Junior hockey headed to Massey?

November 20, 2015

Its arena facility has undergone a recent face-lift that includes the installation of 205 new seats (see photo above) and sources are saying that the Massey & District Community Centre could house a junior hockey team for the 2016-2017 season.

The non-sanctioned, Greater Metro Jr. Hockey League is reportedly looking at Massey as a possible site for a new team for next season. The three-division, 31-team league already has a presence in northern Ontario and northern Quebec.

Meanwhile, it is not known if the 12-team Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League has targeted Massey as a possible, future expansion site. The NOJHL is reportedly open to adding another four teams within the next two years.

Massey is located about 130 miles east of Sault Ste. Marie and 55 miles west of Sudbury and is part of the Township of Sables-Spanish Rivers which also serves the nearby communities of Walford and Webbwood with a combined population of about 3,200.

Brady Ropp, who is the parks and recreation director for the Township of Sables-Spanish Rivers, told HockeyNewsNorth.com that he feels “junior hockey would be a great addition to our community and would play a valuable role in the development of our current minor hockey system.

“The intangible benefits of junior hockey would benefit our community greatly,” added Ropp. “We would entertain some options, for sure.”

As for the refurbished Massey & District Community Centre, Ropp noted that “it was a big job but it looks great.”

What you think about “Junior hockey headed to Massey?”

  1. It’s great to see Massey get some recognition, the only thing I worry about is the quality of junior hockey if the NOJHL decides to expand to say 16 teams by 2017-18. Where are all these junior A qualified players coming from?

    If its the GMHL, I can see it happening seeing as how there were rumors of the CIHL when it wasn’t folded heading there.

    Right now, there’s enough of a divide right now amongst the top 6 and bottom 6 in the league..I could only imagine what another 4 teams would do to water down the talent in the league.

    Add to it, Massey could possibly take some fans from the Espanola team as well…and they are dead last in the league in attendance. At which point do you say, how do these franchises come close to breaking even.

    Just my opinion..great to see the junior hockey game expanding in the North, I just worry about the quality of hockey.

  2. Brad this is no longer a League for kids from the North only .. just look at where the kids come from to play in our league now .. even a bunch of kids from B.C. I would love to see a Massey Team in the NOJ and I tink it would help Attendance in Espy because it would esstablish a great rivalry between two small Towns who are close by one another.

    1. Espanola Eagle…

      You do bring up a good point about rivalries…I assume the two franchises would have some agreement where they get the majority of Friday nighters, and the others get Saturday and Wednesday nights or something like that.

      I just worry about who is behind bringing a team to Massey. If its an owner with a good reputation, somewhat deep pockets, I would love to see it.

  3. Dear Brady; please “make our day” and get us a Junior “A” team in Town!
    Rink looks great and speaking of great this great to read about this Article and the Photo to. Thanks to you Randy R.

  4. Great article Randy and thank you for promoting our town and facility. I would love to see a junior hockey club in Massey there is no doubt about that. I think the rivarily already exists with both Espanola and Blind River just amongst our minor hockey. Obviously much planning needs to take place but glad to see we are on people’s radar.

  5. If “Timmer” Clayden has any thing at all to with the Massey project then you can bett your sweet ass that it will be a Success.

  6. I see Massey asa better fit for the GMHL instead of the NOJHL just cause the NOJHL is too dam expensive with having to pay all of those Admin Salaries * I hear Mazzucca himself pulls in more than $70K a year which folks is alot of money for a Part Time job with Full Time $$$$ for some one who seems to think that he is a big-shot Commish. Big-shot or Big-shit you tell me folks?!

  7. My first reaction was Massey?!? This is the same league that set up in Thessalon, roughly the same size and couldn’t make it work… But trying to be open minded about the idea… My thoughts, two small town franchises 20 minutes apart regardless of league… What small sponsorship money that is out there can not afford to be split two ways. Talk of Little Current expansion (roughly the same size with more population on Manitoulin to draw from by a 5x factor) was met with Espo fan concerns about taking fan base and it’s more than twice as far away… Can it work? Maybe. But there also might be a real risk of breaking both franchises…

  8. Brian P.,

    For the record, Thessalon is half the size of Sables-Spanish Rivers, not “roughly the same” as you say.



  9. If we can support a team here in Blind for this long then they dersef a chance to try it in Massey you know why not.

  10. And I’m sure the folks in Thessalon were hoping to draw from Iron Bridge, Bruce Mines, Desbarat, etc. much like Massey is Saubles-Spanish River. But Webbwood is closer to Espanola… Spanish can go to Blind River… In an area that’s not exactly population dense, you already have Espo, Elliot Lake, Blind River… and two teams in the Sault and Sudbury and French River to ensure no one travels out from the cities… Don’t get me wrong, I’m not anti-Massey but I think some issues surround it. What other expansion is planned for the GMHL, who throw around franchises left and right? Word is Sturgeon hasn’t renewed their arena lease and may be gone. So the closest team is Temiscaming? Can Massey attract players? That league has nightly double digit blow outs, I follow it closely enough. If it’s a go, I can guarantee I will take in games, same as now I’m an Espo season ticket holder and die hard fan, but on an off night will go to Blind River, Chelmsford, Elliot to take in a game…

  11. More than having a good Coach this team in Massey (that is if they get a JR team) must hire a G.M. that has contacts that will help with Player recruitment.
    Some names that come to mind from the Area that would be perfect for this roll are: Jason Stos, Barry Mcrory . . . and my first choice: Tim Claydon !

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