Hounds missed on Matier


Randy Russon
By
May 14, 2021


Jack Matier

This one lies squarely on Soo Greyhounds general manager Kyle Raftis and his scouts.

That is, the Greyhounds had a chance to choose local product and future world class gold medal winner Jack Matier in the first round of the 2019 Ontario Hockey League priority selections draft only to — for whatever reason — opt for another defenseman.

…[read more]

Ten of the best of the North


Randy Russon
By
May 12, 2021


As we venture to take an early glance ahead of the 2021-2022 Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League season here is a Hockey News North look at 10 probable returnees who loom as impact players.

…[read more]

North winds of change


Randy Russon
By
May 11, 2021


A late spring breeze has altered the makeup of four of the 12 teams that have membership within the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League.

Cole Jarrett
Brandon Perry

From east to west, north winds of change have blown through Timmins, Powassan, Elliot Lake and Sault Ste. Marie within the past few weeks.

Will there be more to come?

…[read more]

Local lad lands in Elliot Lake


Randy Russon
By
May 10, 2021


Teegan Dumont

On the job ahead of the 2021-2022 season are the all new Elliot Lake Red Wings of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League.

And sources with knowledge of the situation have told Hockey News North that the Red Wings are poised to make a home grown Elliot Lake product one of their first acquisitions.

…[read more]

Rekindling the BR-EL rivalry


Randy Russon
By
May 9, 2021


This is an age old tug-of-war that I am so looking forward to writing up again.

That is, the rabid, often rowdy rivalry between the gritty, nearby junior hockey towns of Blind River and Elliot Lake is poised to be rekindled.

…[read more]

Cougars knock on Wood


Randy Russon
By
May 9, 2021


Caleb Wood

Graduated Soo Thunderbirds forward Caleb Wood is moving on to skate for the Sault College Cougars of the Division 2, American Collegiate Hockey Association for the planned 2021-2022 season.

…[read more]

Birds returning to nest


Randy Russon
By
May 7, 2021


A flock of Birds is intent on once again tapping sticks on the frozen pond of Sault Ste. Marie.

Michael Chaffay
Tyson Doucette

That is, seven local products and a fellow northeastern Ontario lad are among the skaters who have affirmed their return to the Soo Thunderbirds of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League for the 2021-2022 season, Hockey News North has confirmed.

…[read more]

Staffing the Red Wings


Randy Russon
By
May 7, 2021


The hockey department of the new Elliot Lake Red Wings is taking shape. Rebranded from the erstwhile Elliot Lake Wildcats, the Red Wings are adding on to their staff in advance of the 2021-2022 Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League season.

…[read more]

Henderson is on the jobs


Randy Russon
By
May 5, 2021


Jamie Henderson

His zeal and zest for the game are clear and pronounced.

Talk hockey with him and chances are the conversation will be a long-lasting, long-winded one.

And not only has Jamie Henderson signed up for another term as head coach of the Soo Jr. Greyhounds of the Great North Under 18 Hockey League for next season but he was recently hired as the new general manager for the Soo Thunderbirds of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League.

…[read more]

Malek is heading home


Randy Russon
By
May 5, 2021


Soo Thunderbirds graduated forward Andrew Malek is returning to his home state to play Division 3, National Collegiate Athletic Association hockey for the Concordia University of Wisconsin Falcons.

…[read more]

May days of junior hockey


Randy Russon
By
May 3, 2021


Justin Mauro has played three seasons for the Blind River Beavers and has two years of junior eligibility remaining.

Junior A level hockey leagues across Canada are closed for registry business until June 1.

Which, as an example, means that teams in the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League can’t officially announce any new player transactions until June 1.

But, as they should be, NOJHL coaches and general managers will no doubt be busy throughout the month of May working on potential player recruitment and trades ahead of June 1.

…[read more]

Message to EL Red Wings


HockeyNewsNorth.com Staff
By
May 3, 2021


Elliot Lake will again have a presence in the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League after being on hiatus for the 2020-2021 season. Formerly the Elliot Lake Wildcats — which had the worst record in the NOJHL during the 2019-2020 campaign — the franchise now has new operators and will begin play for the 2021-2022 season as the rebranded Elliot Lake Red Wings. Meantime, Hockey News North has obtained a letter from a long-time junior hockey fan in Elliot Lake that was sent to the new operators of the franchise.

…[read more]

Smyl explains Bird exchange


Randy Russon
By
April 30, 2021


Darren Smyl

Local businessman Darren Smyl said he was not looking to sell the Soo Thunderbirds of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League.

But Smyl, who had rescued the Thunderbirds from the verge of folding in 2017, said once he was approached by Trevor Daley and Cole Jarrett about buying the local NOJHL team, a deal gradually came into being.

…[read more]

New operators for T-Birds


Randy Russon
By
April 30, 2021


Cole Jarrett

Two friends with prime time backgrounds have teamed up to take over the Soo Thunderbirds of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League.

Good citizens Cole Jarrett and Trevor Daley have obtained operational control of the Thunderbirds from local businessman Darren Smyl, Hockey News North has confirmed.

Smyl had presided over the Thunderbirds since 2017.

…[read more]

Perry is solid as a Rock


Randy Russon
By
April 30, 2021


Brandon Perry

Timmins Rock of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League has stayed local in hiring hard driven, hard working Brandon Perry as its new coach and general manager, Hockey News North has confirmed.

…[read more]

KL makes a Smart move


Randy Russon
By
April 30, 2021


Coach-general manager Kyle Smart is returning to the Kirkland Lake Gold Miners of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League for the 2021-2022 season.

…[read more]

Tech extends Joe Shawhan


Randy Russon
By
April 29, 2021


Joe Shawhan, behind the bench of the Michigan Tech Huskies

Sault Ste. Marie native Joe Shawhan has signed a three year extension to carry on as head coach of the Michigan Tech Huskies of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association.

…[read more]

SMHA coaches for ’21-22


HockeyNewsNorth.com Staff
By
April 28, 2021


Hockey News North has confirmed a number of the coaches who will lead Sault Major Hockey Association teams for the 2021-2022 season. The list of coaches is as follows.

…[read more]

Rat puke and Wolves


Randy Russon
By
April 27, 2021


They had their share of good players and character individuals, including two standouts who became high draft picks to the National Hockey League and 11 others who would go on to play at the minor pro and/or European pro levels.

But for whatever reason, the Sudbury Wolves of 1983-1984 would finish in last place overall with a record of 19-50-1 in what was a 15-team Ontario Hockey League back then.

And it didn’t help that the underachieving Wolves of 1983-1984 were coached by a rude, crude dude who would routinely tell his players “you are all rat puke” when he was dissatisfied with their play.

…[read more]

Love the all Canadian division


Randy Russon
By
April 25, 2021


Sault boy Kyle Dubas of the Toronto Maple Leafs

I have often wished that the National Hockey League would re-align and have an Original Six division of the Montreal Canadiens, Toronto Maple Leafs, Detroit Red Wings, Chicago Blackhawks, Boston Bruins and New York Rangers.

And while that has not happened — and likely never will — restrictions on travel relative to COVID-19 has created, temporarily at least, the formation of an all Canadian division of Montreal, Toronto, the Winnipeg Jets, Edmonton Oilers, Calgary Flames, Vancouver Canucks and Ottawa Senators.

I am loving the set up.

…[read more]

Loss of an OHL season


Randy Russon
By
April 24, 2021


Soo Greyhounds forward Cole MacKay

Could the Ontario Hockey League have done more to start the 2020-2021 season back in November when COVID-19 cases were relatively low?

Did the OHL do wrong to its players when continuing to insist it was “not interested in playing games without fans in attendance” like other leagues were doing?

…[read more]

Fedorov assisting Soo Eagles


Randy Russon
By
April 23, 2021


Fedor Fedorov

Soo Eagles of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League have added a full time skills and development coach to their staff, Hockey News North has confirmed.

He is 39-year old Fedor Fedorov, who starred in the Ontario Hockey League as a high scoring forward with the Sudbury Wolves during the 2000-2001 campaign before playing 18 games in the National Hockey League and multiple seasons in the American Hockey League prior to a nine-year career in the Russian-based Kontinental Hockey League.

…[read more]

Active, operative in NOJHL


Randy Russon
By
April 23, 2021


Rob Mazzuca

It is aware of COVID-19 as an opponent. And that hasn’t prevented the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League from being in mindful overdrive as it and its member teams make provisions for the 2021-2022 season.

At the top, 11th year commissioner Rob Mazzuca is in his home office bunker on a regular basis, ministering what needs to be governed.

To be sure, from coaches affirming their return to new coaches being hired to due process being conducted on other business, the NOJHL and its teams are being anything but listless.

…[read more]

June camp in Elliot Lake


Randy Russon
By
April 22, 2021


Elliot Lake Red Wings of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League are intent on getting a head start well in advance of the 2021-2022 season.

…[read more]

Hockey North Show will return


Randy Russon
By
April 21, 2021


Currently on hiatus relative to the Ontario government’s stay at home order, the Hockey North Show will return to radio station Eagle 95.1 once its host site, Reggie’s Place Downtown, re-opens for business. The stay at home order is slated to be lifted during the third week of May.

…[read more]

Marc Lafleur to Powassan


Randy Russon
By
April 20, 2021


Marc Lafleur

He is a celebrated coach who has won championships with two different teams in the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League.

And now, Marc Lafleur is returning to the NOJHL to coach, Hockey News North has confirmed.

…[read more]

NOJHL prepping for ’21-22


Randy Russon
By
April 19, 2021


Espanola Express coach Brent Hughes

In a sense, the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League is already ahead of the game as it plans and prepares for next season.

It includes the fact that Elliot Lake has confirmed a return from its 2020-2021 leave of absence for the 2021-2022 campaign — complete with a new name, a new coach and a new general manager.

Then there are examples of verity that elite full-time coaches such as Kyle Brick of the Blind River Beavers and Brent Hughes of the Espanola Express have affirmed their return for the 2021-2022 season to Hockey News North.

…[read more]

BR boss welcomes EL return


Randy Russon
By
April 16, 2021


The rabid, sometimes rowdy rivalry between the nearby junior hockey towns of Blind River and Elliot Lake is poised to be rekindled.

With a new name, new management and a new coach, Elliot Lake is set to return to the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League for the 2021-2022 season after having taken a leave of absence for what became an abbreviated 2020-2021 campaign.

…[read more]

NOJHL rebrand in Elliot Lake


Randy Russon
By
April 16, 2021


After being on leave of absence for what became an abbreviated 2020-2021 Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League season, Elliot Lake is poised to return for the 2021-2022 campaign with new leadership and a new name.

Formerly the Elliot Lake Wildcats, the NOJHL team has changed its name to the Elliot Lake Red Wings.

…[read more]

Leafs still not on my wish list


Randy Russon
By
April 15, 2021


The 1967 Stanley Cup champion Toronto Maple Leafs

In my little town, I grew up believing that God and the Montreal Canadiens were good and non Catholic girls and the Toronto Maple Leafs were bad.

But some of that has changed for me from then to now.

While I still believe that God is good, I no longer depict the Montreal Canadiens in a religious way. And while all girls — not just Catholics — are good, the Toronto Maple Leafs um, you know, still haven’t made it to my list of top favourites.

…[read more]

Eight player trade of ’83-84


Randy Russon
By
April 14, 2021


Free traders Joe Drago of the Sudbury Wolves and Larry Mavety of the Belleville Bulls were never shy when it came to dealing players.

And the rival Ontario Hockey League general managers — Drago and Mavety were also good friends — more than proved that point early in the 1983-1984 season when they combined to make a massive eight player trade that featured three northern boys.

…[read more]

Hounds v. Alexanders X 3


Randy Russon
By
April 12, 2021


To be sure, this did not fall into the one hit wonder category. Rather, these were classic hits that kept on playing.

Dressed in the vintage, full-length Cooperall uniforms of the early 1980s, the Soo Greyhounds and Brantford Alexanders faced off in three successive Ontario Hockey League playoff seasons.

And while the Soo upended Brantford in all three playoff years — 1982, 1983 and 1984 — the Alexanders earned ‘A’ grades while falling to Hound power, and a song of the same name.

…[read more]

Northern boys of the NOJHL


Randy Russon
By
April 9, 2021


Teams in the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League are able to recruit players from all over Canada, not to mention the United States. But homegrown players from northern Ontario remain popular among NOJHL teams.

…[read more]