History of the Peterborough Petes
The Peterborough Petes, formerly the Kitchener Green Shirts (moved) were officially born in Peterborough on October 1st, 1956. It was announced that the Petes were to be a farm team for the NHL’s Montreal Canadiens. They recorded their first game November 8th, 1956. They became known as the Peterborough Petes Hockey Club in 1966/67, but still adorned the TPT on their sweaters, being sponsored by the Toronto Peterborough Transport Company, hence TPT Petes for short. It was not until the year 1974/75 that fans saw the birth of the official “Petes” known today wearing the maroon and white, dropping the TPT and Montreal Canadiens colours.
Throughout team history, Peterborough has enjoyed much success and paved the way for many legends, and its successes have helped to put Peterborough and the Petes on the map throughout the hockey world. The Petes have finished atop their division nine times, and held such records as nine time Ontario Hockey League Champions, most Memorial Cup appearances for a franchise, (eight), and most final game appearances, (six), both a CHL record. As a franchise they have missed the post season just four times in franchise history, (1961/62, 1975/76, 2003/04 and 2006/07). Ironically, the Peterborough Petes have recorded only one franchise Memorial Cup Championship team in 1979 coached by Gary Green. To date, one of the most significant accomplishments for the Petes, their fans, members of its organization, and the City of Peterborough was hosting the Memorial Cup tournament in 1996 while celebrating the franchise’s 40th Anniversary in the league where the club set standards achieving a 100% sell-out each tournament game (4,429).
Today the Peterborough Petes are currently in their 55th Ontario Hockey League season (2010/11) and are operating as the oldest continuous franchise in the Ontario Hockey league and in the Canadian Hockey League. For a small community, Peterborough has become recognized globally as being a “Junior Hockey Factory”. It has produced a record number of National Hockey League players such as Zach Bogosian, Eric and Jordan Staal, Chris Pronger, Steve Yzerman, Bob Gainey, Mike Ricci, Tie Domi, and coaches/managers with the likes of Scotty Bowman, Roger Neilson, Mike Keenan, Gary Green, and Dick Todd. Dick recorded 500 career victories faster than any other coach in Major Junior A hockey, accomplishing the milestone in just 813 games. They have graduated a record number of players to the National Hockey League, (150+), more than any other junior hockey team in the world!