Captain Lou El Bammo, Dick Dafone, and Derby Nerd rank Canada’s top A-level travel teams every two months (or so). Read the the final 2015 Power Rankings here.
|TEAM (League)||CHANGE||NOTES (Rollergirl.ca /WFTDA rank)|
|1. New Skids on the Block (Montreal Roller Derby)
|–||For the past two seasons it seemed as if it were only a matter of time before Montreal was knocked from its perch atop Canadian roller derby, but last year they once again pulled away from the crowd. They kicked off 2016 with a massive 264-point win against Rideau Valley and retain top spot.(1 / 15)|
| 2. Terminal City All Stars (Terminal City Roller Girls)
||–||Although yet to see action in 2016, Terminal City is coming off of the second most successful WFTDA playoff run in Canadian history and seem to have bolstered their roster for another push in 2016. (2 / 24)|
|3.Calgary All Stars (Calgary Roller Derby Association)||+1||Idle thus far in the season, Calgary is coming off of a season in which they lost nine in a row to drop out of the playoffs: but those nine games featured some fantastic opponents (Arch Rival, Rat City…) and with the experience gained, the team seems poised to truly breakout. (4 / 62)|
|4.Rideau Valley Vixens (Rideau Valley Roller Girls)
|-1||A somewhat surprisingly narrow win over Capital City to kick off 2016 was followed by a big loss to Montreal, both results causing the Vixens to drop a spot. There are some questions surrounding the offense, but a 2016 schedule featuring strong opponents could help excel growth. (5 / 38)|
|5. Misfit Militia (Orangeville Roller Girls)
||unranked||New league, new roster, same steady roller derby. Recently granted full WFTDA status, the once rogue Misfits have now gone mainstream and the rest of the country (if not the WFTDA) should look out. A season opening 163-point spanking of Killamazoo is a sign of things to come. (3/-)|
|6. Tri-City Thunder (Tri-City Rller Derby)||–||Dealing with a significant roster overhaul, Thunder has looked uneven so far in 2016, but have done enough to hold down their power rankings spot. A big loss to Queen City was balanced out by victories against Quebec and Toronto. (6 / 51)|
|-2||With only three skaters remaining from the roster that kicked off last season, the 2016 ToRD All Stars could be in for a rough ride this year. A victory over Quebec was followed by losses to long-time rivals Tri-City and Queen City (by 161 points) that drops them two spots. (10 / 42)|
|8. Lumbersmacks (Muddy River Rollers)||+1||Muddy River has followed a successful 2015 season with two straight wins to kick off this year: A first victory over Quebec (in its third try) was followed by a surprisingly one-sided victory over Capital City. (8 / 105)|
|9. All Stars (Winnipeg Roller Derby League)||-1||Another team idle thus far in 2016 (they will kick off their season in a few weeks against Fargo Moorhead), Winnipeg is given the benefit of the doubt based on their strong 2015 season. (14 / 107)|
|10. Dolly Rogers (Capital City Derby Dolls)
||unranked||After skirting the edges of the Power Rankings for years, Capital City finally breaks through. It’s been a busy, but uneven, start to 2016 with losses to Muddy River and Rideau Valley balanced out with a somewhat surprising win over Montreal’s Sexpos and a sanctioned win against Quebec. (11/ -)|
Ten years into the Canadian flat track experiment and one thing remains the same: Montreal Roller Derby is the model league in competitive Canadian flat track. After a record-setting run through the WFTDA D1 playoffs that saw them come within 28 points of qualifying for champs, Montreal seems set up for another successful 2016. Terminal City also had an impressive playoff, matching Montreal’s previous Canadian-best result, and at the beginning of 2016, these two teams seem to be a lap ahead of the rest of the Canadian competition.
2016 could be a big year of change in the Canadian scene and these changes are reflected in this Power Ranking. Misfit Militia, now the travel team of the Orangeville Roller Girls, is back in top-flight action and (re)debuts at an impressive 5th place. This team has massive potential to do some serious damage in sanctioned play, but it does remain to be seen how they hold up against a higher quality of opponent than they have been playing for the past few seasons. The other debutantes, Capital City Derby Dolls’ Dolly Rogers, have long been a team on the Rankings Crew’s watch list and finally cracks the Top 10, literally knocking Quebec’s Les Duchesses from the list with an early-season victory. Long Ottawa’s second team, a narrow loss to the Vixens last month proved that they have made up a lot of ground on their cross-city rivals.
While Calgary, Rideau Valley, Tri-City, Muddy River and Winnipeg (more or less) hold their spots in the rankings, Toronto tumbles two spots. After a massive roster overhaul, it could take some time for this team to gel, and it could take a significant amount of time to build the roster back up to rival the Toronto rosters that spent years battling Montreal and Terminal City for the top two spots in the Power Rankings.
The Watch List
There are no surprises on the watch list to kick off 2016. Of the four, three have, at one time or another, been ranked in the Top 10, while the Brute-Leggers made their way onto the Watch List by the end of last season. All full WFTDA members, these teams have the potential to play higher calibre competition and could very easily see themselves climb back into the upper echelons of Canadian roller derby.
Les Duchesses has slipped out of the Top 10 due to losses to Capital City and Muddy River, but have already scored a 2016 win over Royal City (who themselves scored a win over Lansing so far this season). The Anarchy Angels made their WFTDA sanctioned debut at the recent Wild West Showdown and destroyed the low-level competition there, winning three games by a combined score of 1245-138 (!!). E-Ville had similar (unsanctioned) results at the same tournament against the same competition, winning their two games 767-150.
Players to Watch 2016
There’s a theme to this season’s Players to Watch: four of the six skaters we’ve got our eyes on are recent transfers to their team. Starting at the top, Bazinga has joined her former Pile O’ Bones teammates (Palmer and Maiden Sane) in transferring to Terminal City and adds another solid blocker to an already impressive pack. Calgary’s jammer rotation is bolstered by the arrival of double threat Hilary Boswell from Saskatoon. Speaking of double threats, former Hammer City skater JANEgerous has joined the Tri-City roster and has already been a key player for the team early in 2016, jamming and blocking as needed at the recent Quad City Chaos, her presence making a potentially painful rebuild a little easier to manage. Finally, part of the reason Royal City is a team to watch has a lot to do with the team’s depth, and their jammer rotation has loaded with another weapon in the form of the jukey Katie McPherson who transferred from Wellington Roller Derby at the end of last year.
There are, however, a few home-grown skaters that we are watching as well. Toronto’s Beaver Mansbridge was first called up to the All Stars for the 2015 playoffs and at this year’s season-opening Quad City Chaos was the key kog in the team’s jammer rotation. Powerful, athletic, Beaver is poised for a breakout season in 2016. Similarly poised for a breakout is Montreal’s Falcon Punch. This Team France skater is no newcomer, and even had a great 2015 season for the Skids, but this year she will be the centerpiece of Montreal’s offense and expected to carry more of the offensive load.
*These are the first Power Rankings of the year. Read the final Power Rankings of 2015 here.
-Respectful disagreement and debate is encouraged!-