Good, bad, ugly in Powassan

Randy Russon
January 30, 2018

I am going to take a different route in the case of the league suspension and subsequent team firing of a first-place coach who carries a good, clean reputation in the hockey world.

That is, I am not going to name any one person by name except to note that this involves the Powassan Voodoos of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League.

I was first tipped off about the situation in Powassan about two weeks ago and opted to bide my time until I heard from the various factions involved.

I am not going to talk about details that I know or details that have been published in the North Bay Nugget. I will say that the Nugget writer has printed factual details and given all parties a chance to respond in truly professional fashion.

While I am not going to single out coaches, a manager, owners or league officials by name, I am going to say what many who are following the story — and who have been asking for my input and opinion — may already know.

That is, like the old spaghetti western, there are three sides to this story — the good, the bad and the ugly.

From there, feel free to draw any conclusions that you may have.

Actually, there is also a fourth side to the story.

Besides the good, the bad and the ugly, there is also a dirty side to this story.

End of story.

At least for now.

What you think about “Good, bad, ugly in Powassan”

  1. Can you say Bruce Cazabon…. he has wanted a coaching job since he stepped down from the Trappers pewee AAA team after fraud allegations, best friend with two of the owners and suddenly a guy gets video taped…

  2. 1.) This stinks on a lot of levels – why take a picture and send it to the league if one or more people don’t have an ulterior motive? (ie. take a job that you’ve long coveted and destroy a man’s reputation in the process…)

    2.) Does the NOJHL not realize that they’ve opened themselves up to being sued by the individual who’s name and professional reputation has been tarnished by action that was taken before getting all needed information?

    3.) What does this do to the team in Powassan – or was that the motivation all along? I remember what the team did in Flint the year *their* coach was fired – does anyone see that happening with the Voodoos?

  3. This issue brings up a couple issues. If this happened on Dec 16, why so long to fire Mr Moyer if what he did was so awful.
    Could it be to wait until after Jan 10 to ensure players would have no opportunity to ask for a trade to go somewhere else. It doesn’t take a month to sort something out when they say there photos of said issue. Mr Cazabon got a second chance for something very serious, where is Mr Moyers chance.

    1. Very good point Kevin . Seems to me that’s exactly what the brass of the voodoos were afraid of. Kids asking to be traded probably would of happend if it came out before the deadline. The coach did nothing wrong. The only thing I see wrong in this situation is the loser from Hearst video taping them without their consent. I hope the staff from Hearst dosent have a minor slip up in years to come. All eyes on them now. Hope it was worth it. Feel bad for Moyer. Shame on the voodoo organization for not having his back. What a slap in the face. If I was a 20 year old on this team. I would take a stand. Sounds like a lot of the fans have already decided they will boycott the team.

  4. No harm done!!! Those legal aged boys returned home unscathed and undefeated, just to hit the local establishment before last call.

    Mr. “Powasson Coach” in my opinion you did nothing wrong. As for the boys its ……. at times its better to ask for permission rather than for FOGIVRNESS. It could’ve happened in their rooms without supervision.
    However, when and what will be the athlettes suspensions.

  5. More dirt in the NOJHL. Does anyone remember how the Mattawa Blackhawks were taken away from David Beauchamp in fall of 2014? I’m sorry but this league is full of favoritism.

  6. …..I question if it is legal to record someone without their permission….and the league uses this recording as a basis to suspend the coach….if a player comes up to a coach smoking weed …can the coach be suspended..I do not see a whole lot of difference….

  7. I hope this sparks an intense on ice rivalry between the Powassan Voodoos and the Hearst Lumberjacks. This league remains problematic on all levels with Robert Muzzaca as commissioner. IN MY OPINION.

  8. I do not claim to know the entire story here, but I do know the ownership of the Powassan Voodoos would not make the decision on coaching they did lightly. This could not have been easy. The Voodoos are first overall in the NOJHL and currently the sixth ranked team by the Canadian Junior Hockey League. The Voodoos have in three short seasons become the model organization in the NOJHL. This can be directly attributed to an ownership group who are committed to producing a winner. The Powassan Voodoos are a first class organization on and off the ice, from the ownership to the players and everyone in between, this includes their fans. I am proud to call the members of the Powassan Voodoos ownership group my friends.
    The Voodoos next home game is Saturday February 10th against the Hearst Lumber Jacks. Like every other game, I will be at the Sportsplex cheering on our team. If anyone would like to discuss this post, come see me on the 10th. Go Voodoos Go.

  9. More to story for sure. I hear there were worries about one of the owner’s son’s making the team next year. Read between the lines and watch next season to see if this player will be there . Hopefully he makes it on his own merit and you don’t have a flint type situation.

    1. Agreed! Should be a rule where the owner’s son cannot be on the same team. There will be too much coach-owner conflicts. One owner from Nepean told the coach to put his son on the first line. Coach refused and quit. Next thing you knew player’s wanted out because of this. Happens more than you think, especially with junior hockey.

  10. First I am not sure where people get the idea that it is ok for players to be at the bar on a hockey road trip. Second of all not sure why people think it is ok for a coach to be drinking with his players regardless if they were uninvited or bought their own alcohol or are of age. What should have been done was for the coach to ask his players to go back to their rooms and use proper judgement when it comes to alcohol and hockey. Yes I know some of you will say well NHL players go out after a game to have a drink but this is not the NHL. It is the responsibility of the coach to set a good example and to make sure that the players are not out drinking. As for being dismissed yes maybe it is a little harsh but these owners are liable if something was to happen to anyone on the team while they are on the road. Since this was the second time that this happened maybe the coach was not taking it seriously enough for them. These owners invest a lot of money in the community and in the hockey team. If you think that player fees and attendance covers the bills you are sadly mistaken.

    1. Junior hockey is an expensive venture. You got equipment, hotels, bus travel, billets, ice fees, and league fees. Yes, every team spends a lot of money and A MOSTAFA CASES comes out of the owners pockets. It’s a tough business when you’re competing in a market with OHL hockey. Didn’t go successful in Sudbury, and in North Bay when the Battalion arrived forcing the Trappers out to Mattawa.

  11. There is a lot of truth and plain good sense in what Greg Cameron has to say. Apparently, as has now been revealed, this was a second occurrence of a similar situation.
    Nonetheless, I’m sure that all the facts have not been disclosed, and it would be interesting to know all that has actually transpired to justify such serious league and ownership decisions.
    To borrow an old (very old) English expression,…..”Coo, what a pong!”
    We look forward to hearing (hopefully) the full truthful story; and especially whatever follow-up you provide when all the dust has settled, Randy.

  12. Greg Cameron’s statement is spot-on. It is NOT okay for any young hockey player of any age to spend his spare time in a bar drinking while on a road trip. The team has an obligation to the player’s parents & i’m certain most parents would not want to find out that their son spends his time drinking alcohol in bar while on a road trip and that the team appears to be ‘okay’ with this. And then hearing that the coaching staff was sitting with the players on top of that? Not good optics.

    These are junior hockey players, not NHL players. And coaches don’t spend time in the same bars as the players even in the NHL, let alone sit & drink with them. If players suddenly show up & ask if it’s okay to sit down to have a beer with you is this that difficult to say no? Is it this difficult to show the players what is right & what is wrong by showing them who’s the boss while you’re on a road trip?

    The bigger problem is that this type of incident happened more than once & it wouldn’t surprise me that there are other incidents we have not been made aware of.

    The bottom line is that the league took nearly a month-and-a-half further investigating the issue before a suspension was handed out.

    But all the drama happened after the team chose to fire their coach and other than the coach (to his credit) the team has not been very forthcoming in regards to the reasons behind the firing. But that’s a different matter altogether.

    Hopefully Mr. Moyer will soon find employment elsewhere. There is no doubt that he’s a very good coach. I also have no doubt that he will learn from his mistakes as a first-year head coach. I also have no doubt that everyone else (including some of the players involved) will also use this unfortunate incident as a learning lesson for the future.

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