The franchise dates back to the 1968 expansion Ottawa M.&.W (MacIntosh & Watts) Rangers and made their home in Leitrim in south Ottawa. In 1972, the M&W Rangers became the Gloucester Rangers and played out of the Earl Armstrong Arena. The Rangers won their first Art Bogart Cup as league champions in 1981 by defeating the Pembroke Lumber Kings. The 1995 Centennial Cup (now Royal Bank Cup) was awarded to the City of Gloucester and the Gloucester Rangers. The Rangers, who were up by a goal in the championship game against the Calgary Canucks of the AJHL. The Canucks tied the game in the dying seconds and won the Centennial Cup in overtime. After their last playoff appearance of the 20th century, the Rangers fell on hard times missing the playoffs multiple times. After a 10th place performance after the 2001-02 season, the Gloucester Rangers Jr. A Hockey Club was sold, and the colours and uniforms were changed to black, purple, and silver, which gave the Rangers a new reputation for the 2002-03 season. The Rangers also landed the best players that were acquired in blockbuster trades with their cross-town rivals Ottawa Jr. Senators. The changes paid off. In December 2002, the Gloucester Rangers traded for Mitch O’Keefe, who would then go on to record 6 regular season shutouts in 2003-04. Despite losing the 2004 Art Bogart Cuo finals, the Gloucester Rangers were predicted to be a championship contender the next season. In October 2004, with the sudden resignition of coaches Justin Nistico and Wayne Hughes, the championship-bound team lost its wheels to players demanding trades before January, which a blockbuster deal with the Brockville Braves, and the Rangers dropped mid-way in the overall standings and lost the Hawkesbury Hawks in the first round of the playoffs, despite the Rangers efforts to come back from a 3-0 series deficit.
Days after the Gloucester Rangers lost the first-round to the Hawkesbury Hawks, the team was sold to a group of Orleans businessmen, who renamed the team – Orleans Blues, and the newly created team remained at the Earl Armstrong Arena instead of playing out of the Orleans Recreation Complex (now Bob MacQuarrie Recreation Complex) located on Youville Drive in Orleans.
Return of the Gloucester Rangers
The owners of the Orleans Blues decided to return as the Gloucester Rangers. Former Ottawa 67’s assistant coach Vince Milette was hired as the Rangers coach. On March 6, 2009, the Rangers qualified for the 8th and final playoff spot defeating Brockville 4-1. The Rangers bowed out of the quarter-finals losing the series 4 games to 0 to the Nepean Raiders.