Jr. team in Iroquois Falls?

Randy Russon
November 6, 2018

Separate factions are exploring the possibility of bringing a junior hockey franchise back to the northeastern Ontario town of Iroquois Falls, Hockey News North has confirmed.

Tim Toffolo, an Iroquois Falls native who is now a real estate broker in the Niagara region and owns the Pelham Panthers of the Greater Ontario Jr. Hockey League, has reportedly been looking into the possibility of once again having a Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League franchise in his hometown.

And there have been feelers from officials within the Greater Metro Hockey League about having a team in Iroquois Falls to the extent of playing a neutral game there this season.

The GMHL has 23 teams featuring both a North Division and a South Division.

Of note, one of the North Division teams, the West Nipissing Lynx, which is based in Sturgeon Falls, has been informally put on the market by owner Patrick Miron.

At any rate, Iroquois Falls had a team in the aforementioned NOJHL from 1999 to 2017. The franchise was known as both the Iroquois Falls Eskis and the Abitibi Eskimos.

Attendance was never an issue for the NOJHL in Iroquois Falls. During the last two seasons there was an NOJHL franchise in Iroquois Falls — the 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 campaigns — the team finished third in attendance both times, averaging about 400 fans per game to venerable Jus Jordan Arena aka the Igloo.

The Iroquois Falls franchise was sold by an owner with Toronto roots prior to the start of the 2017-2018 and relocated to Hearst and became the Lumberjacks.

Iroquois Falls is a town of just under 4,500 residents and is located about 45 miles northeast of Timmins. The Timmins Rock is a member of the 12-team NOJHL and is the league’s attendance leader.

PHOTO: A banner hangs in Jus Jordan Arena aka the Igloo.

What you think about “Jr. team in Iroquois Falls?”

  1. Good Morning Randy,

    For the Record, there has been no discussion by the NOJHL Board Of Directors on any expansion plans, past, present or future, since the league expanded to 12 teams. There currently is a Moratorium on the number of Jr A Teams by the Ontario Hockey Federation (OHF) in place. Furthermore, as per the Hockey Canada-CJHL Partnership Agreement, the Branch(OHF), OJHL and NOJHL, must all mutually agree which leagues and Teams qualify for Jr A. I must also say, there is a process in which any new applicant for Jr A, within the NOHA geographic area, must be approved by the NOJHL Board and NOHA board as well.

    The process is not something that is an overnighter or quick unless there are extenuating circumstances.

    Within the NOJHL Constitution, there are provisions within our By-Laws for any new teams, the By-Law 5 (g) states ” The location of a Member’s home arena or membership may not be transferred from the Member’s Home Territory except with the consent of at least ¾ of all Members and the consent of any Member whose Home Territory is within eight (80) kilometers of the proposed new location.”

    There is a long and storied history of Jr. A Hockey of the NOJHL in Iroquois Falls, we all know the history and the past glory shared by the Supporters of those Teams and the teams themselves.

    I cannot speak for any other entity or hockey Group that may be interested in playing out of Iroquois Falls but within the Hockey Canada By-laws, & Regulations, there are provisions and regulations on Non-Sanctioned Hockey, that all members, associations of Hockey Canada must follow.

    I just wanted this on the record so there are no misunderstandings and put any rumors to bed about the NOJHL returning next year to Iroquois Falls and elevating expectations for the immediate future.

    Best Regards

    Robert Mazzuca

  2. Thanks, Robert.

    Please note, though, that nowhere in my story did I say that there has been discussion by the NOJHL itself with regards to Iroquois Falls.

    My story simply states that there are two factions who are exploring the “possibility” of bringing junior hockey back to Iroquois Falls.



  3. Ahhh feedback is a gift. The simplicity of the story of 2 parties “investigating” is now in much better perspective with the factual reality of the hurdles involved clarified by the Commish.

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