Let’s suppose that the proposed new International Jr. Hockey League (or whatever it might be called) does get approval from the American-based, Amateur Athletic Union to play under its umbrella beginning with the 2014-2015 season.
Let’s suppose that the proposed IJHL winds up featuring a Canadian Division comprised of six teams that would defect from the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League, Ontario Jr. Hockey League and Greater Metro Jr. Hockey League.
Let’s suppose that the proposed IJHL results in a Canadian Division with teams leaving the NOJHL, OJHL, GMJHL and an American Division comprised of teams from an existing league.
Again, we are just supposing here, as all of this supposition would ultimately require approval from the AAU.
At any rate, should the proposed IJHL move forward with the blessing of the AAU, it doesn’t mean that it would spell the end of say, the NOJHL.
The NOJHL has lost teams before but added new ones and kept going.
Over the past few years, the Soo Eagles, Manitoulin Islanders and Temiscaming Royals have left and been replaced with the Elliot Lake Bobcats (who are moving to Cochrane effective the 2014-2015 campaign), Kirkland Lake Gold Miners and Espanola Rivermen (who are prepared to leave the NOJHL after this season.)
To be sure, the NOJHL has a history of survival.
Back to the proposed IJHL — which would include American, Canadian and European players — will it become a reality?
Well, I have spoken with factions who represent teams, leagues and associations on both sides of the International Bridge. And it does seem that the proposed IJHL could — could — come into play for the 2014-2015 season.
Would the proposed IJHL be the result of teams defecting from the NOJHL, OJHL, GMJHL and partnering with the American-based Midwest Jr. Hockey League, which is sanctioned by the AAU?
The days and weeks ahead should answer all questions.