Everything old becomes new again for Huskies turned Reps turned Huskies, News (Hamilton Huskies)

PrintNews Article
Click to view full-size image
Everything old becomes new again for Huskies turned Reps turned Huskies
Submitted By admin on Monday, October 1, 2012
Scott Radley
Hamilton Spectator
Wednesday Sept. 24th, 2012

Walk into the Dave Andreychuk Mountain Arena and you’ll find a photo of the rink’s namesake as a youthful-looking 14-year-old in his red and white Hamilton Huskies uniform.

For most kids and teens in the area, it’s an unfamiliar look. Because, in the early 1990s, the Huskies became extinct, replaced by the Reps, a name that frankly sounded technical rather than fearsome.

Well, the circle of hockey has completed its rotation. The Huskies are back.

“It’s our roots,” says Mike Spadafora, a vice-president, tournament chair and a head coach with the organization.

The history of the team name predates the Canada-Soviet Summit Series we’ve been reading and hearing so much about in recent days. Back in 1971 during the later years of the Police Minor Hockey system, the Huskies were created. When the Hamilton Minor Hockey Association joined the Hamilton Minor Hockey Council in 1988, the Huskies brand became the AAA arm of the organization.

Over the next nearly two decades, guys such as Andreychuk, Derek King, Steve Staios and Adam Mair wore the red maple leaf with white H on their chest.

But, as happens sometimes in youth sports, conflicts arose. Not just in this city.

“There were hockey politics issues that went on,” Spadafora says.

Shocking, right? Politics in hockey?

Anyway, the group covering players in the old city of Hamilton broke away from the OMHA and joined the newly formed Alliance. When it did, the Huskies teams representing it were renamed the Reps.

The move wasn’t seamless. While a number of strong teams have worn Reps colours over the subsequent years, there have also been challenges. For a number of reasons — Spadafora points to a dwindling player base in the inner city and economic disadvantages as two — the OMHA’s Junior Bulldogs, who draw largely from the suburbs, became a provincial powerhouse, while a fair share of Reps teams saw less success.

“In past years, the Bulldogs have been the better of the two if you look at winning percentages,” he acknowledges.

Over the past while, though, the idea of going back to the Huskies kept getting bounced around in meetings and during informal discussions with players and parents and coaches at the rinks. Finally, during a board meeting last November, someone — Spadafora can’t remember exactly who — asked the question: Why aren’t we the Huskies?

Things took off from there. Basically, a return to the group’s foundation was seen as a way to launch a reboot of the entire organization.

A new, modernized logo was designed, a new website was constructed and new uniforms ordered. A new attitude was also created, he says.

Go to that new website and one of the first things that jumps out is a running organizational win-loss record in the top corner. There’s no hiding from results now. Charting how the Huskies as a group are doing and whether things are heading in a positive direction is right there.

He says this is one of the ways they’ll monitor improvement over the next three to five years, which he says is the time frame in which he expects to see significant change.

The return to the past has been met with almost unanimous approval. A number of the current players’ parents played as Huskies and are glad for the continuity, even if it was interrupted for a time.

As for that other organization against which his is always compared, Spadafora says he doesn’t give it much though. He says his group isn’t in competition with the Bulldogs. They draw from different geographic zones and have different challenges. He merely wants the new Huskies to offer the best opportunities for its players

That said ...

“If that makes us better than the Bulldogs, we’ll take it.”

[email protected]
905-526-2440

This article has been viewed 3277 times.
Social Networking
Follow Us On
Follow Hamilton Huskies on Twitter
- and -
Visit Hamilton Huskies on Facebook
- and -
Follow Hamilton Huskies on Instagram
Quick Links
Manage Subscriptions
Signup to receive email or text messages for the teams you want to follow.
News ArchiveOther Recent Articles
  • 30
    Nov
    Organization
    Playing for his hometown team, Bulldogs forward and Hamilton Huskies Alumnus, Mark Duarte is living the dream, and sharing it with his family and community. Mark Duarte’s AA coach kept his jersey after the season, believing he’d go on to perform ...
  • 29
    Nov
    Organization
         TO: All Ice Users  FROM: Gordon Young             City of Hamilton Hello Ice Users, This email has been sent out to all ice users currently holding ice contracts with the City of Hamilton and not intended to single out any group.
  • 27
    Nov
    Organization
    With the inevitable approach of bad weather all teams are advised to review the ALLIANCE Manual of Operations under >>Structure *10.0 Rescheduling, Cancellations and Forfeits >>10.5 Cancellations Due to Weather Conditions
  • 21
    Nov
    Organization
    The Hamilton Huskies U14 AAA 2008 came home from Ottawa as Champions of the 18th Edition of the Myer's Automotive AAA Shootout. The Huskies finished Round Robin Play first in their division with 3 wins and 1 loss advancing them to the ...
  • 17
    Nov
    Organization
    The Hamilton Huskies Hockey Club is pleased to announce that Rich Vrataric will begin transitioning into the role of Director of Player Development on a full-time basis.  This role will oversee all aspects of player development for all Huskies ...
  • 07
    Nov
    Organization
    Huskies alumni and member of our hall of fame, Derek King, takes over as Interim Head Coach The Blackhawks have relieved Jeremy Colliton, Tomas Mitell and Sheldon Brookbank of their coaching duties and have named Derek King Interim Head Coach, ...
  • 28
    Oct
    Organization
    Hamilton Huskies Coaches in need of a Coach Certification Clinic please click the link below to view upcoming clinics and to register.  These will be the last clinics offered by ALLIANCE Hockey for the 2021-22 season. ALLIANCE Coach Clinic ...
  • 24
    Sep
    Organization
    These two documents should help everyone understand and navigate through any confusion on what to expect when entering arena facilities in Hamilton. FACILITY USE POLICY    Click here FACILITY ENTRY FAQs    Click Here
Printed from hamiltonhuskies.ca on Tuesday, November 30, 2021 at 6:22 AM