Let us hope that expansion from seven to nine teams — including two minor midget entries — makes for increased player development and awareness within the Great North Midget Hockey League.
After all, it is supposed to be about the players, right?
Let us hope that all parties work together to try to ensure that Sault Ste. Marie comes through with enough qualified players to be able to ice two teams in the Great North — the newly-approved minor midget squad and the existing Greyhound major midgets.
Let us hope that all parties work together to try to ensure that North Bay comes through with enough qualified players to be able to ice two teams in the Great North — the recently-approved minor midget squad and the existing Trapper major midgets.
Because really, this move to increase the number of minor midget teams from two to three has the makings of being something really good for the Great North as a league and hockey in general throughout northeastern Ontario.
Sudbury, because of its much-bigger population, should naturally have good numbers, even if the inner factions within the minor midget and major midget programs are not always on the same page.
To be sure, the Great North needs its larger centers of Sudbury, the Soo and North Bay to co-exist internally and externally and place a firm emphasis on player development.
Sudbury, the Soo and North Bay do not have to lead the way and be examples for the three smaller centres of Timmins, Kapuskasing and New Liskeard.
Timmins — even though the Majors struggled mightily last season — can hold its own and figures to be back on track with new leadership and coaching.
Kapuskasing Flyers represent a model major midget franchise with the backing of perhaps the best fan support in the Great North.
And New Liskeard Cubs have iced their share of competitive teams over the years.
The increase in teams from seven to nine is being seen within Great North circles as good news.
Let us hope that what is being seen actually gets done.
PHOTO: Kapuskasing Flyers and Timmins Majors, in Great North Midget Hockey League action. (Photo by Postmedia.)