The Ontario Hockey League today announced on behalf of the 2014 MasterCard Memorial Cup Site Selection Committee that the city of London, ON, and the London Knights Hockey Club will host the 2014 MasterCard Memorial Cup.
Three OHL member clubs including the Knights, the Barrie Colts, and the Windsor Spitfires were all considered following their formal bid presentations on April 17, 2013, to the Site Selection Committee comprised of five leaders in the sports industry including Toronto Blue Jays President and CEO Paul Beeston, former OHL and NHL Executive and Director of Central Scouting Frank Bonello, NHL Senior Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations Colin Campbell, NHL Senior Vice President of Hockey Operations Jim Gregory, and President of Broadcast, Rogers Media (Sportsnet) Scott Moore. Ex officio members of the Site Selection Committee include OHL Legal Counsel Gord Kirke, and OHL Commissioner David Branch.
“The quality of a MasterCard Memorial Cup host team is one of the principal criteria for a successful bid,” said OHL Legal Counsel Gord Kirke. “The Site Selection Committee determined that while all three clubs possess sufficient elements for a suitable host city, it is the projected quality of the London Knights Hockey Club next season that is the decisive factor.”
The Knights project to return more than 22 players next season from their 2012-13 roster that captured the Hamilton Spectator Trophy as regular season champions before winning their second straight Robertson Cup title as OHL Champions.
“The London Knights are honoured to have the privilege of hosting this prestigious event again in 2014, and promise to make it the best ever,” said Knights Governor and Chair of the 2013 MasterCard Memorial Cup Host Committee Trevor Whiffen. “The 2014 Memorial Cup will be a ten-day festival in London celebrating the rich history and tradition of the OHL, which will honour all twenty member teams, and the hundreds of OHL Alumni who serve as great ambassadors for our League."
The 96th edition of the MasterCard Memorial Cup will take place May 16-25, 2014, at Budweiser Gardens and will feature the champions of the Ontario Hockey League, the Western Hockey League, and the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. The 2014 event marks the second time the Knights will host the prestigious national championship following 2005 when the franchise won their first Memorial Cup title on home ice led by MVP Corey Perry in a 4-0 win over the Rimouski Oceanic.
Since the round-robin format was introduced in 1972, OHL teams have won a total of 14 Memorial Cup Championships including the 2005 Knights, followed by back-to-back titles by the Spitfires in 2009 and 2010.
The OHL Champion London Knights will open the 2013 MasterCard Memorial Cup Friday night May 17 against the host Saskatoon Blades at 8:00 pm Eastern live on Sportsnet and TVA Sports.
Members of the Knights and the 2014 MasterCard Memorial Cup Host Organizing Committee will travel to Saskatoon for the 2013 MasterCard Memorial Cup which takes place May 17-26.