EL Wildcats have money issues

Randy Russon
November 28, 2018

Elliot Lake Wildcats of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League remain more than $50,000 in debt to the City of Elliot Lake on an interest-free loan that was slated to be paid in full by the end of this year.

And Wildcats president and treasurer Brad Lees has told Elliot Lake city council that the NOJHL team is currently not in a financial position to make a significant payment on the interest-free loan.

When the Wildcats entered the NOJHL as a community, non-profit team in 2014, it borrowed $96,636 from the City of Elliot Lake with an agreement that the interest-free loan would be repaid by the end of 2018.

The hockey team has repaid $43,363 of the loan thus far but has not made a payment this year.

At a recent city council meeting, Elliot Lake councilor Norm Mann noted that “some form of good faith payment (by the hockey team) is what I’d be looking for at this point.”

The debt that the Wildcats have with the City of Elliot Lake is not the only one that the NOJHL team has, according to its aforementioned president and treasurer. Lees told city council that the Wildcats also borrowed money from another lender and have been servicing that debt while not making payments on the interest-free loan with the City of Elliot Lake.

For that, Lees was chided by councilor Chris Patrie.

“You need to realize you have $50,000 of taxpayer dollars interest free. As councilors, we must respect the taxpayers because it is their money,” Patrie told Lees.

Meantime, Elliot Lake city council spoke in favour of accepting a re-payment agreement with the Wildcats that would have the balance of the money owed repaid by the next municipal election, which is slated for the fall of 2022.

The Wildcats play their home games at city-owned Centennial Arena.

What you think about “EL Wildcats have money issues”

  1. This situation bothers me because it is entirely preventable. It’s too bad because it’s a great hockey town. Wishing them a speedy recovery!

  2. i think that the city of elliot lake should be helping the team financially and not just by giving it an interest free loan. Unless you have not noticed the nojhl team is the only game in town . There is not enough sponsorship money available especially since the collapse of the mall. As well this negative publicity probably will spell the end of the team as it is unlikely that parents will send their sons to a team that has financial problems. Time for council to ante up or lose the team .

  3. nathan it may be a great hockey town but the people of elliot lake are not supporting this team. Check out the attendance numbers . It is funny to think that when they had a team in the metro league attendance was three times higher than it is today. . Why is that and why are the citizens not attending games.

  4. Hockey Critic go back to the GMHL war room the GMHL is the biggest joke in all of hockey IN MY OPINION … as for Elliot Lake the people need a winner… attendance will then go back up,,, bring back Good leadership and the team will turn it around

  5. Elliot Lake is in deep trouble financially. One issue is to attract a good Jr A level coach they are forced to pay upwards of 50,000 as the coach has to move there. Also the bus territory agreement, which is incredibly wrong on so many fronts means they have to pay about 30% more through their bus line than some other companies can charge. The biggest culprit is the NOJHL itself who continues to overcharge teams with league fees that are far higher than any other league in the country. They have done this to the point that the NOJHL has had upwards of 250,000 in surplus funds. Sitting in their bank accounts. Add to that a commission who is being paid over 70,000. This is Money that should go back to the teams. IN MY OPINION

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