatoon.
Bassin, who moved the franchise to Erie from Niagara Falls, Ontario, in 1996, has one year left on a two-year lease agreement with the Erie County Convention Center Authority, which operates Erie Insurance Arena. The Otters are set to play the 2013-14 season in a newly renovated arena.
Chatham-Kent Sports Network reported that a recent meeting between the Otters and “the organization that operates their arena” to work on a new lease had been canceled twice in the span of a week. Bassin said he has had no meetings scheduled with the ECCCA. “We’ll look at that. We’ll see how things go,” Bassin said of pursuing a lease beyond next season, referring to waiting to evaluate the final arena renovations and community response toward the team next season. Casey Wells, ECCCA executive director, didn’t immediately respond to a telephone message Wednesday.

- Victor Fernandes

Posted: May 15th, 2013

Sherry Bassin continues to deny reports of the Erie Otters’ impending move to Ontario. First, it was Hamilton. Now it’s the Chatham-Kent region.
“Absolutely no truth to it,” Bassin, the OHL club’s managing partner and general manager, said in response to a Chatham-Kent Sports Network report Tuesday stating that a deal has been reached to sell the franchise to a “prominent local businessman.”
Bassin previously has denied reports of the franchise’s potential move to Hamilton, including a report that he has spoken with Michael Andlauer, owner of the AHL’s Hamilton Bulldogs, about purchasing the Otters. “Everytime I turn around, I’m going to five different places,” Bassin said.
According to the Chatham-Kent Sports Network report, an announcement regarding the Otters likely would be made following the Memorial Cup, the CHL’s annual championship tournament, which begins Friday and runs through May 26 in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Bassin said he continues to receive inquiries about the Otters. “That’s it,” Bassin said, referring to not moving any closer to selling the franchise. Bassin said franchises can’t be sold and moved without approval from the OHL through a lengthy league-mandated process. “The process is so complicated. It’s so involved,” he said.
David Branch, OHL commissioner and CHL president, wasn’t immediately available for comment Wednesday, since he was traveling to Saskatoon.
Bassin, who moved the franchise to Erie from Niagara Falls, Ontario, in 1996, has one year left on a two-year lease agreement with the Erie County Convention Center Authority, which operates Erie Insurance Arena. The Otters are set to play the 2013-14 season in a newly renovated arena.
When asked about pursuing a lease extension with the ECCCA, Bassin said, “We’ll look at that. We’ll see how things go.”

- Victor Fernandes

Posted: April 5th, 2013

Sherry Bassin, Erie Otters managing partner and general manager, said recently that “there seems to be a fair amount of people that have shown an interest” in purchasing the OHL franchise. Bassin didn’t reveal specifics about potential buyers, although he added that he has received verbal offers.
Yet the Hamilton Spectator in Hamilton, Ontario, has reported that Michael Andlauer, owner of the AHL’s Hamilton Bulldogs, has spoken with Bassin about the Otters and with David Branch, OHL commissioner and CHL president, about his interest in purchasing an OHL franchise. According to the Spectator, Andlauer wouldn’t disclose if he and Bassin have discussed a purchase price.
“There’s no doubt the league knows I’m desirous of having a team,” Andlauer told the Spectator. “It’s definitely on my radar. It’s all a matter of timing.”
Bassin, 73, has said he hasn’t received interest locally about buying the franchise. “I’m coming to a point where I am going to sell the team,” he said.
Reports began to surface a season ago linking the Otters with a potential move to Hamilton, Ontario. Then in March 2012, Bassin signed a two-year lease with the Erie County Convention Center Authority, which operates Erie Insurance Arena. The lease expires after the 2013-14 season.

- Victor Fernandes

Posted: September 21st, 2012

Toronto – Ontario Hockey League Commissioner David Branch met with representatives of the Windsor Spitfires Hockey Club to review the sanctions taken by the league against the Spitfires for violations of the league’s Player Recruitment Policy which resulted in the team having to make a payment of $400,000, losing three first-round draft selections and two second-round draft selections.
During the meeting with the Commissioner, the Spitfires accepted that there were certain violations of the league’s Recruitment Policy. In recognition of the acknowledgement and the cooperation of the Windsor Spitfires, Commissioner Branch modified his earlier decision and the team will pay to the league a payment of $250,000 and will lose a first-round draft pick in 2013, second-round draft pick in 2015, first-round draft pick in 2016 and a second-round draft pick in 2017.
As a result the Windsor Spitfires will not appeal the decision. Neither the league nor the Windsor Spitfires will be making any further comment in relation to this matter.

- From OHL news release

Posted: August 22nd, 2012

Toronto – There has been much media speculation in the previous two days surrounding the attempted organization of our 1,300 players by an organization called the Canadian Hockey League Players’ Association.

To date, the league has not received any formal notification on the formation of this association or any intent to organize our players.

The CHL is comprised of the Western Hockey League, the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, and the Ontario Hockey League. The league is recognized as the number one player development league in the world for the NHL, Canada’s national teams and Canadian Interuniversity Sport hockey.

We are of the opinion that no junior hockey league in the world has made more changes to support the best interest of its players both on and off the ice as the CHL. This is evidenced by our drug education and anti-doping program, our concussion management program, numerous charitable programs and our Respect in Sport program as developed by Sheldon Kennedy in the area of player abuse.

In addition, the CHL provides North America’s best player scholarship program, funded through the league’s ownership.

Our league is comprised of 60 teams, all of which operate as individual corporate entities. Given this structure, any organization drive would be required to be at an individual team level.

- From CHL news release

Posted: August 10th, 2012

The Ontario Hockey League announced today that the Windsor Spitfires have been punished for what the league termed as “violations of our Recruitment/Benefit Rules and Policies.”
The club was fined $400,000 and was stripped of five OHL draft picks over the next five years – first-rounders in 2013, 2014 and 2016 and second-rounders in 2015 and 2017. The ruling was handed down based on findings from two separate investigations, the league said in a statement.
“While the penalties may appear to be severe,” OHL Commissioner David Branch said in the statement, “the league and its member teams recognize for any such violations of our Recruitment/Benefit Rules and Policies, we must send a strong message to preserve the integrity of our league.”
Branch pointed to the league’s enforcement program, which was developed by the OHL’s Board of Governors in 2009. The program, he said in the statement, “is designed to address and attempt to eliminate violations of the rules and impose appropriate penalties if violations occur.”
The enforcement process,” Branch added, “is an integral part of the process to ensure integrity and fair play among the member teams. One of the fundamental principles of the enforcement process is to ensure that those member teams that are abiding by the rules are not disadvantaged by their commitment to compliance.”
Check out this story from The Windsor Star.

Posted: May 14th, 2012

Toronto – The Board of Governors of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) have approved the sale of the Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors to Mississauga businessman Elliott Kerr. Kerr, President of Landmark Sport Group Inc., will be the majority owner and the new franchise will continue to call the Hershey Centre home for the 2012-2013 season.

“We are very excited about the upcoming 2012-13 hockey season as well as the opportunity to continue Major Junior Hockey in our great City of Mississauga,” said Kerr. “I have been a proud resident of Mississauga for 25 years, my six year-old twins are actively involved in minor hockey here, our Mississauga Marathon event will be celebrating its tenth anniversary in 2013 and our Landmark Sport Group office is based here as well.”

“The Ontario Hockey League is excited to see the expanded involvement of Elliott Kerr in the OHL with his acquisition of the Mississauga franchise,” said OHL Commissioner David Branch. “ His experience as part of the ownership group with the Guelph Storm and the original Mississauga franchise, along with his passion for the game, family values, and being a Mississauga resident, will undoubtedly serve to see the Mississauga franchise grow and flourish”

Mayor Hazel McCallion is also thrilled to have the team staying in Mississauga “It is wonderful to know that we will continue to have an OHL team in Mississauga under the ownership of Elliott Kerr” said City of Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion. “I encourage community support for hockey at all levels in Mississauga and I am pleased that our residents will continue to enjoy a high caliber of sports entertainment that brings in many visitors to our City.

Under the new ownership, the hockey club will undergo a complete rebranding as the Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors name will be returned to the school. We want to thank Eugene Melnyk for supporting minor hockey in Mississauga and for bringing the Majors to this great city. In an effort to engage the residents of Mississauga, the new team will be conducting a “Name the Team Contest” in association with the Mississauga News this week. The team name will be unveiled following the contest.

Coach and General Manager, James Boyd will remain with the team and Kerr has appointed Scott Rogers as Vice President and Director of Business Operations for the club.

- From OHL news release

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