The Kitchener Rangers are a major junior ice hockey team in the Ontario Hockey League that have called Kitchener, Ontario, Canada their home since 1963. The Rangers are a publicly owned hockey team, governed by a 40-person Board of Directors made up of season ticket subscribers.
The roots of the Kitchener Rangers are traced back to the 1947–48 hockey season when the franchise was formed as the Guelph Biltmore Mad Hatters. In 1960 the "Biltmores" as they were often called became the Guelph Royals. At the end of the 1962–63 season, the New York Rangers moved the team into the Kitchener Auditorium.
When the National Hockey League collectively ended sponsorship of junior teams, the New York Rangers then offered the team to Eugene George for $1.00 who turned the team over to the season ticket subscribers. Each season ticket holder is a member of the not-for-profit corporation which owns the team and all it's assets.
The Rangers play in the Dom Cardillo Arena in the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium Complex. The complex was built in 1950 and has been expanded three times since then. The rink has a seating capacity of 6,268 and has a total capacity of 6,900 including standing room. A current expansion to be completed by November 2012 will see capacity increased by 1000.
The Rangers play in the Midwest division of the Western conference of the Ontario Hockey League. They have been Ontario Hockey League playoff champions 4 times, last winning in 2008. They have won the Memorial Cup, as Canadian junior hockey champions twice, last winning in 2003.
Over 140 Kitchener Ranger players have gone on to play in the NHL. Alumni include Mike Richards, Dale Hunter, Jakub Kindl, Derek Roy, Steve Downie, 2011 Calder Trophy winner Jeff Skinner, 2011 NHL Entry Draft no.2 overall pick Gabriel Landeskog and Hall of Famers Scott Stevens, Bill Barber, Paul Coffey, Larry Robinson and Al MacInnis.