The new Canadian International Hockey League hopes to receive its official sanction from the United Hockey Union — which is an affiliate of the Amateur Athletic Union — in the very near future.
As previously reported, the CIHL will begin play effective the 2014-2015 season and feature junior-aged teams in Northern and Southern Ontario.
Tim Clayden, owner of the Espanola Rivermen — who departed the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League for the CIHL — is the founder of the new league, which bills itself as “hockey without borders.”
Which means the CIHL will be open to players from Canada, the United States and Europe.
“We live in a global world. The National Hockey League is global. We think junior hockey should be global as well. We are here to provide opportunity and exposure for players regardless of whether they are Canadian, American or European,” Clayden said evenly.
The strong-willed Clayden said he’s leaving the NOJHL with no regrets.
“We have absolutely no axe to grind with the NOJHL or any other junior league,” Clayden added. “As owner of the Espanola Rivermen, we left the NOJHL on our own free will. We are going in a different direction. Having said that, players who were with us in Espanola this past season and who still have junior eligibility have a choice of remaining with us or becoming free agents.”
To be sure, the new league new looms as a very-real option for junior hockey players.
The way I see it, life is about options and opportunities.
Hockey should be no different.