The Ontario Hockey League is returning to Brampton, if new trademarks filed with the Canadian government are any indication.
As first pointed out by Abbotsford News reporter Ben Lypka on Twitter earlier this week, trademarks were filed with the Canadian Intellectual Property Office on Wednesday, January 17, for “BRAMPTON STEELHEADS” and for a logo of a blue and silver fish in front of a circle reading “BRAMPTON”.
This would suggest that the OHL’s Mississauga Steelheads are planning a move to Brampton, keeping the moniker the team has used since 2012. They’ll likely play in the city’s CAA Centre, which is also home to the Brampton Honey Badgers of the Canadian Elite Basketball League.
In October 2022, Lypka gave fans of Canadian Premier League expansion franchise Vancouver Football Club the first look at their new crest, again through trademark filings.
The Steelheads signed a five-year lease with the City of Mississauga in 2018.
The OHL has been in Mississauga since 1998, when the Mississauga IceDogs took to the ice for the first time. In 2007, owner Eugene Melnyk sold the IceDogs and they moved to St. Catharine’s to become the Niagara IceDogs. But Melnyk immediately bought the Toronto St. Michael’s Majors and moved them to Mississauga for the 2007-08 season.
Following the 2011-12 season, Melnyk sold the Majors to Landmark Sport Group, and one of the conditions was returning the Majors identity to St. Michael’s College. The new owners held an online vote among fans, with Steelheads emerging as the victor.
It’s unclear if Landmark will retain ownership of the Steelheads through the relocation or if they’re being sold to a new owner.
Hockey in Brampton, meanwhile, has spanned a few different leagues. The city was home to the OHL’s Brampton Battalion from 1998 to 2013, at which point the franchise relocated to North Bay. They were almost immediately replaced by the Brampton Beast, who played in the Central Hockey League during the 2013-14 season. The Beast then moved to the ECHL, where they played until 2020. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Beast initially suspended operations for the 2020-21 season before completely folding in 2021.
While a relocation is big news in the OHL, the team won’t actually be moving very far. Both Mississauga and Brampton are in the Greater Toronto Area, and the CAA Centre in Brampton is only about a 15-minute drive from the Paramount Fine Foods Centre in Mississauga.