Reports of rumours

March 18, 2014

Rinks and rumours. It’s almost as if there can’t be one without the other.

Rumours have a way of making the hockey world revolve and seldom is there a shortage of rinkside rhetoric.


What we do know is that the Elliot Lake Bobcats have been approved by the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League to relocate to Cochrane effective the 2014-2015 season.

What we have been told is that Mayor Rick Hamilton and City Council don’t want Elliot Lake to be without a junior hockey team next season.

What we have also been told is that Elliot Lake could be home to a new junior hockey team either by expansion or relocation of an existing franchise.

Rumours have been rampant in Blind River that the Beavers will be sold and moved to Elliot Lake after this season.

But what I have been told by Beavers general manager Warren Lavoy in response to those rumours is “no sir.”

Will there be junior hockey in Elliot Lake in 2014-2015?

What we do know is that Mayor Hamilton is a former junior hockey player himself.

What we have been told is that Mayor Hamilton sees the advantages of having a junior hockey team in his town.


They are called the North Bay Trappers but for the past several games — playoffs included — the NOJHL team has been playing its home contests in nearby Mattawa.

What we have been told is the Trappers are in serious financial difficulty.

What we have seen are letters and documents that suggest the Trappers have multiple unpaid bills.

Is official relocation from North Bay to Mattawa a realistic solution to the Trappers financial woes?


Talk of the proposed new International Jr. Hockey League has not subsided.

What we do know is if the IJHL does become a reality for the 2014-2015 season that the Espanola Rivermen will be joining it from the NOJHL.

What we also know is that Espanola, in its first NOJHL season, has a feverish flock of fans that even takes to the road in big numbers to watch the Rivermen play.

What we have been told is the Rivermen have strong support from their fans, sponsors and local government regardless of whether they are in the NOJHL or the IJHL next season.

What we have also been told is that the IJHL will be a part of the American-based Amateur Athletic Union, will be made up of Ontario teams and will play an interlocking schedule with an already-established league that operates south of the border.


Soo Eagles of the North American Hockey League have already launched a new season-ticket campaign for the 2014-2015 season.

While there has been idle gossip that the Eagles have been looking at other locations for their NAHL franchise, primary owner Ron Lavin and owner-general manager-coach Bruno Bragagnolo both say “absolutely not.”

In fact, Eagles ownership, in unveiling its ‘Soo 300’ campaign to sell 300 season-tickets for 2014-2015, say it will ensure the team’s long-term commitment to the Soo.

Aging Pullar Stadium, which is home to the Eagles, will undergo extensive renovations in the off-season and Bragagnolo is part of the arena-improvement committee.

What you think about “Reports of rumours”

  1. Lets just hope the Nickel Barons are not folding the tent. I hope that the Owner is here for the long haul how ever there have been four different Ownership Groups in the last 10 yrs – Sudbury Minor Hockey, then Burgess, then Scott and now Mooney.

  2. Hey Cassio I think that you guys have enough players to keep going but yeah your ownership does not seem too high on icing the best product. That is not a knock on the talent but a statement made by what I am hearing is only one practice a week. Junior hockey players can not improve with that.

  3. Cassio- Mooney will continue to run the Barons as long as he has boys playing hockey.
    We have already seen this season his young lad suiting up .
    Once that time runs its course all bets are off.

  4. I find it incredibly hilarious that EL will even consider having the town run a jr hockey program, after having the current experienced team declare it a dead market, pack up and move away! Sounds like a recipe for a colossal failure to me. I hope I am wrong because if it is, then the financial burden will fall on the citizens of EL. I would also find it incredibly hilarious if the town were to consider returning to the NOJHL after the way the citizens were treated by the league in allowing the early announcement and abondonment of their beloved Bobcats. Why would they realign themselves with someone who just kicked them when they were down?

  5. Geez this gets better — the Barons say their game tonight is in
    Walden and the league says Copper Cliff. Way to go Mazzuca, you just keep messing up.

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