History of HEO Minor
Until the fall of 1972, minor hockey in Hockey Eastern Ontario (HEO) (formerly the ODHA) was administered by an appointed committee of the executive. The Minor Management Committee met just two or three times a year to resolve disciplinary problems and set the playdown format for the Bantam, Midget and Juvenile divisions. But the 1972 playdowns created more problems than usual and three members of the committee argued that minor hockey would run far more efficiently if the committee met more frequently. The ideal committee, they said, would consist of volunteeers from within the minor hockey community, with one member from the ODHA executive. The committee also wanted a voice on the executive, and suggested a minor committee member be given a seat with full voting privileges.
That spring and summer, Don Parisien, Paul Leduc and Dalton Gadbois travelled eastern Ontario, stopping in such towns as Stittsville, Long Sault and Morrisburg and, much like a federal commission, held local meetings with minor hockey associations to gather ideas and support for a new committee. Not only could a regular committee resolve problems as soon as they arose, but more efficient playoff format might create more interest and better participation from area teams.
The final meeting was held on the last Sunday of August at the Legion in Smith Falls. Cy Miller, the immediate past-president of the ODHA, and Pat Smith, secretary-director, were invited as advisors. But before the meeting began, both men decided to leave. After an explanation of the committee's objective by Parisien, those in attendance took a vote and the Ottawa District Minor Hockey Association was tentatively formed - it still needed the approval of the ODHA executive.
An executive committee was designated with the task of approaching the ODHA and recognition was granted in September, just prior to the start of the 1972-73 season. Col. Kenneth Work, the commanding officer of CFB Uplands, was elected president, Dalton Gadbois of Cornwall was named first vice-president and Roger Chevrier of Brockville was named second vice-president. Jack Milligam of Ottawa served as secretary-treasurer. In June of 2015 the ODMHA changed it's name to Hockey Eastern Ontario Minor or HEO Minor On August 1st 2020, HEO and HEO Minor amalgamated to form a single entity in the Branch. The new governance structure which was negotiated with the assistance of Hockey Canada makes the new HEO Branch more represantative of Minor Hockey than with the past structure.
In the 100 years since its inception, hundreds have come through the ODHA's leagues and associations on their way to careers in the NHL: players such as Ted Lindsay, Larry Robinson, Denis Potvin, Mike Gartner and Steve Yzerman; officials like Cooper Smeaton, Bob Kilger and Wayne Bonney; and coaches like Bryan Murray, Terry Murray, Doug Carpenter and Marc Crawford. From Allan Cups to Memorial Cups, Centennial Cups, and Olympic Gold Medals, ODHA teams have won a wealth of national championships.
Today, its teams continue to win against teams from larger markets, but the ODHA's real stamp is its innovative development programs. Through courses unsurpassed anywhere in Canada, HEO is developing coaches, officials, trainers and players of tomorrow.