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“All Aboard”

by Dan Carle

Don Robertson

Cambridge, ON – Senior hockey is nothing in Canada if not for small-town teams. 

The engine of the Allan Cup Hockey train in Ontario is embodied in a long-time local and former passionate hockey referee who fell into owning a Senior AAA men’s team that is currently best in show in Canada

Don. Don Robertson. Dundas Real McCoys.

“The Allan Cup in my mind is the most prestigious amateur championship in the world – and it needs to be recognized as such,” he said. “I still have that burning desire to compete, and outwork other general managers to try and have the best team.”

The Real McCoys, powered themselves by a dedicated cadre of executive and volunteers, have earned 10 Ontario and two Canadian senior championships to this point over 24 seasons that to Robertson have flown by.

It’s flat-out fulfilling.

“This has been a pretty good side gig,” Robertson said.

It wasn’t always this way, hosting and winning Allan Cups. It was never the plan to own a hockey team, much less build the country’s top team.

“I started supplementing the bills and ended up owning the franchise,” said Robertson, who started the franchise in what is now part of the City of Hamilton in 2000. 

“It was more tax beneficial for me to pay the losses.”

Sixty years in hockey in one form or other. THE advocate for the Allan Cup, and expansion of the Allan Cup Hockey league.  “It’s giving athletes a place to play,” said Robertson. “And being able to make a contribution to your community. That’s what we need – people who are passionate and want to operate a franchise. And provide an excellent brand of hockey to the community, and have them enjoy it.”

The owner of Com/Choice Realty Brokerage in Dundas, Robertson is a local who has never strayed from the idea of community engagement as a foundation to off-ice success.

“Make a difference in the community. The Real McCoys gives us that vehicle to help raise money for minor hockey teams. We’re having a service club night.

“When we can give to charities and make a difference in the community, it makes you feel good. “And I’m selfish – I like feeling good.”

The AHC league once housed 11 teams along the four-hour stretch from Collingwood to Chatham and is actively seeking sports-minded entrepreneurs to join the league and expand the footprint.

“If we had Cambridge back and another team in our area – within an hour’s drive from Hamilton –  that includes Woodstock and Niagara – that would be ideal,” said Robertson.

“It took a long time for it to shrink to this size. We’re going to try to Supersize it a little quicker than most might expect. “ 

All aboard.

About the Ontario Hockey Association

The Ontario Hockey Association (OHA) was founded on November 27, 1890, and is the governing body for the majority of Junior and Senior hockey in the Province of Ontario.  The OHA is a Member Partner of the Ontario Hockey Federation which is one of thirteen Provincial and Regional Branches of Hockey Canada. 

It is comprised of three Junior hockey leagues and two Senior hockey leagues: Junior A – Ontario Junior Hockey LeagueJunior B – Greater Ontario Junior Hockey LeagueJunior C – Provincial Junior Hockey LeagueSenior  – Allan Cup Hockey (AAA) and Ontario Elite Hockey League (AA). For the 2023-24 season, these five leagues encompass 125 teams.

The objectives of the OHA are to foster and encourage the sport of amateur hockey, to conduct competition in the various categories established, to determine teams for entry into the inter-branch competitions that may be provided by Hockey Canada, and to provide for the affiliation of other hockey organizations.

The OHA provides administrative resources, coordinates programs, services and events for hockey participants and provides support to various Development Programs for coaches, officials, trainers and players, Safety and Risk Management Issues and offers resources for Harassment and Abuse education.

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For more information or to set up an interview, please contact:

Chris McCleary

General Manager, Operations & Marketing                  

Ontario Hockey Association                            

[email protected]  

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