The CIHL is here

June 25, 2014

It is here. It is a reality.

And it is a viable option for hockey players from the ages of 15-20.

It has been just four months since Tim Clayden boldly announced that he was taking his attendance-leading Espanola Rivermen out of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League to start the Canadian International Hockey League.

Working around-the-clock and at a feverish pitch, a relentless Clayden employed the extensive contacts that he has built up through a lifetime in the game to defy the odds — and the naysayers — and make the Ontario-based CIHL a reality.

He was able to gain membership into the sanctioned United Hockey Union — which operates under the umbrella of an Amateur Athletic Union that was founded more than 125 years ago in 1888 — and partner the CIHL with the Midwest Jr. Hockey League, Northern States Hockey League and Western States Hockey League. (Of note, the WSHL defected from USA Hockey to the UHU-AAU in 2011.)

At any rate, through the process of leaving the NOJHL to start the CIHL, Clayden had to fight off personal attacks and cheap-shots from grown men who stooped lower than low to try to discredit him and his vision.

Well folks, whether the “Old Boys Club” likes it or not, the CIHL has arrived and will begin play in 2014-2015 as a sanctioned league.

With a steely resolve and unwavering conviction, Clayden has the CIHL in business and as of now, seven teams are set to begin the 2014-2015 campaign — Espanola Rivermen, St. Charles Spirit, Central Ontario HTI Stars, Colborne Cramahe Hawks, Milton Battle Arts Cobras, Collingwood Ice and the latest addition, the Batchewana Attack.

The CIHL vision that has become reality will see Canadian and American players one and the same as non-imports. As well, all CIHL teams will be able to roster up to 12 Europeans, if they choose.

Three former National Hockey League players of considerable note have aligned themselves with CIHL teams.

Tom McCarthy, who played in 548 NHL games, will coach Espanola.

Dennis Maruk, who played in 922 NHL games, will coach Milton.

Dimitri Mironov, who played in 631 NHL games, is the senior advisor for the Central Ontario team.

Still, while the CIHL is sanctioned as a member of UHU-AAU, there are those linked to NOJHL teams who are employing scare tactics to try to keep players from playing in the new league, saying they may face penalties from Hockey Canada.

Well, let me just say that any player who signs with a CIHL team and wants to leave after this season to play in, for example, the NOJHL, he will certainly be allowed to do so by Hockey Canada without fear of repercussion.

I should also make it known that any player currently signed with any team in the NOJHL or the Ontario Jr. Hockey League — or any other Hockey Canada league — is free to leave and join the CIHL team of their choice for the upcoming season.

For example, any returning or new player with say, the Abitibi Eskimos or Cochrane Crunch or Mattawa Blackhawks or Sudbury Nickel Barons — or any other NOJHL team — are free to leave and sign with any CIHL team, should they choose to do so.

The fact is, with the formation of the CIHL as a sanctioned league, 15-20 year old players — and their parents — now have another option when it comes to playing junior hockey.

It’s the way it is now.

What you think about “The CIHL is here”

  1. RR: will they be announcinng a new team for Sudbury?
    I have heard there will be the Greater Sudbury Royals and owned by Doctor Beals. ???

  2. Randy you make all the right points as always and that is what seperates you from the other Hockey writers. You truley are in a class of your own and you are more of a Journalist than the “wannabees” out there that is for sure my friend.
    Thanks for pointing out all of what you did in this particuler Article.

  3. Good report RR, well done TC, will the naysayers ever stand up and say something good about the league, I don’t think so they have most likely gone back to the ground to see if they can stir up any dirt. I am sure that they will all climb out of their holes in September with new and improved crap to sling at TC and the league, however you just never know you might even see the naysayers at games and some may even say something positive. Let wait and see. I would say CIHL is heads and shoulders above the one league that started 8 years ago and with everything being transparent with the CIHL as TC has stated sure can put parents, fans, and players at ease. Looking forward to the beginning of the season.

  4. Bravo! Well stated RR.
    The NOJHL should worry about there own league instead of bad mouthing the CIHL to Kids and their Parents. We have a couple of “big mouths” outside of North Bay who are doing just that and it sounds as tho it is the same up in the Soo.

  5. Everyone should recognize how important the Hockey Canada decision is to this league’s growth. Any players or parents who are or were skeptical about joining this league should not have an issue any longer. it is truly Hockey Without Borders.

    Someday I hope to grow up and be as good a writer as Randy 😉

  6. good article Randy!! glad we can trust that you will get the truth to us. I find it very sad that NOJHL leaders are spreading lies about Hockey Canada sanctions. Their image continues to be tarnished everytime they go public with their tom foolery.
    Is it really too much to ask that everyone work together for the betterment of the kids? because at the end of the day that is really what it is all about. It’s obvious the CIHL gets that philosophy!

  7. Well Randy as usual you are correct in what you say . However , you well know that Hockey Canada does sanction players who choose to play in leagues they do not sanction for the year they play there. If you play a game after September 30th you can’t return to a Hockey Canada sanctioned league that season . Not a big deal if your season goes well , but still a sanction . The best advice to any parent and player is do your own homework and make an educated decision on where you want to play . Both the CIHL and the NOHA have good people involved and both will provide development .opportunities . A little honesty from everybody involved on both sides would probably help the situation for potential players .

  8. If a player plays with the CIHL for the 2014-2015 season he WILL be eligable to play in a Hockey Canada program the following season. Some people are saying otherwise and it is simply a myth. If a player feels that the CIHL is a better fit for them, then why would they care if they can’t play in Hockey Canada for the rest of that year, most players I talk to who sign with a team plan on staying there all season. And for the very small few that may like to pursue something elsewhere mid season there are hundreds of other teams that they can go to for a couple of months.

    This is a Canadian Government issued statement-


    Ottawa, ON-June 4, 2009 Tony Clement, Minister of Industry and Member of
    Parliament for Parry Sound – Muskoka, celebrated
    a win for hockey players right across Canada.
    Until recently young hockey players who participated in outlaw leagues, or leagues not
    sanctioned by Hockey Canada, were penalized from playing in a sanctioned leagues
    for up to two subsequent seasons. Local Members of Parliament and others found this
    rule unfair and complaints were sent to the Competition Bureau.
    “In Canada, hockey is our birthright!” said Minister Clement. “Now, thanks to the
    individuals who put pressure on Hockey Canada, the obstacles faced by some of our
    young players are gone. We have restored the right of every Canadian to play hockey
    wherever and whenever they like. We have taken our local teams,
    like the South Muskoka Shield, out of the penalty box.”
    The Competition Bureau received complaints about Hockey Canada sanctioning
    against so-called outlaw hockey leagues, and the players and arenas in which they
    play. The Bureau examined the bulletin and concluded that some aspects of the
    sanctions gave rise to issues under section 79 of the Competition Act,
    otherwise known as the abuse of dominance provision.
    As a result of the dialogue initiated by the Bureau,
    Hockey Canada has eliminated three major sanctions:
    1) Municipalities and arenas may now offer ice time to non-affiliated leagues without
    the fear of losing the business of Hockey Canada-sanctioned activities.
    2) The suspension period for a player that participates in an outlaw league can no
    longer extend beyond the season in which that participation takes place.
    3) The third sanction was changed to make it clear that a Hockey Canada team
    would not be in violation of the bulletin
    merely by playing in the same arena as an outlaw league.
    “I’m thrilled about this historic decision,” said Minister Clement. “This just goes to
    show that the system works. Now it is time to get back to doing what we do
    extremely well here, play hockey!”

  9. on the other side of the coin, ALL Hockey Canada, including NOJHL players, are free agents in the CIHL up to February 20th and are free to join any team in the CIHL without trades or compensation to their existing leagues. This will force existing leagues and teams to treat their student athletes as a priority, because now, if the players are not happy, they can call a cihl team, grab their sticks and go play for them, its as simple as that and its the players choice not the teams.

  10. RR your right the CIHL is here – but according to what ive read today -it will not be a stepping stone to the OHL

  11. See below for prior history of the TJHN Publisher Joseph Koloziej:

    November 2, 2004

    Would-be team owner sentenced to 42 months to 14 years in prison Monday in Emmet County circuit court

    Joseph Kolodziej given prison term for forgery

    Record-Eagle staff writer

    Record-Eagle staff writer
    PETOSKEY – He vowed last month to bring minor league hockey back to Traverse City.

    Instead, a Petoskey man instead faces a long prison sentence.

    Joseph Kolodziej, 37, was sentenced to 42 months to 14 years in prison Monday in Emmet County circuit court. He had pleaded guilty to forgery and prosecutors dropped five other felony counts.

    Kolodziej’s charges stemmed from allegedly opening a credit card account in the name of his employer, Thomas Considine, while Kolodziej was a manager at the Polar Bear Ice Facility in Emmet’s Little Traverse Township between April 2003 and last February.

    Kolodziej also was general manager of the now-defunct Northern Michigan Predators minor league hockey team. Kolodziej allegedly said he had power of attorney for Considine, whom he falsely claimed was dying of cancer.

    Considine told police he learned of the bogus credit card after the credit card company informed him he owed overdue payments of more than $13,000.

    As part of the plea agreement, Kolodziej was not charged as a habitual offender for his fourth felony offense. Court records show he was previously convicted of fourth-degree grand larceny in 1988 in Erie County, N.Y.; of check fraud in 1991 in Washtenaw County; and of auto theft in 1993 in Volusia County, Fla.

    Red-faced Centre ICE officials last month canceled a press conference to announce Kolodziej as the owner of a new minor-league hockey franchise for Traverse City after news of his long criminal record came to light. Kolodziej’s team, which was to compete in the new International Hockey Association, was ultimately rejected.

    Arena officials later confessed they had done no personal background check on Kolodziej, and vowed to undertake more diligent reviews in the future. “We learned a lesson,” Centre ICE executive director Terry Marchand told the Record-Eagle last month.

  12. Hmmm is that the same guy with a hockey
    website. Figures he is also a big supporter
    of the NOJHL or seems to be with the way
    he writes in my opinion of course.

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