CIHL moving forward

April 2, 2014

Officials connected to the proposed Canadian International Hockey League met on Tuesday evening in Toronto.

Long-time junior hockey operator Tim Clayden, who is the force behind the formation of the CIHL, said the new league will be ready to go for the 2014-2015 season with eight-to-ten teams.

Confirmed as having stated their intention to apply to have a team in the CIHL are representatives from Espanola, Sudbury, Bracebridge, Barrie, Collingwood, Colborne, Markham, Milton, Thornhill and Wexford.

Clayden, who owns the Espanola Rivermen, has already said his team will leave the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League for the CIHL effective the end of the current season.

Clayden said the CIHL has obtained insurance to operate as an independent league as it awaits approval to affiliate under the umbrella of the American-based Amateur Athletic Union. He is scheduled to meet with officials of the AAU at its Tier 3 national championship tournament that will be held in Las Vegas from April 16-20.

From Tuesday’s get-together in Toronto, the CIHL said it will hold a prospects camp for junior-aged players in Barrie, Ont. from May 23-25.

“As far as we are concerned, all junior hockey players who are not currently registered with a team in an AAU-sanctioned league are considered free agents to the CIHL,” Clayden said evenly.

Meanwhile, present at Tuesday’s meeting with CIHL officials were representatives from Pointstreak Sports Technologies.

Pointstreak, which is based in the Toronto area, serves as a provider of statistics and player information for a multitude of teams including those within the Ontario Jr. Hockey League, Greater Ontario Jr. Hockey League, North American Hockey League, North American 3 Hockey League, MidWest Jr. Hockey League and Western States Hockey League.

Brian Secord, a former Ontario Hockey League forward with Belleville Bulls and Soo Greyhounds from 1992 to 1996, now works for Pointstreak as an account executive.

And Secord said he likes the idea of the CIHL, which will be a league for Canadian, American and European players.

“I think the CIHL is great concept and will be a great junior hockey league with a lot of exposure for kids,” said Secord.

“I think it’s great that kids from all over the world can play together in league. Having players from all over the world will make for a better league.”

Secord noted that Pointstreak has been in the business of promoting players to higher levels of hockey — including the National Collegiate Athletic Association — for 15 years.

Linked with Pointstreak, the CIHL will officially launch its own website later this month.


MidWest Jr. Hockey League commissioner Scott Gardiner said he supports the formation of the Canadian International Hockey League under the umbrella of the Amateur Athletic Union.

Gardiner, who was a first-line forward over a three-year Ontario Hockey League career with Belleville Bulls and Windsor Spitfires from 1981 to 1984, told that if the proposed CIHL is approved by the AAU for the 2014-2015 season, an interlocking schedule with the MWJHL “would be of mutual benefit to players and teams from both leagues.

“We could run a pre-season showcase tournament that would promote the players and teams in both leagues and provide that much-more exposure for all of us,” continued Gardiner. “I see this as a win-win proposition.”

In fact, Gardiner said he and CIHL officials have already discussed staging a pre-season tournament in Traverse City, Mich.

Traverse City is where is where Detroit Red Wings of the National Hockey League hold their annual training camp.

A second-year league, the MWJHL operates within the sanctions of the AAU.

What you think about “CIHL moving forward”

  1. I see this league as nothing more than another Greater Metro Hockey League where you pay to play with players from all over the world.
    The Espanola Rivermen will travel further to play than they would have in the NOJHL.
    TC must really despise RM.

    1. Hey “scout” you obviously don’t envision the future well. Also like posted on here by Tyler most leagues are in a pay to play anyways just what has to be done to survive. I see the NOJHL in the future as crumbling to dust also RM is hated by all of Espanola not just Tim.

  2. I can see this being great for Player development.
    Tim Claydon has a vision that not too many in the Game of Hockey have that is for sure.
    Best of Luck to this new League.

  3. As stated having a Canadian League affiliate will raise the bar for example teams in the MWJHL. As noted by Randy the MWJHL is only 2 Years Old and we are confident that it will improve as it has had growing pains that most new Teams and League’s all do.

  4. Unless you’re in a place where a team can survive financially from sponsorships and fan support alone, everywhere will be pay to play soon. The Oakville Blades who have been to the Royal Bank Cup in their history now charge around $3000-$4000 per player. Lets face it for the most part in Ontario if it’s not the Leafs or the OHL no one cares. Owners cannot survive without pay to play.

    1. Well noted, Tyler. Pay-to-play is the means to survival. Oakville Blades, good example.

      And teams in the highly-touted Central Canada Hockey League are now charging in the neighbourhood of $5,000 per player.

    1. I hear the same thing Cassio and Scott Ginsen running the Team he has experiense and Contacts. I always thought of Walden as the purfect size rink for a Teir 2 Junior Team.

      1. If it is true that Scott Ginson will be running the new CIHL team in Sudbury, then that will be a big loss for Espanola and a huge gain for the CIHL and the new CIHL Sudbury team. Ginson is focused right now on helping out the guy who gave him his break and finish out the season. Does anyone doubt he will jump at the opportunity to get away from nojhl commissioner? As we all know of their bad blood from two years ago! Just another good hockey guy nojhl commish had pushed out of northern hockey , in my opinion of course……look out mr Mazzuca theirs a new kid on the block now!

  5. Every one that I know with a connection to the Juniors down this way are talking up this new concept. I would not be surprized at all if this becomes a junior Hockey success story & altho I am a patriot lets face it no one knows hockey better than Canadians.

  6. Thanks for the information Randy. Looks like this league really is getting off the ground and hopefully this will mute the naysayers for a bit anyway. I’m super excited about the possibility of having all of these Ontario teams potentially joining this league as well. Didn’t realize there was such an Ontario wide interest. Great news! As for the comment that TC must really hate the commish, well I suppose an uncalled for, indefinite suspension will do that to a guy . I would argue however, that the hatred might have been going the other way first. Just sayin’.

  7. I find it funny how everyone laughed when the GMHL came to light and was charging players around $4,000 to $5,000,which is still less than many major rep teams in Southern Ontario charge..

    Also I intensely dislike the term outlaw league. The CIHL, from what I understand, would be sanctioned by the AAU, a sports organization which has been around since 1888!!! Hockey Canada, in its addled minded approach to growing the sport, has been in existence from 1968, formed by the government.
    The term outlaw league was a brand Hockey Canada put on the GMHL to scare away players and personnel.

    I for one favour this new league as appears to have experienced hockey people behind it and it refuses to adhere to the HC model which doesn’t appear to appease hockey fans as much as it does its own interests.

  8. Thank you, that is a PERFECT example! how did the oakville Blades do this year? they were always a threat until this year, somehow they didnt even make the playoffs! wonder what happened?

  9. Unless the parents are flush, no elite canadian players are goin to pay to play, not when teams provide incentives such as free room and board, no player fees and offer college scholarships, like the Abitibi Eskimos and countless others do!

  10. Hail to the great TC!

    We are all overshadowed by his Greatness and bow to his superior skill and intellect!
    His greatness will parallel the invention of hockey itself and even the great pyramids!
    Jr hockey as we’ve known it will be eradicated in favor of this great new model, Hockey fans and players will be forever indebted to TC and his cohorts, as the owners of the new franchises will rake in the bounty, all in the name of player development… of course!

    Let us all erect a monument to his Greatness!

    1. albertabound,

      We note that it is you who refers to the “great” TC and his “greatness” as well as his “superior skill” and “intellect.”

      For the record, we never used those words to describe him.

      But you just did.

    2. Well said albertabound TC deserves a pat on his back for everything he has done and will do for jr hockey, players and the fans

  11. Where will the elite Ontario players go when everyone starts charging? It’s going to happen because these teams can’t survive off gate fees alone. Why do you think the NOJHL has gone through team after team? Why do you think teams move all the time?

  12. Kudos to TC for being an innovator and bringing necessary change to our current jr hockey model we use today. Players will flock to this league because of its dedication to post hockey education…. No other league will compare for NCAA and CIS exposure.

    TC had to turn away teams beating down his door to be a part of this. That should show you how viable this new league will be when there’s a line up at the door to join!!! That’s how I will judge it because these are the guys who know hockey the best! Not all the speculating nay sayers! The citizens of Espanola are behind you 100% TC !!!!

    Thank you for making our youths education and a quality product on the ice your priority!!!!

  13. OJHL And CCHL Adopt “Pay To Play” Model To Manage Costs

    It’s no secret that Canadian Junior Hockey League teams from coast to coast lose money every year and lots of it.

    That may change. The Ontario Junior Hockey League and the Central Canada Hockey League are going to be implementing a new business model with hopes of generating more money to off-set the many cost involved with owning and running a franchise in their respective leagues.

    The news broke this past week echoing the rumors we had heard this past winter about the leagues adopting a pay to play model.

    If you want all the details check out this article in the Hamilton Spectator that was published last week.

    This story has been met with lots of reaction. Anger and frustration on the side of the players and parents that will be forking over a few extra grand each year to play in leagues that offer exposure as they are heavily scouted by Major Junior teams and the NCAA along with the National Hockey League.

    On the other side there are the owners, the ones that for years have been losing loads of cash to ice teams at this level.

    Before we get into why this was bound to happen, let’s remember that every year players are drafted out of Tier II by NHL teams. It’s good hockey. It’s a great level for players that aren’t ready to play Major Junior at 16 to take an extra year or two to develop before moving on to the CHL or deciding to go down south and play in the NCAA. It’s not like paying for nothing.

    Something had to give. Throughout the OJHL and the CCHL there are too many teams with near empty rinks for their home games. Yes, there are the smaller communities where the local junior team is everything and can draw somewhere between 500 and 1000 fans nightly, but there just aren’t enough of them, unfortunately.
    Lots of teams rely on making deep runs into the playoff games to get additional home games and cross their fingers that they can break even. Only problem only a couple teams can do this. It’s great for the teams that do, but doesn’t fix the problem.

    If the pay to play option isn’t implemented what are the other options? One would be to fold teams that lose too much money. If you look at both leagues that would make some sense. Many of the franchises that are up and running are owned by parents of players that are playing or are going to be playing in the league. When their kids finish playing, they sell the team off. It’s an unstable way of doing business.

    Junior hockey or not, leagues strive want healthy business mode. It beats the heck out of annually trying to find owners teams. Plus, if they did contract teams that weren’t making money, how many teams would be left? There are only a handful of teams that turn a decent profit in Ontario. Is the solution to get rid of the rest?

    Running a team isn’t cheap. Teams have to pay for ice time, provide equipment, cover travel costs and pay coaches, it all adds up. Especially when you consider the cost of equipment in general has grown increased exponentially in the past decade. Gone are days of the $15 wooden sticks.

    There will be players that might decide to play Junior ‘B’ or ‘C’ to avoid the extra costs, but the players that have hopes of playing at a higher level are going to pay. Why would we think any differently? These are after all the same families that fork over the dough throughout minor hockey.

    In the end, hockey is an expensive sport and playing at an elite level costs even more. This was bound to happen. In a decade we won’t be talking about this because those that want to play will hand over their money without arguing, just as they always have.

  14. Why do teams move in the NOJHL?

    Temang couldnt recruit players due to the restrictions Blanchard and Co. put them through!

    Isles had a hard time recruiting, poor ownershipmand a coach that was a name, but not a coach! hard to get the fans out if the team is consistently getting spanked

    Soo in the end was looking for a bigger show, they found it!

    North Bay Trappers became the third show in town!

    Espanola and and Elliot lake like a business and are a main sourse of income for people in the org, profits are a must, but that is not a common theme or model for canadian jr hockey!

    You are right, the margin for income in Jr hockey is slim to none, but the playing field aint level, im not sure how it will ever get there ! Until then, most of the best players will be playin in the least costly teams and leagues, and guess what leagues and teams have the most talent?

    Lets look at the remaining teams in the CCHL and OJHL playoffs, although all those teams are supposed be charging, but ur kidding no one but urself if you think they arent offering freebies or incentives! The will ALWAYS be owners with deep pockets in Jr Hockey!

    1. Wow apparently you walk around with welding
      glasses on. Take them off and see what is really
      going on.

  15. The best players will leave the province to play for teams that don’t charge; Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and BC and the east coast and that get NCAA exposure. ….sorry Abitibi !
    When all leagues in Ontario charge players across the board, don’t count on any RBC cups in the future. It’ll take a couple years for the wave to happen.

    How many players from the GMHL get scholarships every year?

  16. So if Scott Ginson is to be running a team in
    Sudbury playing in the CIHL it will be Espanola’s
    loss but a gain for the Sudbury team and the league.
    Definitely no secret that Mazzuca crapped on
    Ginson a couple of years ago and that he would
    be committed to the guy that gave him a
    chance this year. Yet another good hockey guy
    that Mazzuca has pushed out of the NOJHL. You have competition now
    Lord Mazzuca so move the heck over.

  17. how many Canadian kids from any league get scholarships . Not part or half but full scholarships to NCAA schools ?

  18. Randy, you will have to add another header on your website…….PHL ……saw that nonsense on twitter today, could’t resist!

  19. How about something positive. The Rivermen
    paid respect to the American players on the ice
    in Espanola on Sunday by playing the American
    national anthem as well as ours. The team helps
    out in the community in so many ways. Speaking
    of the community the fans have shown a lot
    of love for this team. Win or lose they always
    give a standing ovation at the end of the game
    for the team. When is the last time you heard
    visiting fans out cheer the home team. So really win or
    lose on the ice this team and community are
    tops in the league. Not hard to figure out why
    the AAU and MWJHL would want to team up
    with this town.

  20. It sounds like sour grapes from a lot of folks out their that TC has broken away and is headed in a direction that is going to be good for hockey everywhere. From what I have read and heard everything that TC does is above board and that is why everyone is taking shots at him, he is hiding nothing but only giving the players a chance to be discovered. If things were hide and not upon the table then found out later like in some leagues then their would be more things to throw at him and the league, but keep things real and above the table and they will come, who would not want to play in a league where the players and parents know exactly what is happening, I for one would put my money in if my son was still playing. We will only have to wait and see ow it goes but I feel it will be a big hit in the Hockey World. Change takes time getting use to, all you jealous people get rid of your egos it only blinds you in the long run. Hide nothing and you have nothing to hide. Good work TC and members of the CIJHL!

  21. playing the American anthem before the game-Clayden and McCarthy did that last year too when they operated the NB Trappers.
    I thought it was a classy move then too.

  22. Answer this eskisfan: Mazzuca just gave
    Byron Sam two games for a hit that was not
    seen on fast hockey and the refs didn’t call — is this all
    because Lafleur called him whining about it? Yet
    the running at players in the Sudbury series which
    he was there to watch the game — nothing called.
    This is your “leader” so go ahead defend away.

    1. I REALLY hope that that you’re wrong about the Sam suspension hockeyguy because that will actually make me lose my mind about the commissioner. If there was nothing on fasthockey and the ref didnt call it and the ONLY way this could have come to be is from a phone call from Lafleur to the commish, I WILL lose my mind. There will no more disputing the biases anymore. Plus, I find the lack of talk about the brutal hit that caused Dubchak to leaving the ice ( and likely this series) disgusting, where is the commissioner on that call? Bring on the PHL. I’m so sick of this crap!

  23. Interesting that hockey guy is aware of suspension before posted on nojhl website. Is he associated to the Rivermen more so than a “fan “? Proves what most already know…

  24. Gold Miners will rap this series up 2-nite and get rid of Espanola for once and for all…..then bring on the Soo and we will take care of them in 5 or 6.

    1. will the Abitibi Eskimos be around next season? That is the next big question?

    1. SUSPENSION NOTICE 2014-04-01
      # 16 BYRON SAM
      PERIOD AT 12:31
      Robert Mazzuca
      NOJHL Commissioner

  25. This is a great initiative! I’ve received a number of questions from J18 Elite players in Sweden about this league. I’m convinced a “no borders attitude” is necessary in order to continue to develop the sport. It creates a tougher competition between leagues over the world where player development at competitive costs. This will develop the sport and create new oppurtunities to players from all over the globe.

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