After much speculation, the news has finally come regarding the Mississauga Steelheads future. The Ontario Hockey League franchise is reportedly moving to Brampton,Ontario according to TSN’s Darren Dreger.
The move isn’t necessarily surprising, given the team’s overall situation. However, it is interesting that the team is reportedly only moving down the road to the CAA Centre. The current Arena, Paramount Fine Foods Centre which is also home of the Raptors 905, is around six and a half kilometres away from what’s expected to be the new home of the Mississauga Steelheads.
The Steelheads move to Brampton has received its fair share of criticism, especially once it was reported. However, I’m optimistic that this move will do a lot of good for both the franchise and its fans.
Obviously, as someone who grew up attending Mississauga Steelheads games, this move does sting a bit. However, what’s in store for this franchise long-term is just so exciting. One thing I’ve noticed within the area is that the Steelheads are slowly starting to catch more traction. Hopefully this move will help boost that traction and make the Steelheads a strong Ontario Hockey League market long-term.
Another perspective from this move is the current construction of the roster. What General Manager and Head Coach James Richmond has built with this Steelheads team is extremely exciting. With a bright future ahead for the Steelheads, moving to a new rink as they’re just expected to hit stride should lead to lots of fan engagement as soon as the move is made.
Despite being a young team, I still expect the Steelheads to make some noise in this year’s Ontario Hockey League playoffs. With players like Luke Misa, Porter Martone, and goaltender Ryerson Leenders, I wouldn’t sleep on the blue and white this April. What James Richmond is building here with the Steelheads is special, and I highly recommend attending some games here in the second half of the season.
It’ll certainly take time, and we are already seeing some of the early benefits with the younger Steelheads fans, but more does have to be done. I am a full believer that with a fresh arena, an exciting roster of talent and bringing OHL hockey back to Brampton, should lead to success for the Trout.
More details are sure to come within the next little bit. As of right now, there are not many details regarding the official move, team branding, and if there will be a name change, so stay tuned. Exciting times are ahead for Steelheads fans and hockey fans in general within the Brampton area.
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