Wandering and wondering

April 29, 2015

Thoughts to peruse on just another hockey day:


The best junior hockey team in Canada needs to go on a three-game winning streak — or it will be going home for the season.

Down three games to one in their Ontario Hockey League, Western Conference final with the Erie Otters, Soo Greyhounds are staring straight into the eyes of elimination.

To be sure, the puck has not bounced the Hounds way in each of the last three games, all won by the Otters.

But as we give credit to Erie, we say do not count the Soo out.

In fact, I would not be surprised if the Hounds came back to win the series and wipe the smirk off that smug mug of Otters general manager Sherwood Bassin.


Pending the necessary approval from those factions who hold the power to approve or not, the next junior hockey team to operate out of Espanola will be known as the Express.

The Express will be part of the expanding Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League and will be owned, coached and managed by the troika of Tom McCarthy, Jason Rapcewicz and Chad Clarke.

All have a prior association with the erstwhile Espanola Rivermen, who previously operated with success in both the NOJHL and the defunct Canadian International Hockey League under former owner Tim Clayden.

While members of the NOJHL during the 2013-2014 season, Espanola led the league in attendance, thus support for the Express should not be an issue in the old paper town.


Iroquois Falls Eskimos and Timmins Rock figure to be rowdy rivals once the puck drops on the 2015-2016 season.

As anyone who has followed the story knows, after 17 years in Iroquois Falls, Abitibi Eskimos president Scott Marshall and coach-general manager Paul Gagne scooted out of town to set up shop in nearby Timmins as the Rock.

But there was a happy ending to the story as fans in small-town Iroquois Falls still have an NOJHL team to root for by virtue of the relocation of the Mattawa Blackhawks.

Thus, in one corner we have the all-new Timmins Rock.

And in the other corner, about 45 miles away, we have the all-new Iroquois Falls Eskimos, owned by Allan Donnan.

With Donnan, Gagne and Marshall involved as principles in the two old-but-new NOJHL teams, we just might have a hockey version of the movie The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

Did I just write that?

Yes I did and since I try not to go back on my word, I had better not delete it.

Who is the Good? Who is the Bad? Who is the Ugly?

Let your imagination wander and wonder.

And in the meantime, get your season tickets.

What you think about “Wandering and wondering”

          1. Well I am getting to old for a pissing match but here we go. I like Tim Clayden but some of the things that are being said about Tom and his staff are made out of ignorance. Tom,Jason and Chad seen first hand some things happen that were not in favour of the kids,in my opinion. Tim I thank you for bringing junior hockey back to Espanola but unfortunately last year,and you admitted,was not a success at all. It is now time for “hockey scout” possibly known as “coop” to let go. You will not tarnish the reputation of three good guys who care about the kids and the community. You need to stop and let go,the dream failed,yes I am sorry it did but going back to stability is what Espanola needed.

          2. The NOJHL needs more Scout’s that have been a round the game and have trained eyes.

          3. I can guarantee you only know one side of the story.You need to hear both sides before you judge.

  1. We will “Rock” the Pesky Eskies . . . looking forward to the rivalrey!
    GOOD = Timmins Rock
    BAD = Iroquois Falls Eskimos
    UGLY = New Eskimos Logo
    All in Good Fun!

  2. I think the Espanola Rivermen should have just stayed in the league and not leave to form some league that was going to end up falling apart. In my opinion, Tim Clayden should not own a team at all. He made a bad decision with the Rivermen in my opinion.

  3. Wait a minute…The CIHL has folded? I’d hope so because that league is really bad hockey in my opinion. Them and the GMHL just invade hockey-canada sanctioned towns and try to take away the attention of the teams already there….for instance, the Milton Battle Arts Cobras moving into Milton and taking the attention away from the Milton Ice Hawks….how bad is that?

  4. Ryan P,

    If you read the story it refers to the “defunct” Canadian International Hockey League.

  5. No one takes anything away from anyone.. referees, coaches players etc are not owned by Hockey Canada, which is nothing more than a government funded evil empire that thinks the sun rises and sets on it.. they should worry less about independent hockey leagues and concentrate more on its mandate which is developing the game … Canada is currently ranking fourth in the world…..our game and we are fourth..please!
    And before anyone begins to criticize anyone about anything they do with their team/small business, they would best be served by getting all the facts straight..

  6. The Good: Iroquois Falls Hands Down
    The Bad: Timmins Hands Down
    The Ugly: Paul Gagne and Scott Marshall Hands Down

  7. Ryan P,
    No offence but the Icehawks have sucked over the last couple seasons. The Cobras had poor attendance anyway, the Icehawks still had there fan base. Rumour is the Cobras are moving to near by Mississauga any how.

    1. The League that the Cobra’s play in the, the branch off of the CIHL is a joke of a league and has no chance at surviving long term. The GMHL has corned the Independent Market for sure. The NOJHL is moving in the right direction by having geographical located in good areas. These changes benefit every team except Powassan in my opinion.

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