The Brampton Battalion are a junior ice hockey team in the Ontario Hockey League. Battalion Headquarters: Brampton Battalion Hockey Club, 7575 Kennedy Rd. South, Brampton, Ontario L6W 4T2 Phone: (905) 874-2393 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Brampton native Stuart McComish has served as the Battalion's website co-ordinator since Februrary 2000. Visit the Brampton Battalion for more information.
Brampton - The Brampton Battalion has reached an affiliation agreement with the junior A Villanova Knights for the 2010-11 season, the Ontario Hockey League club announced Tuesday.
The move ends a relationship with the Brampton Capitals that dates to 2004-05. Since entering the OHL in 1998-99, the Battalion also has affiliated with the Caledon Canadians, Wexford Raiders, Bramalea Blues and Georgetown Raiders.
“We’re excited about this,” said Stan Butler, Battalion director of hockey operations and head coach. “The problem with junior A hockey in the Toronto area is that most of the teams are run by parents who have kids on the team. One of the criteria I have for an affiliate is a team with an owner who doesn’t have a son on the team. Villanova has very strong ownership and a great organization.”
Affiliating with the Battalion give the Knights’ program credibility, said general manager Barry Rice.
“For an OHL team to think enough of our program to send their young players there is great. Stan has been around a long time. He’s a professional and has a great reputation. For him to tell us he wants to affiliate with us gives us a huge boost. It’s a great testimonial from him to say he trusts us enough to develop his young players so they’ll be ready to play for the Battalion.”
Butler, who noted that he expects to place two players chosen in the OHL Priority Selection in May with the Knights, said he’s impressed by the Villanova staff, which includes head coach Jay Anderson and associate general manager Dana Baker.
“I’ve worked with Jay before, and he’s very good at developing young players. I have a longstanding relationship with Dana from his days with the Capitals, and Barry is a very competent hockey guy who has been around a long time.”
The Knights own the Owen Sound Greys of the Greater Ontario Junior B League and the Fergus Devils of the Georgian Mid-Ontario Junior C League. Villanova plays out of Beatrice Ice Gardens at Toronto’s York University.
“It’s a perfect fit for us,” said Butler. “It’s close enough that we can follow them. We talked extensively before agreeing to affiliate. They know our situation, and I respect that they have to win too.
“I think it’s important for kids to learn to win before they get here. Barry did a great job last season turning that team around in a very tough division, and they’re confident that they’ll have an even better team this season. I hope we can help them with that. The arrangement they have with Owen Sound and Fergus might help us too one day.”
Rice joined Villanova after six seasons with the junior A Burlington Cougars. In 2008-09 the Knights, at one time featuring future Battalion forwards Domenic Alberga and Shane Kinsella, posted a won-lost-extended record of 6-39-4. But last season, the first for Rice and Anderson, Villanova improved to 33-19-4 and made the playoffs, bowing out to Georgetown in six first-round games.
“There was a lot of work done by a lot of dedicated people last season,” said Rice. “We changed everything here. We want to run an organization that is as professional as possible, and we have some really good people working for us.
“We tried to run a good program in Burlington. We recruited well and, even though we didn’t have a lot of money to work with, we tried to do the best we could and move as many players on as possible. We’ve tried to bring that philosophy to Villanova. If guys want to go to the OHL, we’ll try to make that happen. We’re here to work with the players.”