The Erie Otters Are Bankrupt


They have the best player in junior hockey, they are a playoff team, yet the Erie Otters of the Ontario Hockey League are in trouble; the team has filed for bankruptcy.

The team is for sale, according to owner Sherry Bassin, and the Otters will still be able to play in this year’s OHL playoffs.

“This will have absolutely no effect on Otters playoff games, on our staff, on our players, or any of our hockey or business operations,” Bassin said in an article on “The Erie Otters Hockey Club has a strong and fundamentally sound underlying business. The team, the Ontario Hockey League and our corporate partners will be fully protected during this process.”

The Otters will be in the OHL semi final series on Thursday when they face the London Knights. However, this case for the Otters is not just a typical bankruptcy case.

The Edmonton Oilers of the NHL have claimed they loaned $4.6 million to Bassin when the Oilers wanted to buy the Otters, according to Pro Hockey Talk. In fact, there was talk for a while that the Oilers wanted to move Erie to Hamilton. Of course, the Belleville Bulls have already taken up tenet in Hamilton for next season.

Edmonton never did buy the Otters, and they sued. The case was dismissed in late 2014 but the Oilers had announced plans to hold a private sale of the Otters assets, leading Erie to file for bankruptcy instead.

“The filing of the Chapter 11 petition automatically stays any actions of OMJHC against the assets of Erie Hockey Club,” an Otters statement said. “It is Erie Hockey Club’s intention to conclude the sale process in Chapter 11, which will allow the sale to proceed in an orderly manner and without interference by OMJHC.”

Of course, Erie could be an attractive team to buy. Both stars Connor McDavid and Dylan Strome will be gone to the NHL, however the success of the team has created hype for one of the only American teams in the OHL.

While McDavid will likely be the top pick to either Arizona or Buffalo, Edmonton is projected to be the third team to pick and they could ironically end up with Strome, who is projected to be a top five pick and several experts have him ending up in an Oilers uniform.

Erie has a chance to make a deep playoff run, and hopefully the distractions stay off the ice.

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