Espanola Rivermen of the new Canadian International Hockey League has a new general manager.
Area businessman Chad Clarke — who spent the 2013-2014 season as assistant general manager and game-day co-ordinator for the Rivermen, formerly of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League — also has experience in the sports promotion area.
Rivermen owner Tim Clayden, who is also the founder and president of the CIHL, is more-than-comfortable with Clarke as the GM in Espanola.
“Chad has been a God-send for us as we have made the move from the NOJHL into the CIHL,” said Clayden. “His work ethic is second-to-none. He rolls up his sleeves and goes to work and that is what it takes in order for a small-market junior A team to continue to be succesful.”
Clayden added that Clarke’s ties to the Espanola community are a huge plus.
“Chad is an an Espanola taxpayer, businessman and resident who takes pride in his work and his community. He compliments the Rivermen coaching staff and management team very nicely,” Clayden noted.
As GM of the Rivermen — who led the NOJHL in attendance in 2013-2014 before leaving to become a part of the CIHL — Clarke takes over from Randy Blake.
Blake has been appointed to the position of director of hockey operations for the eight-team CIHL.
As for Clarke, he is taking his new role as GM of the Rivermen very seriously.
“As an Espanola businessman and resident, I take on the Rivermen general manager position with tremendous pride knowing just how much the team and our community embraced one another last season,” Clarke began.
“As a lifetime fan and player of the game, I am looking forward to being a part of a league without borders and a team dedicated to both its players and our area hockey fans. Our players will continue to play a huge, active role within our community.
“What excites me most about the Rivermen are the shared philosophies of owner Tim Clayden and coach Tom McCarthy in their conscientious mind-sets that winning is described in many ways in Espanola. Where winning hockey games is important and promoting and developing student-athlete players on and off the ice is as equally important, it’s a refreshing approach to junior hockey where player promotion and development comes first,” stated Clarke.