Skip to main content

'Mississauga Hurricanes': Mayoral candidate wants to bring NHL team to the city

Share

A Mississauga mayoral candidate wants to bring an NHL team to the city, saying it’s time for Toronto to pass the puck and share the benefits that come with housing a major hockey club.

Peter McCallion, son of former Mississauga mayor Hazel McCallion, made the announcement Monday and pledged to draft a bid for a team if he wins the byelection on June 10.

It should be noted that Mississauga currently lacks an NHL-sized arena, with the 5,420 seat Paramount Fine Foods Centre currently the largest indoor facility in the city.

“It’s time to get a team of our own,” McCallion said in a news release. “Mississauga is no longer the little brother or sister of Toronto. It’s an idea whose time has come.”

McCallion said he would tap members of the business community to put the NHL pitch together and rely on the private sector to build an arena.

He notes that Mississauga has a bigger population now - an estimated 717,961 people - than Toronto did when it got the Maple Leafs – then the Arenas – in 1917.

Mississauga is currently home to an Ontario Hockey League team – the Steelheads - but that franchise previously announced that it would relocate to Brampton in time for next season.

“A Toronto/Mississauga rivalry would keep a lot of the sports entertainment dollars in the GTA,” McCallion said in the release.

The mayoral hopeful acknowledged there are “a lot of hurdles” that come with securing an NHL team and he’s right. Back in 2009, Canadian billionaire Jim Balsillie of BlackBerry fame tried to relocate the bankrupt Phoenix Coyotes to Hamilton but was caught up in a legal fight with a U.S. bankruptcy court that eventually rejected the bid.

Despite that, McCallion said the city needs “bold vision and new ideas” to address some of its core issues, specifically the housing shortage.

“Just look at what has been built around the Scotiabank Arena and you get an idea of how mixed land use can be integrated to develop a complete community,” he wrote.

McCallion said the city presents an “ideal location” for an NHL franchise as its near highways and transit. If elected, he said he would use Ontario’s so-called strong mayor powers to get the project shovel-ready faster.

As for what the hypothetical team will be called, McCallion thinks the Mississauga Hurricanes has a nice ring to it, an ode to his mother, often described lovingly as “Hurricane Hazel.” That would likely be a tough sell for the NHL though, as the Carolina Hurricanes currently have the rights to the tropical cyclone name.

Mississauga residents will head to the polls on June 10. The byelection was called after former mayor Bonnie Crombie vacated the seat on Jan. 12 to become the leader of the Ontario Liberal Party.

CTVNews.ca Top Stories

BREAKING

BREAKING Group tied to Islamic State plotted fatal Ontario restaurant shooting: Crown

A gunman who is accused of killing a young Ontario man and shooting four of his family members at their small Mississauga restaurant in 2021 was allegedly part of a trio who had pledged allegiance to the listed terrorist group Islamic State, a Crown attorney said in an opening statement in the Brampton murder trial this week.

Stay Connected