|League||Ontario Hockey League|
|Home arena||Peterborough Memorial Centre|
|Colours||Maroon, black, cream and white|
|General manager||Michael Oke|
|Head coach||Rob Wilson|
|Playoff championships||1979 Memorial Cup Champions|
The Peterborough Petes are a junior ice hockey team in the Ontario Hockey League. The team has played at the Peterborough Memorial Centre in Peterborough, Ontario, Canada, since 1956, and is the oldest continuously operating team in the league.
The Petes were born on October 1, 1956 when the Kitchener Canucks relocated to Peterborough after the 1955–56 season. They would also become a sponsored junior team for the Montreal Canadiens of the NHL. The Petes played their first game on November 4, 1956, and won their first game on November 8, 1956.
The Petes have produced a record number of National Hockey League players, including Hall of Famers Steve Yzerman, Bob Gainey, Larry Murphy, Scotty Bowman, Wayne Gretzky and Roger Neilson. The Petes have graduated the most players to the NHL of all current OHL teams with a total of 248.
The Petes have won the OHL Championship nine times, second-most in OHL history and the most in the postwar period. They won the Memorial Cup once, in 1979.
The team was sponsored by Toronto-Peterborough Transport (TPT) from 1956 to 1966. Scotty Bowman was brought in to coach by the Montreal Canadiens organization from the Ottawa-Hull Canadiens junior team, and led the team to a second-place finish in 1959. Peterborough defeated the Barrie Flyers, Guelph Biltmore Mad Hatters and Toronto St. Michael's Majors in the playoffs to win their first OHA championship. Bowman and the TPT Petes went on to reach the Memorial Cup for the first time that year but fell to the Winnipeg Braves. The TPT Petes claimed their first Hamilton Spectator Trophy during the 1965-66 season, but were eliminated from the playoffs.
The team became known as the Peterborough Petes Hockey Club in 1966–67, which was also the beginning of Roger Neilson's tenure as coach. The Petes would continue to wear the TPT logo on their sweaters until 1974–75, when their colours were changed to maroon and white and a new "Petes" logo was adopted.
Neilson led his team to seven consecutive winning seasons from 1968 to 1975, also finishing first overall in 1970–71, winning the J. Ross Robertson Cup in 1972, and were runners-up in 1973 and 1974. In the 1972 Memorial Cup, the Petes lost a close 2–1 game in the finals to the Cornwall Royals.
Neilson left behind a winning legacy in Peterborough and set the standard for coaches to come. Neilson was the first coach to use videotape analysis as a teaching method, leading to the nickname "Captain Video," and also the first to use microphone headsets to communicate with his assistant coaches.
Neilson also pushed the envelope causing several rules to be rewritten. During one Petes game, his team was up one goal, but was down two men in a five on three situation for the last minute of the game. Realizing that more penalties could not be called under the existing rules, Neilson put too many men on the ice every ten seconds. The referees stopped the play and a faceoff was held relieving pressure on the defence. After this display the rule was changed so that a call for too many men on the ice in a 5 on 3 situation now leads to a penalty shot.
Neilson also discovered that if he put a defenceman in net instead of a goalie during a penalty shot, the defenceman could rush the attacker and greatly reduce the chances of a goal. Today the rule states that a team must use a goalie in net for a penalty shot, and that the goalie may not leave the crease until the attacking player touches the puck.
Neilson was promoted for the 1976–77 season, coaching the Dallas Black Hawks in the former Central Hockey League.
The Peterborough Petes won three consecutive OHL championships in 1978, 1979 and 1980. Gary Green coached the first two championships followed up by Mike Keenan in 1980. The Petes won the Hamilton Spectator Trophy two consecutive times in 1979 and 1980. Peterborough's success also continued into the Memorial Cup, reaching the championship game all three years, and winning the national junior title in 1979.
Many future NHL stars played for Petes in these three years. Those of note are: Keith Acton, Bob Atwell, Keith Crowder, Ken Ellacott, Doug Evans, Dave Fenyves, Tom Fergus, Larry Floyd, Mark Kirton, Rick LaFerriere, Steve Larmer, Larry Murphy, Mark Reeds, Stuart Smith, Steve Smith, Bill Gardner, Tim Trimper and Jim Wiemer.
Dick Todd started with the Petes as a trainer in the 1970s and was with the team through their three Memorial Cups. As a coach he led the team to two more Memorial Cup tournaments—in 1989 in Saskatoon, and in 1993 in Sault Ste. Marie. During Todd's time as coach, the Petes won six division titles and had the best overall winning percentage in the OHL. Todd was awarded the Matt Leyden Trophy as OHL Coach of the Year in 1987–88.
The Peterborough Petes celebrated their 40th anniversary in 1996. The Petes won the J. Ross Robertson Cup defeating the Guelph Storm in the finals, then and also played at home while hosting the Memorial Cup tournament in 1996. The club achieved a 100% sellout each tournament game, and lost in the final that year to the Granby Prédateurs.
Todd returned as head coach of the Petes in 2004. Todd's second season back behind the Petes bench, was the 50th anniversary of the Peterborough Petes founding. They are the oldest continuously operating franchise in the Ontario Hockey League (the rival Oshawa Generals date to 1937 but were inactive from 1953–62).
The Petes celebrated their 50th anniversary in grand style, winning the J. Ross Robertson Cup on May 11, 2006, in a four-game sweep of the London Knights. Peterborough travelled to Moncton, New Brunswick to play in the 2006 Memorial Cup, losing the third place tiebreaker game to the Vancouver Giants. Todd retired for good a few weeks after the Petes returned from Moncton.
The 2015–16 season marks the 60th in Peterborough Petes franchise history.
George Richardson Memorial Trophy
Hamilton Spectator Trophy First overall in the OHL regular season standings.
J. Ross Robertson Cup
Leyden Trophy First overall in the Eastern Division regular season standings.
Three coaches of the Peterborough Petes are members of the Hockey Hall of Fame. Scotty Bowman won 9 Stanley Cups in his career, and let the Petes to the Memorial Cup finals in 1959. Roger Neilson coached 1,000 regular season games in the NHL, and led the Petes to the 1972 Memorial Cup finals. Ted "Teeder" Kennedy played 14 years for the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Gary Green was awarded the Matt Leyden Trophy as OHL Coach of the Year in 1978–79, leading the Petes to their only Memorial Cup championship.
Dick Todd recorded 500 career victories faster than any other coach in Major Junior A hockey history, accomplishing the milestone in just 813 games. Todd was awarded the Matt Leyden Trophy as OHL Coach of the Year in 1987–88.
List of coaches with multiple seasons in parentheses.
The Peterborough Petes have 152 alumni who have played in the National Hockey League. Seven Hockey Hall of Fame inductees played junior hockey for the Petes: Bob Gainey, Larry Murphy, Steve Yzerman and Chris Pronger and coaches Scotty Bowman and Roger Nielson.
The Petes have not retired any numbers, but they have banners hanging from the ceiling honouring past Petes including Bob Gainey, Steve Yzerman, Mickey Redmond, Larry Murphy, Dick Todd, Roger Neilson, Scotty Bowman and Colin Campbell.
CHL Player of the Year
CHL Defenceman of the Year
CHL Top Draft Prospect Award
CHL Rookie of the Year
CHL Sportsman of the Year
George Parsons Trophy Most Sportsmanlike at the Memorial Cup
Hap Emms Memorial Trophy Outstanding Goaltender at the Memorial Cup
Stafford Smythe Memorial Trophy Memorial Cup MVP
Red Tilson Trophy Most Outstanding Player
Eddie Powers Memorial Trophy Scoring Champion
Jim Mahon Memorial Trophy Top scoring right winger
Max Kaminsky Trophy Most Outstanding Defenceman
Wayne Gretzky 99 Award OHL Playoffs MVP
Emms Family Award Rookie of the Year
Leo Lalonde Memorial Trophy Overage Player of the Year
OHL Goaltender of the Year
Dave Pinkney Trophy Lowest Team GAA
F. W. "Dinty" Moore Trophy Best Rookie GAA
Dan Snyder Memorial Trophy Humanitarian of the Year
William Hanley Trophy Most Sportsmanlike Player
Bobby Smith Trophy Scholastic Player of the Year
Ivan Tennant Memorial Award Top Academic High School Player
Players in bold are members of the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Legend: OL = Overtime loss, SL = Shootout loss
From 1956 to 1974, the Petes wore the red, white & blue colours of the Montreal Canadiens. In 1974–75, the club changed to the maroon & white colours they wear today. In January 2000, a new '3rd' jersey was introduced, that used the maroon background, with white, black & gold trim.
For the 2005–06 season, the Petes unveiled a 50th anniversary jersey that has a black background with maroon & gold trim. During January in the 2006–07 season, the Petes wore throwback jerseys for the TPT Petes.
The Peterborough Memorial Centre was constructed in 1956, and named in honour of the many war veterans who came from the region. It was built at the east of the fairground and horse track at the corner of Landsdowne and George streets.
The original design included a large stage at the south end of the arena, with an oversized portrait of Queen Elizabeth II above. The seats were all wooden and painted yellow, green and mauve. The Memorial Centre hosted the Memorial Cup tournament in 1996. The arena has a capacity of 4,329 for hockey, and an additional 1,000 for concerts.
In 2003, the Memorial Centre was renovated adding 24 luxury box suites, improved concessions, a licensed restaurant, new seats, boards, scoreboard and the addition of air conditioning. The renovated arena hosted the 2004 OHL All-Star Classic.
Canadian Football Hall of Fame inductee John Badham briefly served as the public address announcer for Peterborough Petes home games.
The games can be heard on local radio station Extra 90.5 or watched on YourTV channel 700HD 10SD. Petes games can be watched on YourTV with Pete Dalliday (play by play), Scott Arnold (analyst) and Dan Malta (host).