Where would the NHL be without the oft forgotten junior leagues? These ranks do not get the same viewership as their American equivalencies (college football, basketball, etc.), but they quietly go about their business producing the greatest hockey talents in the world.
The following article is a look upon one of the greatest NHL feeders of all time, the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds.
The Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds was initially founded in the early 1900s as a senior hockey club in the Northern Ontario Hockey Association. The Greyhounds were very successful and won several championships from the 1920s through the 1960s.
In 1972 the Soo Greyhounds entered the Ontario Hockey League, a prestigious junior club that has produced the best talent the NHL has ever seen. The Greyhounds gradually progressed to an elite team that eventually won the OHL championship in 1985, 1991, and 1992.
As hosts of the 1993 Memorial Cup Championships, the Sault earned a buy into the tournament.
After losing to the Peterborough Petes in the Ontario finals, the two would meet again in the Mem Cup finals, which eventually led to the Greyhounds first and only Memorial Cup victory.
It is no doubt that the Greyhounds have been around a long time. In that span they've had tremendous talents play for their club.
The following is a Soo Greyhounds all time All-Star team, filled with the 23 greatest players and coaches to ever grace center stage in this truly great Northern city.
Charlie Simmer - Wayne Gretzky - Ron Francis
Ivan Boldirev - Joe Thornton - Rick Tocchet
Bun Cook - Jeff Carter - Bill Cook
Derek King - Steve Sullivan - Doug Shedden
Paul Coffey - Bob Probert
Adam Foote - Jerry Korab
Craig Hartsburg - Jeff Beukeboom
*This article was the second in a series outlining the NHL's greatest feeder teams; to take a look back at the London Knights follow the link below.