I have a few questions to ask. I have a few things on my mind.
…Can someone please tell me how 1997 birth-year goalie Mario Culina of the Soo Thunderbirds of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League was never drafted into the Ontario Hockey League? Do the Soo Greyhounds of the OHL actually have a local scout who follows the local players? If so, who is he and where is he?
…If I am an up-and-coming hockey player who aspires to develop at the junior level and play beyond it — and does not mind living in northern Ontario or northern Michigan — then I want to be coached by Denny Lambert, Tom McCarthy, Paul Gagne, Jordan Smith, Bruno Bragagnolo, Krzysztof Oliwa or Scott Gardiner. Take your pick.
…To be sure, the first-year Canadian International Hockey League has had its shares of issues this season. But I don’t think anyone from the established Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League should be looking down their nose at the CIHL. The NOJHL has major issues of its own to deal with that include failed ownership and player safety concerns in Mattawa, not to mention the sorry state of affairs on and off the ice in Blind River.
…And what about the future of the NOJHL’s Abitibi Eskimos? Iroquois Falls — which is where the Eskimos are based — will soon lose its major employer with the permanent closure of the town’s paper mill and the 180 jobs that will be lost. Methinks the arrogant, self-righteous Scott Marshall — who is the president of the Eskimos — should worry about his own team and his own backyard and refrain from passing judgement on the rival CIHL.