Let it ride

March 28, 2014

So, Espanola Rivermen owner Tim Clayden plans to leave the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League after this season for the proposed Canadian International Hockey League of which he would be a founding member.

So what?

It’s Clayden’s dime and his dollar.

And if he wants to depart the NOJHL to be a part of the proposed CIHL (under the umbrella of the sanctioned, American-based, Amateur Athletic Union) is that not his right?

Is this not a free world?

I ask this because there are blog posters — anonymous ones, of course — who are attacking and ridiculing Clayden for daring to be different and having the balls to do what he thinks is in the best interest of his franchise.

Perhaps there are those within, or connected to, the NOJHL who either don’t like Clayden or are jealous of him and what he is capable of?

You think?

Clayden is a veteran junior hockey operator who NOJHL commissioner Robert Mazzuca himself has called “one of the best in Canada.”

So, if Clayden — a self-made man who has been known to put his money where his mouth is — wants to leave one league for another and has informed his associates, confidantes and colleagues of that decision, methinks his choice should not only be respected but accepted, grudgingly or not.

Like him or not, Clayden is who he is.

He answers to the town that his team represents and he answers to those who support him.

As for those who don’t like him or support him, that is your call.

But let him make his own call.

What you think about “Let it ride”

  1. The guy gets an indefinite suspension from the league for as far as I can tell, speaking his mind on something that concerns him, his livelyhood. Can’t imagine anybody is surprised that he is taking his team somewhere else. I for one, am excited to see what next year brings for Rivermen.

    1. I agree 100 per cent nojhl fan and with you on this article RR!
      Tim Clayden is in the hockey business and the Espanola Rivermen are his asset. If he has talked this decision of his over with them who matter then what is the issue of what so many of yous are bitching about? I for one am sorry to see the Rivermen leave the NOJ but I was sorry to see the Soo Eagles leave a few years ago as well and I take it that the Soo Eagles owner left in part because he did not like what was going on in the NOJ. Owners who put up there own money have a right to do what they want with there team.
      Best of Luck to you Tim Clayden and I truely hope that there is a Greater Sudbury team who is a part of your new League.

  2. I wonder if the Sudbury team if there is one in this CIHL will play at the rink in Walden which to me is a great Tier 2 Jr facility.

  3. Perhaps the point of what some are missing is that the CIHL is not an Outlaw League if it associates with the A.A.U. which is a sanctioned Organisation.
    I also want to add that if the CIHL does indeed inter-lock with the MWJHL it might be what the MWJHL needs as far as improving it’s standard and level of play.
    I see that Alpena had to forfeit their Playoff series with Traverse City and this does not look good on the MWJHL. The way I see it is this CIHL will be a positive step to improving Junior hockey relations and standards for both of us.
    Good article’s as always Randy!

  4. Right there with you nojhl fan now be prepared for the onslaught of nonsense to try and discredit what has been said.

  5. I totally support the “Espanola Rivermen” who have been upfront since the day they came to Town.
    Majority in Town who are fan’s feel the same as me.

  6. Hockey is a business and that’s how Mr. Clayden runs his program . If he chooses to move to a Hockey Canada non sanctioned league , that is his prerogative . Under hockey Canada rules it will be considered an outlaw organization in Canada because it doesn’t follow hockey Canada guidelines .

    Will this new league work ? Maybe . All they are doing is expanding on the idea used by Mr . Russell and his Greater Metro Junior Hockey League . It survives because it plays in smaller towns where there is no other competition , charges players higher fees to play and therefore any fan support or sponsorship money is generally profit .

    AAU sanctioning will give the new league an advantage because of lower insurance costs and a structure being in place without much direct interference from the governing body . There will be growing pains and it will most likely challenge the GMJHL more than the other Hockey Canada sanctioned leagues .

    In the end there are only so many scholarships for Canadian players in the NCAA and this goal is just another level of selling the dream that exist in hockey today . Most players in any of these leagues won’t move on to any pro or college program , that is just the reality of hockey .
    So , good luck to him on his new venture and to the players and fans of the Rivermen . For the sake of the players I hope things work out and as for the fans enjoy it while you have it because the nature of hockey and those who make money from it dictates that the team will move on from your town sooner than later .

  7. Yeah this issue has me all confused…

    The more digging I do into it, the more and more reveals itself.

    On one side, Clayden can’t stand having to travel to Cochrane instead of Elliott Lake, or Mattawa instead of North Bay. Also he can’t stand the import decline in the league.

    On the other hand, Mazzuca is telling people that he’s applied to have the NOJHL raise the limit on imports because the league in the area cannot supply their teams with players from local leagues. The limit this year was 8, next year 7, and the year following 6. Link Here: http://juniorhockeynetwork.com/2014/03/28/nojhl-versus-cihl-leagues-in-northern-ontario-what-should-be-done/

    Clayden’s Rivermen sit at 6 American players Gilmartin, Peavey, Smythe, Walters, Martin and Plomer, however, with most of their talented forwards leaving for college in Bean, Edwards, Janke, Gilmartin, and Dubchak, the Rivermen were in serious trouble this offseason trying to re-shape and re-tool their team going forward.

    I truly believe Clayden has the players best interest in mind, however, one side of my brain thinks Clayden wants to win and won’t be able to if he stays in the NOJHL. And another side of my brain thinks this is just a pissing match between one of the best hockey governors in the CJHL, and one of the worst commissioners in the CJHL…who’s going to win?

  8. You don’t think there is crazy fees in Hockey Canada come on. Soon enough every JR A
    league/team will be charging more and more. Tell then why someone does not step up and buy the Espanola team and keep them in NOJHL.

  9. if you work for your players off the ice as they work for you on the ice, theres no reason you cant move all your graduating players onto a school every year weather its NCAA Div 1 or 3 or ACHA or CIS.

    Espanola has a great model in place for moving players on according to a couple of their players who i talked to last time they were in sudbury, the staff Tom, Tim, Scott and Randy have numerous contact in the hockey world and their players get noticed, look at last year when 3 of those 4 staff were in North Bay, they moved 8-10 players onto NCAA, ACHA, CIS, OHL.

  10. Ok lets put this out there. What will NOJHL do when/if the powerhouse OJHL merges with the CCHL and become the biggest and most powerful JR A league in Canada and discard the NOJHL and SIJHL to junior B where they may truely belong. Then they could start an expansion division of the very powerful USHLin Canada. Look out for the USHL which is not happy with their commissioner to hire duo citizen like current OJHL leader Marty Savoy what will the NOJHL do then. Maybe just maybe Clayden knows something others don’t and maybe he and his CIHL posse will be happy developing Northern Ontario and Euro from throughour the world for NCAA hockey,just saying maybe. Read this Mr. Mazzuca i know you read Randy’s blog and your son posts on here.

    1. I just have to come on here say my piece and no I am not going to or attempt to start an argument with anyone. Some are comparing this CIHL with the GMHL, how can you do it when it is just getting going. It is sanctioned under the AAU which GMHL is not. I have seen Mr Clayden’s organization and he runs a great show up in Espo. First rate in my mind. I have been to a lot of Jr hockey and I must admit he runs right up there with the best if not the best. If Mr Clayden takes that attitude into this new league then you can expect nothing less then a number one show. I think this gives players another avenue to go down and play the game of hockey no matter where they are from. My son played in the GMHL, so please don’t compare this new league with the GMHL, I will tell you following the GMHL in the years my son played and still follow it until they took the Fan blog off why they do this well it is difficult to say, maybe someone knows. My son could tell you a lot of things that when on in the GMHL and most likely goes on in other leagues as well, from assault, to drugs and everything in between not just from the players but from owner, coaches etc, I don’t know Mr Clayden personally but I have heard good and bad and I think the good out weights the bad. He does care for the players, he does care for honest and above broad decisions . I do believe he has integrity other wise he would not speak out as when you have something to hide you don’t come out and say what you think and what to do, a liar just don’t do it for fear of being exposed, so let give Mr Clayden credit for being honest and showing his love for the game and a person who wants to take this great game to the next level, lets support him and see where it goes, I don’t blame other teams from wanting to jump out of leagues like the GMHL, NOJ and even the GMHL, as I do believe Mr Clayden is going in the right direction and keeping everything above the table. In any of his interviews with Randy he has been very honest and open with his answer’s. How can you fault a person like that, this is still a free country but sometimes people can not get there heads out of the sand and accept change, for some it might be losing that great control. Mr Clayden good luck to you and your team of organizers for taking this adventure Im sure as time goes on more and more will get behind you, cause I do think you are one honest and classy guy who has put the truth out for all to see and that is what I like keep things up above the table and transparent and no one can suspect anything but the truth and you can not argue the truth as there will be guessing and assuming. Everyone has there right to their option and beliefs

  11. If the commissioner reads this blog then I have a few questions for him. Can there be updates made to the nojhl website that might include such things as a constitution? As my name suggests, I’ m a big fan of the nojhl and have followed a few teams quite loyally this year and there are several times when having access to the constitution would have been helpful. Is there a reason that’s not made public? I also would love to see more information on the exec and the braintrust of the NOJHL. Could meeting minutes not be posted? I also would love to know what the different positions on the exec and staff entail. Are they long term appointements? I’m very curious about the technical and educational position, which I believe is responsible for selling our players to the CIS and NCAA. Sorry for the very off-topic post but these are few things that have me wondering lately.

  12. Hockey Guy, you really are a laugh and a half with your feeble attempts to totally disparage the NOJHL. So you think that the NOJ and SIJHL may truly be Jr. B leagues. May I remind you that the last 2 Dudley- Hewitt Cup winners came from these leagues ( 2012 Soo Thunderbirds and 2013 Minnesota Wilderness ). The hockey in the NOJ has been terrific this year by all member teams and will remain that way long after the very good team from Espanola vacates the league. Nice try.

    1. And when was the last time anyone won the
      RBC hmmmm also read the whole article or
      do you need a picture book.

  13. To Mr. Clayden:
    You should be flattered! You have so many so called “hockey fans” who are so jelous of you they are turning green with envey!

    1. I rest my case Igloomaniac! You are definately GREEN WITH ENVY. I guess you can’t stand it TC is something and you are nothing. How very sad.

  14. Does anyone else find it weird that TC and his Rivermen got their round two playoff schedule shoved down their throats and told to play whether there was ice or not, but the Soo/Eskie series has only announced the first four games and the rest to come when ice issues are sorted out? I am calling shenanigans mr Mazzuca! At least he is consistent at being inconsistent IMO of course.

  15. does any else find it weird or sad that chestypipes belly aches inccessantly over piddly things the rest of the league simply deals with? He cries foul about everything and whines about every penny yet they charge to play and have the highest attendance in the league! shut up aleady, its not as if anyone other than little assemble have any sympathy for you or Clayden! In Espanola you have to be a riverman just to navigate all chesty’s tears, its sad were thinking hes the voice of all Espanola fans!

    1. As RR has stated many times in this site you don’t have to read any of this if you don’t like it!

      What team are you going to cheer for next year Eskies fan? Pretty sure I will be cheering for my hometown team. Maybe you can hop on the polar bear express and cheer for the crunch!

  16. Only you would laugh and find humour that a community MAY lose its team, that over 400 loyals may lose entertainment and that the league MAY lose a pillar of stability! But keep paying attention, you may just find out how a real board of Directors and its fans band together to deal with challenges and work together to find a solution!

    You’re ignorant, have zero class and a terrible representation of the good people of Espanola, a lil paper town with many of the same challenges that our little paper town faces!

  17. Hey Eskies fan
    I have enough class to not continue the name calling, that you feel the need for! I would like to suggest you look in the mirror before you start telling people what you THINK they are. Pot calling the kettle black here! A piece of advice if you don’t want to get bit by the dog don’t poke him with a stick! Remember you attacked me first, so who has no class? I believe it is you! From this point forward I will no longer reply to your sticks and stones childish grade four antics. I would be more than happy to discuss any of your opinions, but lets be adults about it!

  18. Big win by the T-Birds last night but the Abitibi team played a hard fought game. Our goaltending was just “OK” tho I do think Brian is a good goalie.

  19. Actually, i never called you a name once, i simply describe you, you cant put “a” or “an” in front of any of the terms! the only person to call you a name, was u! but if it makes you feel any better, you might be right 😉

    And on to hockey
    I predicted hangoever for game 1 and it looks like i was right, cant spot the Soo a 3 goal lead and expect to win, that being said, good good coming back to tie it! Eskis will need a full 60 to get the split.

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