It’s been said that there is no substitute for experience.
Well, the years of experience from among the general managers who have taken their teams to the conference finals in the Ontario Hockey League this season is significant, to say the least.
To be sure, Sherry Bassin of the Erie Otters, Mike Kelly of the Guelph Storm, Stan Butler of the North Bay Battalion and Jeff Twohey of the Oshawa Generals have been managing OHL teams for a combined 86 years.
Bassin is the elder statesman with 34 years as a GM with Oshawa, Soo Greyhounds and now Erie.
Kelly, who is in his second go-round in Guelph, also managed the Windsor Spitfires and all together, has been running OHL teams for 17 years.
Butler, who is the coach as well as the GM, is the only man to ever lead the Battalion, who were in Brampton for 15 years before moving to North Bay last fall. Butler also had a prior two-year stint in Oshawa.
And Twohey is in his second season in Oshawa after being GM of the Peterborough Petes for 17 years. Twohey was also an assistant in Peterborough under the esteemed Dick Todd for a number of years.
Bassin, Kelly and Twohey also have experience in the player personnel department with National Hockey League teams.
The OHL final four playdowns begin this week with a pair of best-of-seven series.
Guelph and Erie will face off for the Western Conference crown while Oshawa will meet North Bay for Eastern Conference bragging rights.