Drayton, Minto minor hockey associations ponder amalgamation

WELLINGTON COUNTY – Minor hockey associations based in Mapleton and Minto are pondering an amalgamation.

Families involved in both the Drayton Minor Hockey (DMH) and the Minto Minor Hockey (MMH) will be given the opportunity to vote on the proposal on Jan. 31 and Feb. 1.

A post on the associations’ websites notes representatives from DMH and MMH have been meeting for a few months now  “to discuss and collaborate the feasibility of the two hockey organizations amalgamating.” 

“The executive committee for both organizations has voted to take the process to the next step; that step being a vote from their memberships.”  

All members were to have received an email on Dec. 30 with details of the proposal and information on voting.

The website post indicated, as per the organizations’ constitutions, one vote is allowed per registered family for Drayton and one vote per member is allowed for Minto. 

Members of the respective organizations can vote:

  • Jan. 31 from 6 to 8pm at the Palmerston arena and the PMD arena in Drayton; and
  • Feb. 1 at the Harriston arena and PMD Arena in Drayton.

If approved, the new organization would be called the Mapleton Minto Minor Hockey Association and a subcommittee would be created to handle the submission of ideas for team names and logos. 

Teams would play out of arenas in Drayton, Palmerston and Harriston.

Town hall meetings are planned in both communities in advance of the vote, with members encouraged to attend “to ask questions and respond to the proposed amalgamation.”

Meetings for the respective associations will be held at the PMD arena in Drayton on Jan. 10 at 7pm and Jan. 12 at 7pm at the Palmerston arena.

The website indicates a “no” vote on the proposal would mean “Minto and Drayton will carry on as they are now.

“The amalgamation will have to start over with talks from scratch.”

A “yes” vote would set in motion a process of crafting a general agreement (including bylaws, centre point and boundaries) in principle, to be taken back to the board of each association for approval.

Once approved, the general agreement must be presented to both associations in a special annual general meeting to get members’ approval.

Agreement to amalgamate would mean the target for launching the new association would be the 2023-24 season, providing the Ontario Minor Hockey Association approves the move.

Both the Drayton and Minto Minor Hockey Associations must approve the proposal by a two-thirds vote from their respective members to proceed with the amalgamation.

“We’re looking for ways to offer the best solutions that will allow hockey to continue to thrive in our communities,” the website post states.

“Amalgamation would help each association offer a hockey program that maximizes player development and fun, in part by fielding teams comprised of players with consistent ability at every level. 

“Amalgamations have been happening all around us, if we remain status quo Drayton (D centre), Minto (C centre) it may mean traveling longer distances to play similar centres.”

A list of advantages of the proposed amalgamation provided on the websites includes:

  • a larger pool of volunteers will put the amalgamated association in a better position to undertake more initiatives, host larger tournaments, offer improved player and coach development programs, host OMHA coach, trainer, and other certification courses locally;
  • more resources – three rinks to play and practice at within 20 minutes of each other;
  • tournaments will not affect games or scheduling;
  • more tiers to give players better options to play at proper skill levels;
  • players stay in local minor hockey longer when they play at the appropriate level; and
  • playing at the correct skill level increases development and fun. 

When contacted, officials of both DMH and MMH declined to comment for publication in advance of the planned town hall meetings and referred the Advertiser to the publicly posted information.