The reputable Dean Pauli, who has held management positions with teams in the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League and Ontario Jr. Hockey League, has joined the new Canadian International Hockey League as its Vice President and Chairman of the Discipline Committee.
A top investigator with the Ontario Provincial Police, Pauli is a Sault Ste. Marie native who has resided in the North Bay area for a number of years.
CIHL founder and Espanola Rivermen owner Tim Clayden has a long association with Pauli.
“I have known Dean since the days that we started the North Bay Skyhawks in the NOJHL more than 10 years ago,” said Clayden. “Our friendship and working relationship carried over to the OJHL where we won a divisional championship with Port Hope in our first season together. Since then we have worked together with Trenton in the OJHL and back to the NOJHL with North Bay and Espanola.”
Clayden touched on the character of the veteran policeman.
“The man epitomizes integrity, trust and honesty,” Clayden continued. “Dean is fun to have around a hockey team, he has been the vice president of our teams for more than six years now and is a trusted scouting eye for junior hockey talent. He is the perfect person to be the CIHL’s vice president and chairman of our discipline committee as he is honest and understanding but stern. The man simply knows right from wrong.”
Pauli, from his end, has no doubt that the CIHL will be a success with Clayden at the helm with the new junior league set to begin play effective the 2014-2015 season.
“We were the unfortunate victims of the return of the Ontario Hockey League to North Bay this season but the proof that Tim is a proven hockey man was the transition to leave the North Bay Trappers to bring hockey back to the town of Espanola in a big way this season,” said Pauli.
“Imagine two years prior, someone telling you that a Junior A hockey team in Espanola would be a top contender and lead the NOJHL in attendance. I for one would have laughed. This is a credit to Tim. Yes, he put together a cast of characters that eased in the transition with the likes of (coach) Tom McCarthy and (general manager) Randy Blake among others but it was Tim’s doing. Tom and Randy are great guys and work hard, they have a similar work ethic to Tim and deserve a lot of credit as well for keeping the machine in Espanola running while under turbulent times within the NOJHL, with regards to the announcement that the team would be leaving the league at season’s end to play in the CIHL,” Pauli added.
“I have no doubt that the CIHL will get off the ground successfully and capture the attention of junior hockey fans quickly. Believe me when I say Tim leaves no stone unturned when applying it to hockey, which is his passion. This is the reason why I believe the CIHL will be a successful model for junior hockey for years to come. The vision of a junior hockey league without borders, run professionally and ethically, with the goal of putting student-athletes first is exciting,” Pauli continued.
Still, while excited to be joining the new CIHL, Pauli said he leaves the NOJHL with mixed emotions.
“While leaving the NOJHL has mixed emotions for me, I can say that I was proud to be involved with great people there, guys such as Chris Dawson, Hector Seguin, Ted Magee and Robert Mazzucca. I wish all the best to the league partners and the executive.”