The “Did You Know?” series ties in the news of the day with some little-known hockey factoids and/or trivia. It’ll be fun. Trust me.
In 2003-04, the London Knights won 53 games but lost in the OHL Conference Finals.
In 2004-05, they won 59 games and the Memorial Cup.
Those two teams are considered one of the greatest collections of talent ever assembled at the junior level. If you never got a chance to see the Knights play, don’t worry — just pay attention to the NHL over the next couple of nights. You’ll see plenty of them.
Tonight, 2003-05 London alumni in action include Brandon Prust and Dan Girardi (New York Rangers), Dennis Wideman (Washington), Marc Methot (Columbus) and Kyle Quincey (Colorado).
Tomorrow night, they include Dave Bolland (Chicago) and the reigning league MVP, Corey Perry (Anaheim).
Then there are the ex-Knights that were once in the NHL now playing in the minors or Europe, a list that includes Robbie Schremp, Danny Bois, Danny Richmond, Dan Syvret, Dan Fritsche, Drew Larman and Bryan Rodney.
As you can imagine, the Knights were a force to be reckoned with. They won CBC’s Team of the Year on the strength of some truly amazing feats: a 31-game unbeaten streak, a 59-win regular season and a 16-2 record in the playoffs, which included outright domination at the Memorial Cup. The Knights went a perfect 3-0 in round-robin play (outscoring opponents 13-7) before crushing Sidney Crosby and the Rimouski Oceanic 4-0 in the final.
“The London Knights are one of the greatest junior teams ever to play,” Canadian Hockey League president David Branch said following the Memorial Cup win.
Looking around the NHL, it’s hard to disagree.