As the Great North Midget Hockey League looks for a new commissioner to replace the resigned Bob MacLean, here is hoping it leads to a firm alliance and partnership with the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League.
As of now, the GNMHL and NOJHL have no official relationship.
While it is true that teams in the NOJHL can utilize the services of affiliate players from GNMHL clubs, there is no real alliance or partnership between the two leagues.
But in that both leagues operate under the umbrella of the Northern Ontario Hockey Association, it could be of benefit to both leagues to form an alliance.
Not only would such an alliance create more opportunity for player development and advancement, the GNMHL could stand to benefit from the leadership and management operation of the NOJHL.
It is a model that is working within the Central Canada Hockey League. Under the umbrella of Hockey Eastern Ontario, the CCHL operates both a 12-team junior league and a 16-team league for major and minor midget aged players.
The CCHL model has worked to the extent that more players than ever are remaining at home to play out their midget eligibility because of the working relationship and affiliation with the junior level.
Something for the GNMHL and the NOJHL to think about?
After all, the geographic link is already there.
Eleven of the NOJHL’s 12 teams are located in northern Ontario — the only exception being the northern Michigan-based Soo Eagles — while all nine GNMHL teams are northern Ontario based.