Elliot Lake at the crossroads

May 13, 2014

Will there be or won’t there be?

The matter of whether there may be junior hockey in Elliot Lake in 2014-2015 has been on City Council agenda three times in the past six weeks.

All three times — last night included — City Council deferred the matter to its next scheduled meeting.

Elliot Lake has been home to the Bobcats for seven seasons — five in the Greater Metro Jr. Hockey League and the past two in the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League.

But owner and founder Ryan Leonard — who is also general manager and coach — has moved the franchise to Cochrane where the Crunch will begin play effective the 2014-2015 NOJHL season.

In the meantime, NOJHL commissioner Robert Mazzuca has been trying to orchestrate an expansion franchise for Elliot Lake. Mazzuca was supposed to appear before Elliot Lake City Council for the second time last night but did not.

Then there is the new Canadian International Hockey League, which has applied for sanction within the Amateur Athletic Union as part of the United Hockey Union for the 2014-2015 campaign.

CIHL founder Tim Clayden has sent an e-mail to City of Elliot Lake personnel inviting them to consider the new league as a possible option.

Clayden, who also owns the Espanola Rivermen — who defected from the NOJHL to the new CIHL — is awaiting formal approval from the AAU-UHU to be under its umbrella.

So what is next for Elliot Lake?

That depends on City Council and whether local investors step up with a plan to have a junior hockey franchise in either the NOJHL or the CIHL for the 2014-2015 campaign.

What you think about “Elliot Lake at the crossroads”

  1. Randy how many more teams other then Espanola are in the new CIHL? As for last night I was glad to hear serpant river first nations are involved in the new team.

    1. Matt link 65,

      Was told the same thing about a possible involvement with Serpent River First Nation.

      As for the number of teams in the CIHL, you can phone Tim Clayden and ask him.

  2. I for one hope that if we get a Team back in Town that its the new CIHL League.
    The NOJHL has failed here twice now where-as we were supportave of the GMHL and the World Class style which the new CIHL says they will have.
    Also I don’t like the way the NOJHL President came to Council 2 weeks ago acting like this team will belong to the NOJHL.

  3. The question that I am asking is “How many teams will there be in the NOJ for next season?”
    Mattawa is not a sure thing (Owner has had issue with finances including Bus company) and if there is no Elliott Lake and Mattawa is shaky that cannot be good and also another question “What about Blind River”?
    With no Espanola no more and if theres not Elliott Lake and Blind River then the next Q is “What about the Sault”?
    Sorry folks I hate to be negative but i think that the NOJ is in trouble!

  4. As long as there is Junior Hockey in MATTAWA next season I don’t care what Legue it is in.

  5. Any Word On The GMHL expansion into the Greater Sudbury Area ? this was rumored all winter . i even heard rumors the current coach of the Nickel Barons would be in involved if a team was to come to town.

  6. Ya that’s who I was thinking of, I just heard lot’s of rumors that if that league was to find it’s way to Sudbury, He Mr. Young may be involved with that team. I just wanna be clear though,this was just a bunch of hockey fans talking at various rinks, so it is pure specialization not fact based what so ever !

  7. Is it true that Mazzuca didnt even show up to the third meeting? Does anyone else here think this is just a stall tactic by Mazzuca to keep EL tied up, to keep the CIHL out of EL? Does anyone else think he is stalling, to give Soo and BR hope that they may have a link to the East in the NOJHL, for fear they may jump to the CIHL making a pretty strong northern division?

  8. The team that was supposed to be part of the outlaw league is not a go. It was supposed to be in the Mazzucas hometown of Capreol. Apparently there is not enough “funds” to get the team going.

  9. To Fan’s of EL:
    There will be Hockey in Elliott Lake next yr as Mr. Mazzuca will get this complete with EL Mayor.

    1. to fan’s of EL:

      I just talked to the parks and rec director of EL about ten minutes ago and I was told they have given up ANY hopes of a NOJHL team in EL for next year.

  10. To the fans of Elliot Lake: be very leary as the way I see it, Mazzuca has already shafted you guys once. Time to move on, in my opinion.

  11. Council might want to think about this CIHL League instead of flogging an old horse with the NOJ.

  12. Is it true that Mazzuca is proposing to bring in a non local guy to run the team he is trying to place in EL.? How could anyone not take that as another slap in the face to the people of EL, when long time NOJHL and EL supporter Todd Stencil has dedicated a lot of his time volunteering for the old Bobcats and understands the town and demographics? What is the NOJHL thinking? Sounds like a recipe for disaster to me, IMO of course.

  13. It looks like Mayor of EL and Serpent River Chief are going to meet next week and that there will be NOJHL Hockey in Elliot Lake for next season!

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