February 28, 2014
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.
What you think about “Proposition, supposition”
Randy – I think you will see this happen. Ron & Scott see this as a tremendus opportunity from what I am told.
The Fighting Irish are for this & that is strait from the man in charge!
I hear 5 teams from Canada for sure.
Randy Russon: have you heard this? I am just curius.
Tom from Detroit I believe finding new teams for this league is not an issue, there is a long list of interested parties and the list is growing weekly . I would expect to see 10+ teams in the division
Is there a team from the Sault (Michigan) playing in the Mid West League? I know of the Sault team in the NA but thats all.
So Espo and Clayton leave? Good luck to them and good riddance if Clayton doesn’t think the NOJHL is good enough for him. Attendance and community support has been tremendous but the on ice product, the team, has not been that impressive considering the solid base that they had and the resources they had to improve the team. To be in 4th place and miles behind the Soo and KL, despite the resources and the player movement, is not very impressive. Their goaltending is average at best. Their defense is suspect at best. They rely on one line for scoring. Their 2nd and 3rd line are average and their 4th line is terrible.
I predict that they leave the NOJHL after the season to join this new league and then leave Espanola the year after. Espo fans are supporting the team this year because they play an entertaining brand of hockey and they’re part of natural rivalries with BR, EL and Sudbury. Plus, KL and the Soo are good draws because they are very good teams. Also, there are some local players (Sudbury area mostly) playing for Espo that won’t be there if they play in this US run league. Will Espo fans come out as much with a team filled with Americans and playing against Alpena, Gaylord, St. Ignace and Traverse City? Will the team be saving travelling costs when the closest team is Collingwood? Has Clayton ever been to Milwaukee, 10 hours away? to Chicago, 11 hours away? No more 45 minutes trips to Sudbury. No more 1 hour trips to BR or 3 hours trips to the Soo. Yes, four weekends a year, the team would have to do a Friday to Sunday trip to play Cochrane, KL and Abitibi. Big deal. Does Clayton expect to play Milwaukee, Chicago and then Detroit in one weekend and save money? It may be questionable to suspend him and fine him, but he should be questioned about his over the top and suspicious comments.
Hey Mike you sound bitter maybe someone you know was not quite ready for the league. If you got your head out of something you would see that the team has helped minor hockey and the community. The NOJHl is not rock steady mark my words there will be more than Espanola leaving the league. One might just be giving up as well. The team dropped some players earlier on that were not quite ready and one or two should have stayed in midget for an extra year. Would you want a young player playing third or fourth line time when they could play first line midget etc. Then some local players think they are entitled to the team because they are from town. Too bad but these small towns just don’t have enough kids to fill a team. Most of the people I talk to at the games will support the team as they are run better than most junior teams were in town before. I wanted the NOJHL here but if unwilling league management does not want it then time to leave the league. Oh the second line lately has been scoring quite a bit but you have not been out for a while. Sour grapes held by some that can’t control junior teams like they did with minor hockey eh Mike. JUST MY OPINION.
Everry one is talking about your Article & the possiblity of this New League! Its all I am hearing this morning! You sure as hell have quite the following! I hope we can meet up once this League gets going. & keep up the great work.
Will the Soo House League FireHawks be a part of this new venture?
Hockeyguy – reading comprehension is apparently not your friend. Get someone to read and explain my post to you as it seems to be above your comprehension level. Sour grapes? Unbelievably off base IN MY OPINION.
Sorry Mike you are entitled to your opinion even I don’t think it makes any sense….I’m with hockey guy on this one! I don’t think you completely understand the sitution here…..You should maybe do some more research and I assure you your opinion will change.
Hockey guy I have to agree with mike . Lots of kids that got let go where way better then what they have now . They where lied too then sold for cash . And for a team that only lost a few top notch guys after hosting a Dudley , the teams performance is very poor .
They lost more than a few guys Marcel not sure which roster you are looking at.
I guess your whole post is IN YOUR OPINION also hockeyguy? I was critical of Clayton and his tactics, but did not attack another poster’s opinion and intimate “sour grapes” or “bitterness” or “controlling minor hockey” yet IN MY OPINION is added by RR at the end of my post. Good luck to Clayton and ESPO next year in this new league.
It would be quite interesting if ESPO were to make it to the finals of a league that their owner wants no part of and openly criticizes.
Mike, “in my opinion” is added where apropos. It’s been added to end of Hockey Guy’s post as well. You guys are keeping my legal advisor busy, lol. Good thing he’s my son.
Fair enough RR… it wasn’t there when I saw you adding it to mine and his post intimated some pretty petty accusations. I said what I has to say about Clayton’s stance on the NOJHL and I’ll leave it to the fine people here to debate his logic (especially the reduced travel costs to go to Chicago and Milwaukee and Detroit) and the plethora of elite players willing to play for Espo considering the costs and travel time associated with this new venture.
The NOJHL, while certainly not perfect, is better than it was 5 years ago.
There are some teams in trouble certainly.
NB is in trouble but can survive if they move to Mattawa.
EL is in trouble but can thrive in Cochrane.
BR is in trouble but has been for years. They simply need to have a good team and the town will support it.
Sudbury’s attendance is terrible but the team is run on a tight budget and the owner will keep the team for his sons to play and then likely will sell it.
KL, SOO and Abitibi are solid organizations. You would think that there will be at least 6 teams next year. Not great… but not as bad as it was just a few years ago.
I think you can expect 4 teams maybe five max in the NOJHL next year mark my words…….I am told that there are =other teams unhappy with Mazzuca as well, they are just not as public about it as Espanola.
Hey Mike guess you weren’t at the game but
the Rivermen dominated the GoldMiners Friday
night from start to finish, Geez what a disappointment
My question is if espanola and the soo do join this new league do the existing players who have not aged out automatically remain property of the teams or are they now free to sign elsewhere. Can anyone offer any opinions on this.
Is this proposed new league a pay to play league?
I am for this idea of an International Junior Hockey League and hopefully Teams from Canada will increese the caliber of play if they partner up with the Midwest League. The Midwest League is relativly new League that wants to improve it’s caliber and having a Division from Canada will be a Huge boost to Junior Hockey on our American side. The Midwest League is not on par with the NA3HL at this time imo howewver having teams from Canada on board will spruce up the Midwest League in a big way.
Nojhl has come back from loosing teams in the past but I do not believe they have a fighting chance with loosing half of their teams all in one shot. Especially with Mazzuca at the helm……JUST MY OPINION!!!!!Good luck!!!!!
So much speculation and wishful thinking on the part of the Espo crew! The NOJHL will be fine in 2014/15, under the direction of committed owners and the commissioner.
Don’t think so fan things are going to get way
worse before/if they get better
Well we both know that there are differing opinions of this new league elsewhere on the web. Of course on this blog, birds of a feather stick together. It’s not too difficult to figure out you and your ilk’s agenda on this one…bash and trash the league.
I think I’ve suggested before, don’t let the door hit your a$$ on the way out. I for one will not miss the whining espanola team , their owner or their fans…take your sticks, pucks and know-it-all, bad attitude and leave….the league will be stronger with you gone..IMHO
Nojhl fan 2 that way of thinking is exactly what got this league in hot water and in my opinion will be the demise of the league if it continues
what is with the North Bay Trappers trying to use players that played in the GMHL in the 2013/2014 season. This is the type of stuff that adds to the NOJHA problems in my opinion.
I don’t know, Randy. First you seem to support Mr. Clayden and now you seem excited about this new league by dropping hints.
I am not sure what you mean by “dropping hints.”
A strict pay for play league like what is operating in Soo Michigan now with the Fire Hawks will not attract top quality players. I have seen a couple of Fire hawks games and the quality is near that of AA midget hockey….yes even a mediocre AAA midget team would handily beat the Firehawks.
I’ve got over 40 calls from parents and kids that want to come to the NOJHL cause they are seeing how dedicated this league is becoming. The league is definitely going in the right direction . In my opinion.
Did anyone happen to catch the Kirkland Lake-Espanola game on Fasthockey.com from last night?
Well, the offensive language that came out of the mouth of Kirkland Lake coach Marc Lafleur was simply atrocious.
F-bombs galore directed at his players.
Multiple, multiple use of the F-word in just about every way, shape and form.
If I hadn’t heard it myself, I never would have believed it.
Shame on you, Marc.
Yep yet he won’t get fined because that is ok haha
Shame on Espanola personnel for apparently turning on the mic and hanging it over the KL bench. They went fishing and caught an F-bomb.!
The outrage is humorous… Imagine, an F-bomb and a Jr A hockey bench!
The mic is right outside the pa booth where the
fast hockey camera is. The announcer could not
make the game are they supposed to turn the
sound off so people watching at home get no
The real problem is not the swearing
it is who it is directed at,which would be players
and not in a motivational way.
Rich statement coming from a McCarthy coached team supporter. If an f-bomb is really that offensive , perhaps your support would be better suited to minor hockey. The outrage would be a little more believable . At this level, the reaction is humorous and petty.
Only 40? Does that number not seem exceptionally low? Here’s your sign!
In a week i think thats amazing !!!! People are really seing the great changes in the nojhl and want to be part
Thinking marcel is either an agent or dillusional
that 40 people call him. I like watching nojhl
hockey but league management is killing it in my opinion.
Hey Hockeyguy, quite presumptuous of you to believe you know all of the 500 people that showed up to the game. Maybe you’re the guy who took my ticket at the door? 😉
Very good win for Espo. Lafleur sure doesn’t like not having the refs in his back pocket for road games.
Mike r u saying I am from the community living
group wow that’s not nice. I do know them and they
are great people. Not nice. Yeah the rivermen
played a great game. One thing we can agree on
and make sure it is the last one. 😉
Bring on the New League! We will support the Rivermen franchise because Tim, Randy, Tommy & the entire group are a Class Act. We will support them because of who they are not because they play in the NOJHL. Wake up Mr. Mazzuca.
The location for fast hockey is above the bench
the shame is the verbal abuse of players by
their coach like that. A bigger shame in this league
is the biased reffing in the north are visiting
teams that rough that calls are 3 to 1 up there
I talked to a former official and he has seen it first
hand up there. Not hard to tell who really has
control in this league.
Randy please e-mail me with your advertising rates for your site. I seen the number of advertizers you have on here and this site obviousley has a lot of traffic. Keep up the good work.
Hockey guy can u tell us what was said ???? . So far the only thing I’ve heard on that subject was . What the f$$$ are you doing out there , get the f&&& off the ice . I watch lots of hockey and I hear that at every single level . It’s one of the most used sentence in hockey , Torts uses that kind of language on the news ???
Hmmm as a minor hockey coach I find it odd that anyone would condone a junior coach using the F-bomb.
We know who you are , and no one as condone any coach . It’s only talked about on randy blog . The rest of hockey world thinks it’s a joke . Jr to nhl that language is used all the time . No one hangs a mic on a visitor bench either . In my opinion that was a perfect set up that did not work .
In your words, “it’s only talked about on Randy’s blog.”
While that may or may not be fact, what is fact is that you yourself are spending a lot of time talking about it.
If you don’t like what is being written here, Marcel — and that goes for anyone else — you do have a choice.
Don’t read it.
There is an “agent” on twitter that says something about the NOJHL taking out the trash. Does that mean this “agent” is being kicked out of hockey. Allegedly there was a goalie traded from a junior team earlier this season that was refusing to go to a team this “agent,advisor” almost had this kid not playing anywhere finally the kid reported to the team. Do you know him Marcel and I did say allegedly.
The Soo has skill players & tough kids who can fight … Sarette, & Butorac are tough cookies…I think the Miners can take the Soo in a 7-game finals as we are as skilled & as tough as the Soo and we will have the edge in our barn.
I see that EL to Cochrane is a done deal as RR said in the first place. does any one know How far is Cochrane from the North Pole?????
Wow it’s getting hot in here, I think I got some mud in my eye ;)….. But I think the point we are missing here is that the Rivermen have the best supporting fan base in the entire league, an ownership completely dedicated to helping these boys be winners on and off the ice like no other, a leader in Tom McCarthy with experiences that you can’t buy , some of the most polite well mannered gentlemen players that I have ever met, a team that has gelled in the end and finished the season incredibly strong and stand a strong chance of going deep in the playoffs. The question should be how will the NOJHL cope with loosing one of their strongest teams in the league? Will they recruit lesser teams? Or focus on the few assets they have left?
I agree very much with you Chad any player that has a bad attitude was shipped out. These players have been great to the youth of our community. Also team management and staff have helped out at every chance with different groups also with minor hockey too bad the league is losing a classy team. Oh well on to other ventures.
Hockeyguy first u tell me im licensed advisor now u call me agent .
And for the goalie everyone in the league knew about the deal i had .
Again the end bargain was blown for cash.
The kid that it happened too is ready to go do a interview with randy .
all u guy go puck u self now ahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha
Ah Marcel got you know eh figured I knew who
you were. The player in question has an ego
nearing the size of yours, LOL, in my opinion.
I am sure your hatred goes deep but oh well have a nice day. People can make up anything and make it believable.
Just glad the Rivermen are here as they have been
a big part of our community and are great people
from top to bottom.
You really should come
and see first hand you might even enjoy
yourself. I am not a hard guy to miss we can have
a chat over a pop and swap crazy hockey
why can’t we just let the kids play hockey Marcel? is this not about the kids? why the f— do you have to make it about your issue’s? if you are about the kids then shut your big f—–g mouth and let the kids play.
We are from KL and we will be da Zoo in the Playoffs!
Good luck in the playoffs Sinclair I think the best
move you guys made this year was picking up Wilbur from Blind
River not the top player out there but a real
solid two way player.
Sinclair there’s no Zoo in Kirkland