Open markets

May 7, 2014

There is arena space available in towns with a prior history that could be the future home to teams in the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League, Midwest Jr. Hockey League or the new Canadian International Hockey League.

As of now, Elliot Lake is minus a team with the Bobcats having left town for Cochrane after being part of the NOJHL the past two years and the Greater Metro Jr. Hockey League for five seasons before that.

As the NOJHL has pursued putting a new team in Elliot Lake, so too has the CIHL looked into the retirement town.

Over in Michigan, meanwhile, the Tier 3 market in Flint just became open.

The Flint Jr. Generals of the North American 3 Hockey League have been sold and will relocate to La Crosse, Wisconsin for the 2014-2015 season.

The NA3HL just approved the sale of the Jr. Generals on Tuesday.

Playing out of Iceland Arena in Flint, the Jr. Generals had a 16-year run in Tier 3 hockey under the ownership of the cranky father-son duo of 85-year old Gale Kronk and 60-year old Kelly Cronk.

Flint looms as a potential future landing spot for the two-year old MWJHL, which already has a strong Michigan presence with four teams in the Metro Detroit area plus ones in Sault Ste. Marie and Traverse City.

Then there is Port Huron.

Port Huron has housed a team in the North American Hockey League for the past four years but the Fighting Falcons are relocating to the Pennsylvania town of Connellsville for the 2014-2015 campaign.

However, Port Huron could face a roadblock as a potential franchise in the MWJHL as the town is located within the 50-mile, territorial-protection radius of the MC Monarchs, who are based in Mount Clemens.

And there are two northern Michigan towns that are being viewed as potential landing spots for new junior teams: St. Ignace and Gaylord.

St. Ignace once housed a team in the NOJHL and Gaylord was home to an NAHL franchise several years ago.

Will Elliot Lake, Flint, Port Huron, St. Ignace and Gaylord be home to new teams in the next season or two?

As they say in the radio business: stay tuned.

What you think about “Open markets”

  1. Saint Ignace make’s sense for the M.W.J.H.L. and I had not even thought of Gaylord! Gaylord is a busy place….the Town is booming and there is a lot going on, things to do for the Players. You may be onto something with Gaylord Mr. Russon!

  2. St. Ignace would be a great place for a Junior A team.

    Owner of the Powassan Eagles GMHL.

  3. RR – I dont know about a new NOJHL Team here . Costs to operate a Team in the NOJHL have gone up alot in the past 2 yrs .. this is rite from the Mr. Lennard his self why he moved up to Cochrane because he can make money there that he cant make in Elliot because of the high cost of League fees in the NOJHL.
    I dont know if the CIHL will be an cheeper than the NOJHL if it is perhaps the CIHL is the way to go for Elliot as the team was better off financialy when they were in the GMHL as opposed when they joind the NOJHL.

  4. Elliott Lake may be better off as “Old Viking” says in the GMHL or the CIHL the older Fans there seem to like the European Style of play more I have heard that from some of there fans there.

  5. Also you can pay for expenses with charging European players 15k to 20k where North Americans just wont pay that.

  6. Alright i see that over on another blog that I am being bashed and some people just won’t let it go. A favorite over there has threatened me once by phone and once by facebook message of which I am not a facebook “friend of”. The following is the message that was left for me also was accused of making a fake twitter account of which i did not.

    “…call me and stop hiding behind a computer . Usually someone with a big mouth as a phone number . Not scared to back up is talk . For you right now all I see in you is a coward bladed headed prick that scared of his own shadow.”

    Yes this would be from headscout 1. It is funny how you get eliminated from a blog but people will still jump on you. I am not a director of the Rivermen as with my involvement with minor hockey I can not be. So i would assume on this other blog the crap will stop but I would say wishful thinking. The quote that starts with the phone number was copy and pasted from the message.
    Randy I thank you for acting very professional some others can follow your lead sir. I have not been on the other blogs in quite a while now i remember why.

  7. I have a question for all that say pay to play is bad (even though it is done quite regularly now). Do you consider the amount for AAA peewee to midget pay to play cause really it is. When you are paying around $6500.00 to touch the ice in AAA midget then upwards of $20,000.00 for the season with travelling etc..I have asked this before no one seems to answer. I am not saying I condone it but how can people think there is a difference.

  8. The North Bay Trappers Midgets charged $ 3200. Tournaments and hotel stay for the players were included in that amount. The GNML is one of the cheapest leagues to play in.

    Mr Leonard moved (not because of the high cost of the league) He moved because EL citizens didn’t show up at the gate. Cochrane fans probably will.
    A team in Kapuskasing would be good for the league too.
    BR and SOO could join the NA if they’re worried about travelling costs.

    Personally, I think there are too many JR A and JR B teams in Ontario. The talent is too spread out like another poster mentioned. If your lucky enough to be in a hockey center that has a lot of sponsor support and fan support, you can charge nothing to play and that’s where all the top talent of Ontario will flock. If that center is close to the US/CAN border, even better.

  9. Still a lot of money for minor hockey. I know in this area a team charged the number i quoted and that their parents shelled out extras for their own rooms gas etc..Plus meals when away and some were at or close to the $20,000.00 mark. Compared to the states we do charge quite a bit in Canada and exactly how much talent is left behind.

  10. Its too bad that the NOJHL will not get back into the NOJHL, Ryan was a good owner with a good heart who tried his best. The only problem I ever had was with the Billet cordinator and I had to go right to Ryan and he solved the problem. We are not all rich, and I am not quite sure that the GMHL, or IJHL, or CIHL would work there will less talent and very limited amount of teams, from what I see on the CIHL site there is only 1 team so far. Best of luck Ryan. I really hope EL gets a new NOJHL team.

    As always good article Randy

  11. Hey el fan I guess the commisioner who asked
    council two give him two weeks to get an owner
    in doesn’t really care as he didn’t even show.
    Ryan left quite the debt owing to the city. Not
    going after you fan but just showing how much
    the NOJHL does not care about Elliot Lake. Very
    poor leadership too bad it’s killing the league.

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