All new Hockey North Show


HockeyNewsNorth.com Staff
By
October 17, 2020

There will be significant changes to the Hockey North Show when the well established program returns to the airwaves in mid November for its annual 25 week gig.

For one, the Hockey North Show with Randy Russon and Brad Coccimiglio is moving to a new radio home, Eagle 95.1 — on line via www.eagleradio951.com — from its former ESPN 1400 spot.

As well, the Hockey North Show will be broadcast live on Wednesdays from 5-6 p.m. (as opposed to Tuesdays) and as a bonus, all editions will be recorded and archived on www.eagleradio951.com as well as the Eagle 95.1 Facebook page for replay on demand.

…[read more]

Practice time at Soo Pee Wee


Randy Russon
By
October 12, 2020

Restrictions relative to the coronavirus have delayed the start of the minor hockey season as it pertains to the actual playing of league games.

But, for instance, in Sault Ste. Marie, teams in the various age categories have been holding weekly practice and skill sessions and scrimmages that are organized and under the watchful eyes of coaches.

Soo Pee Wee Hockey League has put together teams in age categories that include under 7, under 9, under 11 and under 13.

…[read more]

No contact beats no hockey


Randy Russon
By
October 11, 2020

Remember the days, not so long ago, when fighting was such a big and entertaining part of junior hockey and goons and enforcers were just as popular — maybe more — than the skilled players?

Well, fighting is now a very small part of hockey to the extent that when a scrap breaks out, it almost looks awkward, not to mention foolish.

And as players and coaches and fans have adapted to the sharp decline in fighting, they can probably similarly adjust to hockey without contact for as long as the coronavirus remains the health risk that it currently is.

…[read more]

Local talent a T-Bird priority


Randy Russon
By
October 8, 2020

When the Soo Thunderbirds were admitted into the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League back in 1999, the locally operated franchise had a firm mandate.

Led by Sam Biasucci and several other Sault Ste. Marie business people, the Thunderbird owners vowed to be a haven for local products who were ready to move up from the town’s minor hockey and high school hockey ranks.

To be sure, Biasucci et al stayed true to form for the first couple of years of the Thunderbirds existence in the NOJHL. And later, when Pat Egan and Al Jones took over as operators and moved on from Jim Capy to Toots Kovacs as their head coach, the Thunderbirds were again made up of 95 to 100 per cent local players.

…[read more]

Ex-NOJHLer drafted to NHL


Randy Russon
By
October 7, 2020

Phillipe Daoust

This looms as a feel good story.

Speedy forward Phillipe Daoust, who skated for the French River Rapids of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League as a rookie during the 2018-2019 season, has become a National Hockey League draft pick.

The 6-foot, 165 pound Daoust, who has a November, 2001 birth date, was a surprise pick of the Ottawa Senators in the sixth round of today’s NHL draft.

…[read more]

Junior hockey variances


Randy Russon
By
October 6, 2020

Return to play scenarios for junior hockey in Ontario are contrasts in distinction.

Players like Cameron Walker of the Espanola Express of the NOJHL are awaiting word on a potential return to play

For example, while teams in the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League and the eastern Ontario based Central Canada Hockey League are on the ice holding drills that vary from skill sessions to non contact scrimmages, members representing the Ontario Hockey League remain in a dormant state relative to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Both commissioner Robert Mazzuca of the NOJHL and CCHL commander in chief Kevin Abrams are maintaining a wait and see attitude as they keep in touch with public health officials and their respective governing bodies while overseeing their respective leagues during these unprecedented times.

…[read more]

They call him Captain Kovacs


Randy Russon
By
October 2, 2020

Bronson Kovacs

Dunaújvárosi Acélbikák Steel Bulls have named veteran defenseman Bronson Kovacs their team captain for the 2020-2021 season.

Based in Central Hungary, the Steel Bulls are part of the Erste Liga professional hockey league.

The 2020-2021 campaign, which begins shortly, will mark the sixth season of pro hockey in Hungary for Kovacs, who is a 30-year old native of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario.

…[read more]

Hockey North Show on 95.1


HockeyNewsNorth.com Staff
By
October 2, 2020

A seasonal mainstay of the airwaves since 2013, the Hockey North Show is planning its return for the upcoming season via Eagle Radio 95.1.

The plan is for the Hockey North Show to be on air a week in advance of when, for example, the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League begins play for the 2020-2021 campaign.

The NOJHL, along with minor hockey in the Twin Sault and northeastern Ontario areas, will be focal points of the Hockey North Show.

…[read more]

SPWHL return to play guide


HockeyNewsNorth.com Staff
By
September 29, 2020

Minor hockey has made a return in Sault Ste. Marie with teams selected for skill and practice sessions in the various age categories. Following is a return to play guideline as issued by the Soo Pee Wee Hockey League.

…[read more]

Hockey is back in town


Randy Russon
By
September 22, 2020

Across Canada, return to play guidelines are either in place or about to be observed as players in various levels of hockey are back on the ice.

As an example, minor hockey is back in Sault Ste. Marie, at least in the form of organized team sessions that have been slated at various local rinks.

…[read more]

OHL to Austria pro league


Randy Russon
By
September 16, 2020

Daylon Groulx

A durable, honest, hard nosed, two way right winger has turned three full seasons in the Ontario Hockey League into a professional contract in Austria.

Daylon Groulx, who would be going into his overage season in the OHL, has instead opted to turn pro as a 20-year old.

The 6 foot, 185 pound Groulx finished up his OHL career with the Ottawa 67’s in 2019-2020 after being acquired from the Owen Sound Attack for three draft picks.

…[read more]

First T.J. Aceti award winner


Randy Russon
By
August 22, 2020

Cash Rowswell, with the parents of T.J. Aceti, Rose and Tony (photo by Mary Desimone)

Cash Rowswell has been selected as the first ever winner of the T.J. Aceti Goalie Award.

Young Rowswell was presented with the award today at an emotional, albeit informal backyard gathering.

A goalie who competed at the pee wee major AA level within the Sault Major Hockey Association during the 2019-2020 season, the 13-year old Rowswell was the unanimous choice by a four person committee as the winner of the T.J. Aceti Goalie Award from a group of eight other local puck stoppers.

…[read more]

New gig for John Parco


Randy Russon
By
August 16, 2020

John Parco

A successful three season run at the helm of the Soo Thunderbirds of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League has turned into a new challenge for high end coach John Parco.

The soon to be 49 year old Sault Ste. Marie product has signed a two-year contract with the Italian Ice Hockey Federation.

In his new role, Parco will be the director of hockey development for the Italian Federation.

…[read more]

Family advisors of choice


Randy Russon
By
August 12, 2020

They are known as family advisors and/or player agents. And when I am asked by parents of hockey players — which is rather often — as to who I would recommend as a family advisor, I give them the names of three management groups that I have had good and lengthy dealings with.

…[read more]

What’s with the handshakes?


Randy Russon
By
August 10, 2020

I fully expected the Toronto Maple Leafs to defeat the Columbus Blue Jackets in the fifth-and-deciding game of their preliminary round, National Hockey League playoff series.

Leafs and Blue Jackets shaking hands (during COVID-19) after Game 5 of their NHL playoff series

After all, the Leafs had stunned Columbus in Game 4 with an improbable 4-3 overtime win after rallying from a 3-0 deficit with less than four minutes to play in the third period.

But what I didn’t expect — aside from the Leafs coming up flat in a 3-0 loss in Game 5 — was that players from both teams would remove their gloves and shake hands following the decisive match.

…[read more]

A good coach is a good coach


Randy Russon
By
July 29, 2020

Junior hockey and the way it operates and carries on can be cyclical, trendy and copycat.

Dan Cuomo

And while some may say or feel that junior hockey is a young man’s game when it comes to the art of coaching, that is simply not the case.

For example, as the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League and Ontario Hockey League both boast exceptional coaches who are in their 30s and 40s, so too do they feature high end bench bosses who are in their 50s and 60s.

In other words, when it comes to the NOJHL and OHL as two junior hockey leagues of illustration, a good coach is a good coach, regardless of age.

…[read more]

Lafleur to Carleton Place


Randy Russon
By
July 28, 2020

The best team in the Central Canada Hockey League from the 2019-2020 season has added a crackerjack coach to its staff.

Marc Lafleur

Hockey News North has confirmed that Marc Lafleur has joined the staff of the Carleton Place Canadians as an assistant coach under owner, general manager and head coach Jason Clarke.

The 45-year old Lafleur and the Hearst Lumberjacks recently parted ways, just over a year after he led what was a second-year franchise to the 2018-2019 Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League championship.

…[read more]

Return to play proposals


Randy Russon
By
July 27, 2020

Junior hockey leagues throughout Ontario have been working on various proposals relative to a return to play at some point in the 2020-2021 season.

Soo Thunderbirds and Blind River Beavers are division rivals in the NOJHL.

Under the Canadian Jr. Hockey League umbrella there are four junior A leagues that are based in Ontario. They are the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League, the Central Canada Hockey League, the Ontario Jr. Hockey League and the Superior International Jr. Hockey League.

The province is also home to the Ontario Hockey League, which is part of the major junior level, Canadian Hockey League.

…[read more]

Rhodes Centre arenas open


HockeyNewsNorth.com Staff
By
July 23, 2020

The City of Sault Ste. Marie has implemented a number of modifications for the two arenas that are housed within John Rhodes Community Centre. The Rhodes Centre is located in the Sault’s east end on the grounds of Queen Elizabeth Park.

…[read more]

Rhodes to re-open next week


HockeyNewsNorth.com Staff
By
July 9, 2020

The City of Sault Ste. Marie continues to re-open facilities by employing a phased approach as it tries to ensure appropriate safety measures for the community and limiting public health risks.

…[read more]

Business as unusual


Randy Russon
By
July 5, 2020

These are unusual times. And in the hockey world, the so-called ‘new normal’ means the phrase ‘business as usual’ may no longer be applicable.

…[read more]

Chris Thorburn: What a story


Randy Russon
By
June 29, 2020

Chris Thorburn had what might be called an improbable National Hockey League career.

Chris Thorburn, as a member of the Winnipeg Jets

Thorburn was nearing the end of his four-year Ontario Hockey League run in 2003 and had yet to be signed by the Buffalo Sabres, who had taken him two years earlier, in the second round of the 2001 NHL draft.

But the Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario product would finish his OHL career with a flourish after being dealt by the Saginaw Spirit to the Plymouth Whalers at the 2003 trade deadline.

…[read more]

Bulls call on Bronson


Randy Russon
By
May 25, 2020

Dunaújvárosi Acélbikák Steel Bulls have put in a call from Central Hungary to Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario to ask veteran defenseman Bronson Kovacs to play another season of professional hockey in Erste Liga.

Bronson Kovacs

And the 29-year old Kovacs — he will turn 30 in July — told Hockey News North that he has made a verbal agreement to return to the Steel Bulls for the 2020-2021 hockey season. The 2020-2021 campaign will mark the sixth season of pro hockey in Hungary for Kovacs.

…[read more]

Toots Kovacs to Sault College


Randy Russon
By
May 13, 2020

It is another level of the game for Zoltan (Toots) Kovacs. A fixture within the local hockey community for decades, the 60-year old Kovacs has enrolled with the Sault College Cougars men’s team as an assistant to head coach Mike Hall.

…[read more]

Self isolating, hockey writing


Randy Russon
By
April 19, 2020

Many around the globe have left their office work stations to set up shop at home as a health precaution against the COVID-19 pandemic. But I was already ahead of the game as someone who has been working and writing from home for a number of years now.

…[read more]

New gig for Michael Kantor


Randy Russon
By
April 15, 2020

Hard-driven Michael Kantor, who played in more than 200 Ontario Hockey League games for Saginaw Spirit, Soo Greyhounds and Sudbury Wolves despite never being drafted, is turning to the business side of the game.

…[read more]