The Guelph Storm is proud to unveil their new “Biltmore Mad Hatters” jersey at the Biltmore Hats Factory in Guelph on Tuesday afternoon. The retro uniform, a replica of the one used by the Guelph Biltmore Mad Hatters during the 1951-52 campaign, will be worn for several home games this season as part of the Storm’s celebration of their 20th anniversary season in the Royal City. The team will wear the jerseys for the first time when they host the Owen Sound Attack on Friday, November 12th.
While the Guelph Storm franchise was originally the storied Toronto Marlboros, for many fans from Guelph, the famed Biltmore Mad Hatters still symbolize junior hockey in the Royal City. The Biltmores captured the city’s first Memorial Cup in 1952 with a total of four former players later inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Over the past few seasons, the Storm has reconnected with the Biltmore Hat Factory and Guelph’s rich history of junior hockey. When the Storm presented a Biltmore Hat to Guelph Minor Hockey graduate Denver Manderson after the former Storm player scored a pre-season Biltmore ‘Hat Trick’ in September 2006, it reestablished a Mad Hatters tradition that has been continued in the seasons that followed.
The Guelph Storm kicked off our 20th season in the Royal City in June with our Alumni Weekend in support of the Guelph Wish Fund for Children. Nearly fifty former players participated in an Alumni Game at the Sleeman Centre on Saturday, June 12th with several other alumni returning to participate in the banquet that followed. Earlier this season, former Storm captain and Guelph Storm Alumni Association representative Regan Stocco presented a cheque for $10,000 to the Guelph Wish Fund for Children. Jerseys from the Alumni Game will be auctioned off beginning Friday, November 12th with all net proceeds donated to the newly formed Alumni Association.
History of the Guelph Biltmore Mad Hatters
The Guelph Biltmore Mad Hatters were a brief note in junior hockey history, but left an impression on the game during 13 years of operation. The team that was sponsored by a local manufacturer in the Royal City would capture a national championship, several provincial titles, and send four men onto the Hockey Hall of Fame.
The team was founded as the Guelph Indians for the 1936-37 season. After four seasons, the Guelph Biltmore Hat Company became the team's sponsors. After two more seasons of play, the team was put on hiatus for World War II. The team was resurrected in 1947 as a farm team for the New York Rangers of the NHL and coached by former Rangers forward Alf Pike until the end of 1954. Eddie Bush, a former NHL defencman would take over the coaching duties from 1954 onwards.
(Nathan can be reached at email@example.com)