AP issues with Sudbury midgets

January 27, 2017

Representatives from three Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League teams have taken issue with the Sudbury Nickel Capital Wolves of the Great North Midget Hockey League over the use and availability of affiliate players.

Management from the Rayside-Balfour Canadians, Espanola Express and French River Rapids of the NOJHL have all told HockeyNewsNorth.com that they have met with resistance from Nickel Capital Wolves general manager Albert Corradini when asking for temporary use of affiliate players from the Sudbury major midgets.

Rayside-Balfour president Adrian Gedye, Espanola president-general manager Chad Clarke and French River president-general manager Jessy Landry all expressed instances of difficulty when approaching Corradini about calling up players from the Nickel Capital Wolves, who are a strong third-place team in the Great North loop.

The towns of Rayside-Balfour, French River and Espanola are all located on the outskirts of Sudbury, which would give the respective NOJHL teams relatively easy access (travel-wise) to players on the Nickel Capital Wolves.

Gedye said he recently sent messages to both Corradini and Nickel Capital Wolves coach Peter Michelutti Jr. requesting that three players from the Sudbury major midgets attend a practice with the Rayside-Balfour juniors “on any day of their choosing.”

Gedye noted that he made the request at the time because he saw that the Nickel Capital Wolves “had a very light schedule with no games for 9 days and only 2 practices that week.” Gedye said that Corradini replied that he and Michelutti “discussed the request” but declined to send any players from the Sudbury major midgets to the Rayside-Balfour juniors.

“I do not understand how allowing players to practice at a higher level hurts their midget program or hinders the development of these players, especially when they routinely blow out several teams in the Great North Midget League,” Gedye fumed.

Gedye pointed out that on several occasions this season, he granted the requests from the Sudbury Wolves, Peterborough Petes and Niagara IceDogs of the Ontario Hockey League to send them affiliate players from Rayside-Balfour for both practices and games “even when our club had practices and games on the same day.”

The Rayside-Balfour president said he “fully supports midget hockey in Sudbury. Many of the players on the Nickel Caps attended our tryouts last fall and a few were good enough to play for us. We signed less players than we could have. We did this because we were confident we could call players up when needed…that there would be co-operation from their staff and it would be a win-win situation for the players.”

Over in Espanola, president-GM Clarke told HockeyNewsNorth.com that “we have also felt resistance from the Nickel Caps for affiliated players. I would like to say that the relationship between our organization and theirs has improved significantly from last year but with unanswered communications and not sharing the same philosophies, we are finding it difficult to work together to make both of our clubs stronger in many ways, which is a shame based on our geographical proximity and for the players themselves.”

And in French River, president-GM Landry told HockeyNewsNorth.com that the Rapids were “denied requests” from the Nickel Capital Wolves to use affiliate players “when needed” this season “and that forced us to have four affiliate players from the New Liskeard Cubs (of the Great North Midget Hockey League) who had to travel more than three hours to get to us.”

Meantime, a parent of a player with the Nickel Capital Wolves, who asked not to be identified, directed an e-mail to HockeyNewsNorth.com indicating frustration that his son has not had the opportunity to play and practice with the Rayside-Balfour juniors.

“The only time affiliation was mentioned to us was back in September at a parent meeting, we were told all requests for APs should go through our team. It did not seem like it was going to be an issue at all. In fact, they were open to it as long as it didn’t interfere with the Caps schedule. Believe me had they said there was gonna (sic) be any kind of an issue my son would not have signed there.”

HockeyNewsNorth.com reached out to both Corradini and Michelutti on Tuesday of this week and asked them to comment regarding the use of affiliate players from the Nickel Capital Wolves.

But neither Corradini or Michelutti have responded to the invitation to comment on the record via written communication. Michelutti, in fact, tersely replied that any further communication from HockeyNewsNorth.com be directed to his lawyer.

What you think about “AP issues with Sudbury midgets”

  1. Well we got to be really happy that our affiliate team the Kapuskasing Flyers are all about development opportunity and relationships. Their program goes out of their way to make sure their kids are available. Darren Potvin goes out of his way to even help get them rides to Cochrane for practices when needed no hesitation. Last time we were on a 3 day road trip they were too they actually were playing 2pm game vs Nickel Capitals on a Sunday. We needed players for a 6 pm game in French River they made sure their guys were available. They got off the ice into car to join the Crunch for game 1 hr away. That’s what development and opportunity is all about.

  2. Wouldnt you think the point of high level hockey is to develop players for the next level? It would be nothing but positive for the Midget Wolves to allow players to practice/play at the next level. Might be time for a leadership change imo.

  3. It’s tough enough up north to get exposure and development these coaches and management clearly do not have the players best interest at ❤️ But it’s just not there it happens all over
    Ego maniac coaches who put themselves in front of the players not unusual
    Parents wake up !

  4. To provide you a scenario of how it should work. Tonight the North Bay Midget Trappers are playing in New Liskeard. They will be dressing a major bantam defenseman so that one of their defenseman can play for the Powassan Voodoo. That allows the Voodoo to send 2 of their defenseman up to the North Bay Battalion who are in Peterborough tonight. All coaches and teams work together. Not to mention the North Bay Midget Trappers have 4 injured players and were still willing to help make things work.

    1. From a story about GNML players who affiliated in the NOJHL back in 2014-15:
      Justin Brazeau joined Point with the Voodoos that season where he dressed in 10 games including five playoff contests for the Voodoos.

      The 2014 14th round pick by the Battalion, made the jump to the OHL in the fall of 2015 and after a solid rookie campaign in the ‘O’ he was an invite to the Detroit Red Wings Development Camp this summer.

      “The NOJHL was a great way to help me develop my game and prepare for the next level,” admitted the 6’5” Brazeau who is heading the Traverse City to play with the Detroit Red Wings prospects at an NHL Prospects tournament in the U.P. next week.

      “The NOJHL really help me adjust to a faster pace game and play against older guys who are more physical. Having played in the NOJHL made the adjustment to the OHL that much easier from having the experience of playing a high level of junior in the NOJHL to draw from.”

  5. Trapper fan – you guys have it right. King Albert has been in power tooooo long. With Nickel City gone, he does what he wants and that doesn’t include helping the players. MY OPINION.

  6. How sad that nowadays players that have a chance to develop get pushed to the side in favour of a lesser chance,it looks like winning at all costs is apparent with the Sudbury Nickel Capital Wolves as they have not proven that their interests are for their players but self glorification for themselves. IMO.

  7. MY OPINION IS THIS: Albert Coradini is a huge problem. There might be a lineup from here to Sault Ste. Marie who this putz has pulled one over on.
    I do not understand how the SMHA puts up with this nonsense. I would ask Randy to start contacting some of the Ex-players of the Caps and see what they have to say., and I know that wouldn’t be pretty.

    As for Peter Jr., he went out and got a lawyer? “I need a lawyer” …. lol….. this would be funny if it didn’t involve young men, but the simple act of getting a lawyer tells me something.

  8. I remember one year, Coradini called up 7 affiliates from the minor midget program, and scratched his own players to play the affiliates, and now he has the nads to deny affiliation and not allow any players to go up?

  9. Albert has been entrusted to Manage the Nickel Caps for may years now with the blessing of Sudbury Minor Hockey. He does what he thinks is best for the Nickel Caps organisation.

    1. I guess that includes disregarding what is good for players. The Caps are more important than the players. BUT, it is the PLAYERS that are the Caps, not Coradini, don’t confuse yourself…. the players pay the fees, deserve to be affiliated and play BEYOND the Caps. That is what this is about. This is a development team for advancing players to possible careers. I believe that is the CHL mandate, but that doesn’t apply to Albert, and the parent, explayers and every other negative poster on here are not wrong. Maybe, parents should re-think the SMHA and put their money into an association like the Nickel City Sons instead, and let the Caps fold and be rid of this cancer in the arena.

    1. John, I didn’t know exams ran from September to April. Read the article. 3 teams have been denied the entire season.

  10. FormerCap player. Don’t for one second think these two don’t want what’s best for the kids. Albert and Peter are good at what they do, and who gives a sh*t about a parents email. Parents need to stay out of it. Like they said, it’s a light part in the schedule, when you play as much as these kids do, they want to hang out with their friends, get drunk, play video games…. At the end of the day wen these kids get drafted, a couple missed opportunities to play in a league like the NOJHL, isn’t going to make a difference. They’re hosting Provs and Telus next year, do you want them to burn out before these tournaments come??

    1. My opinion dlocks22 your wrong. Been involved and aware of what has been happening the last number of years. Kids and parents should decide if they would like to play up. If the kid wants to get drunk and not play – his choice. He won’t be developing and going anywhere anyways.

  11. We have are issues here in Toronto but thank god my son doesn’t play in northern Ontario. We have heard this before About this group as my son’s agent told us he was approached by the teams coach who was adamant that he convince us to ask for a release from our club team to play there. I’m astonished how their league and association stand idle or even consider having them as a representative. Great article.

  12. Now you know why team Noha can’t compete in Toronto under there direction it’s definitely time of leadership for nickel caps👎🏼

  13. I played for these clowns a few years back they’re the two at the helm of the operation and it couldn’t be more wrong to have them lead this team. Any success the nickel capitals ever have with these two in the organization is always due to the players and not the coaching/management however Jeff Forsyth an assistant is an awesome guy and even better coach.

  14. This issue needs resolved immediately. The process is broken and needs fixed before the end of the season so the next wave of Caps players dont get shafted. The process of coaching these boys is all about the players developing and getting to the next level not about personal gains or accomplishments. The caps staff should be proud the get a player to the next level and proud to be part of that process.

    These boys are blessed this year because the Ohl has approved an U18 draft and hopefully this oppurnity has revitalises the passion for their game. Most of these young men give up on their dream or find other interests because the thought of being undafted is the end of the road.

    However I have had the opportunity of watching a few GNML games this season and there is an extreme difference in the speed and physicality of the game compared to the NOJHL. So saying that, if one of these Caps players gets the pleasure of being drafted in the 2017 innogrual U18 OHL draft I will have a hard time believing that he could step right into the “O” and play. A little experience at the speed and quick decision making would be beneficial and any eye opener for these young men.

    Step of of your pedestal, rethink your staff philosophy. Nobody is going to remember a 2 time Tellus cup winning manager.

  15. Caps staff should be ashamed running up the score on the Sudbury minor midgets14-4. Yesterday. They have done it numerous times. Classless and sums up what everyone is saying about the coach/manager.

    1. What about the Soo and North Bay? The minor midgets have been beaten by 8+ goals a number of times this season. Kap has beat them 10-1, 10-0, Soo has beaten them 12-2, 10-1, 13-3, and North Bay have beaten them 10-0,10-1, etc, etc, etc.

      Check their schedule before writing this.

      1. Last time I checked 14 was a larger # than 10 and 11. Also keep in mind that these 2 teams are in the same association.

  16. I believe the issue here is that with this Nickel Caps team hosting the Telus Cup next year, the management doesn’t want these kids to get a taste of jr hockey and enjoy it too much to the point where they don’t come back next season. This team plans on retaining the majority of their 00 born players for a 3rd season of midget in hopes of winning the Telus Cup. It’s a selfish act by the management of this team. Development of their players shoild be a top priority. This season the GNML is weak, and the difference in speed and physicality between this league and the NOJHL is vast. These kids should get an opportunity to play up, especially Lavallee who I am positive isn’t being developed as well as he could be in this league as he would in Jr.

  17. I thought most coaches are happy when you can advance players to the next level,,that makes your program look good.I see where a couple of coaches are being very uncooperative, Remember CARMA is a bitch!

  18. Concerning Mr. Corradini, the story goes much deeper. I personally believe Albert is bitter that his Minor Midget affiliation was modified this year. Last year, Nickel Caps were able to call up the Minor Midgets as they pleased, despite the minor team playing in the GNML as well. It’s comparable to Kap calling up players from Timmins as needed, just not fair IMO. This year, he was told he could only AP during tournaments (this includes All-Ontario’s, Telus etc.).

    In 2015-16 the Kapuskasing Flyers played the Nickel Caps hard all year, I believe we even won the season series. When the finals rolled around, the Nickel Caps had added Damien Giroux (Saginaw, OHL), Billy Moskal (London, OHL), Brett Jacklin (NOJHL/Soo OHL pick) and Mathieu Dokis-Dupuis (top GNML player). What could have been an amazing battle between two evenly matched teams turned into a 3-0 sweep. They won, but not fair and square.

    1. Welcome to the Albert Coradini show! This happened the year Ryan Kujawinski was a minor midget. Albert scratched a slew of his own players to play several minor midgets, including Tyler Bertuzzi (Guelph Storm, Detroit Red Wings, Cam Lizotte- Barrie Colts). The really sad thing is, the SMHA did nothing then too. IMO

  19. Last year when Rayside asked for 3 players from Caps and the Gm and coach in question said no. So Rayside called up 3 minor midgets instead. Unfortunately there is a rule that allows only 1 minor in any game. The caps Gm who knew the rule called smha and noha and reported the mistake made. The team was fined 500$ and Rayside coach Jason Young suspended 3 games. Albert did this purely out of spite and the team and coach paid a big price for what? For using 15 year olds when he said no to them using his players. One of the most disgusting acts I’ve ever seen happen in minor hockey. Karma is a bitch Mr Albert !

  20. On January 27, 2017 the article “ AP issues with Sudbury Midgets” was published. Contrary to statements made (not by HockeyNewsNorth.com) Sudbury Minor Hockey Association and the Sudbury Nickel Capitals fully understand that affiliation is a part of player development and fully understand its value. The protocol for calling up players is that the manager from the major team would request players from the minor team via the minor team’s manager. The same protocol applies for junior teams requesting players from a midget club. The manager in consultation with his/her coach, decides if a player is available or not. There are many variables that would dictate a player’s availability. Such variables as scheduling conflicts, discipline, team fees, injuries and school.

    This season the Nickel Capitals started the season with fourteen skaters. In the later part of the season they were able to pick up players to fill their roster. One of their recent acquisitions came from the French River Rapids after requesting a release because of a lack of playing time. The NC have also suffered a rash of injuries with some of those players only recently returning to the club.

    Finding available affiliate players for the Nickel Capitals has proven to be challenging to say the least. The GNML doesn’t allow them to draw from our Sudbury AAA Minor Midgets because they participate in the same league. SMHA and NCHA have a joint venture where both Major/Minor AAA midget teams operate under the SMHA umbrella and both Major/Minor AAA Bantam teams operate under the NCHA umbrella. For this reason the NOHA rule forbids our Major Midgets to call up players from our Bantam teams. Sudbury Minor Hockey’s Midget AA team played most of the year with 15 skaters and only have 1 goaltender. Further more, in discussion with some parents from the Nickel Capitals hockey club, I was informed that, in some cases they (the parents) are the ones that declined the offer for their sons to participate with a Junior club.

    The Nickel Capitals did have only 3 practices during the period of time where the Rayside Balfour Canadiens requested players for practice and the request was declined by the Midget staff. Prior to the request by RBC, the Nickel Capital staff had met with their players and advised them that their hockey schedule was lightened and no one would be going up for the said period of time because of high school exams. Yes the Nickel Capitals and SMHA value their players’ education.

    The Nickel Capitals are now preparing for playoffs and the regionals. The Nickel Capital staff are unpaid, non-parent volunteers who continue to make decisions in the best interest of their players’ development, health, education and overall well being. Volunteers don’t deserve to be placed under such scrutiny and have their name smeared all over social media because 3 junior teams don’t agree with a decision made by our midget staff. This is exactly why minor hockey has difficulty finding and retaining volunteers in minor hockey!

    Mike Brunette
    SMHA President

    1. Well said Mike ! I do understand both sides of the debate but if the plan was to have the players focus on high school exams and such then I think that makes sense.
      My last opinion is that it is hard to find volunteers within Minor Hockey or just about anything nowadays please remember that. If the parents are upset about a player missing out on being called up to play JR A that should be discussed between the parent/player and coach not on this website.

      1. Have you ever thought that this situation is being discussed on this website because it was never discussed with the parents or players at all? The article states that several teams asked for AP players and their calls were never returned. If the Caps didn’t or won’t speak with the parents or players, and the SMHA is “non-existent” for the parents concerns, then where and to whom do they discuss this with? It appears that they are receiving the silent treatment when they look to the teams management for answers.

    2. Sorry Mr. Brunette, although your rebuttal makes sense on screen, and is well written and informative, it is not what happens with the two people in question. It is more than just this one instance and goes back several years. Many people have true stories and your words, although well chosen and true, don’t change what these two (more so the one) have done. Volunteers or not. The SMHA policies might be sound, but following them is not the best skills of these two. Volunteers and EGO should not be used in same sentence. IMHO

    3. Mr. Brunette, the simple fact that this discussion has become such a big issue should concern you. The number of posters on here stating that Mr. Coradini is a problem speaks for itself. There are now three Jr. A teams, present and former parents, and a former player all stating their negative feelings. This would draw any legitimate president’s concern, NOT their blind support. This obviously is has not occurred to you. I believe that YOUR job, as SMHA president, is to have discussions with ALL of the concerned parties not just Albert Coradini.

      Now, it seems that the hockey parents would be wise to turn the focus on your involvement with the AP process. I have not heard of any open AP meetings occurring within the SMHA to address this concern. So my question is, does the SMHA and its president plan on having an open meeting to discuss the AP issue and the Albert Coradini issue? Or is the SMHA going to sweep this issue, and the concerns of every FEE paying parent and player under the carpet to hide what’s really going on here?

      I wonder if TSN, or Don Cherry or our local news affiliates would comment or do a story on something like this.

      “Local SMHA President turns blind eye to parents concerns”

      Hhhmmm that’s an interesting headline

  21. My son was a key player for the Caps last year. This year he made the jump to junior , playing for the Rayside Canadians. I heard stuff last year about the ” bad blood ” between these two teams and I know there’s far too much politics involved in hockey, especially at this level. Most of these kids just want to play hockey and move to the next level. I also know Junior hockey is a business. I just tell MY son to continue playing hard, and with passion , and hope that he’s recognized for that . I would hope ANY team would have the players best interest in mind , but I also know that may not always be the case unfortunately .

  22. If the Sudbury Wolves, NB Battalion or Soo Greyhounds called, would Coradini refuse a kid a chance to play at the OHL level as well? Would Mr. Brunette support that? If so, that’s a heck of a decision to make for any player.

  23. I am calling you out Mr Brunette! My son was never told anything about affiliation. I have Now found out that an nojhl team has tried to call him up 5 times this season and their calls were not even given the dignity of a reply. He also said there was zero discussions by caps staff about affiliation during the exam week. The call up requests were hidden from us from October until now. We have found out that you called a meeting between the smha board,Rayside and nickel caps staff to resolve the AP issues and both Albert and Peter Refused to attend. Rayside staff agreed to attend. Another example of non cooperation. What do you have to say to this?

    1. Mr. Brunette…… are you going to stick your head in the sand? Are you going to call this parent a liar? Are you going to man up, and do something about this? Or, will you just sit there and do what Albert tells you to do?

      You are spineless if you do nothing about this. IMO.

    2. Easy to hide behind the ‘Caps Parent’ tag. Be an adult and name yourself rather than just picking a name that anyone could have selected.

  24. Smha president lost all credibility and showed his bias when he throws in his little jab at French river IMHO. Why doesn’t he look into all the caps players who quit and their reasons. Mark my words your board and Caps management will once again try to fold the minor midget program when the Caps don’t have enough skaters or as their Gm will put it”my team isn’t competitive enough.” The so called short manned, injured Nickel Caps have won the big nickel in November and their last 6 games 13-2, 14-4, 6-1 ,5-1, 9-3 and 10-0. That’s a combined 57-11!!! But can’t afford to let players AP

    1. Question Mr. Brunnette: Was a meeting called regarding Aping players with Junior teams that Albert and Peter refused to attend?

  25. The AP request from Rayside was for the week of the 16th. I have kids in hi school and from with I see they never study for exams for 2 weeks.

  26. My son Ben made the unfortunate mistake of playing for Mike Brunette and Albert Coradini at different times of his Minor Hockey days. This is not about Mr. Brunette, but I will say that watching my son put up with his nonsense was very disappointing to me, and about five or six other players that did little more than sit on his bench. My father, a retired NHL player and coach questioned why the SMHA would even let this man coach kids (peewee) at all. I believe he was the president of the SMHA then as well, so I need not say anymore about that.

    Ben’s year with the Nickel Caps program was, in Ben’s opinion, the worst year he ever played in hockey. Actually he wanted to quit during the year a few times as he was fed up with the “BS”, but stayed to honor his commitment to his teammates, but at the end of that season, in his words, “I’m done”. That is the environment that surrounded the Caps. One incident in the playoffs stands out more to me than any other that demonstrates what is wrong with the Caps system, but also many other associations as well.

    Ben and another player were involved in a car accident on their way to a practice one evening, and naturally were late. At the time, the Caps were in a must win situation in a playoff series. When Ben went to the arena that weekend to play, he was told, along with the other player, that he was “scratched” for disciplinary reasons for being late for the practice. The practice he was late for due the car accident.

    Ironically, there were other players not playing as well and several minor midgets were called up to play in their spots. Several of these minor midgets went on and are now playing in the AHL/ NHL. This is what Albert Coradini is about folks.

    I don’t have any problem with Peter Jr. as he always treated Ben fairly, but he wasn’t calling the shots, Albert was.

    It was so bad, I don’t recall receiving a budget until well after Christmas that year. It was so bad, myself and several other parents went to the board to discuss the budget as the costs ear marked for these items didn’t make sense. I know, some were provided for free, yet showed a cost affixed to them. Needless to say, the meeting amounted to nothing and the matter was never discussed again.

    As the summer passed, my son wanted to play again, but not for Albert Coradini, so we asked for a release during “the mandatory” skate phase of the late summer tryouts. After skating three or four times, I approached Mr. Coradini for a release, and we were denied as the team didn’t have a “good enough” look at him and the coaching staff was not sure he could make the team. So we skated a few more times. Still nothing. At the same time, the Nickel City Sons were nearing the end of their tryouts and if my son Ben, and two other players were going to attend their tryouts, it was basically now or never. IMO, Albert was delaying giving the release to Ben and the other players so they couldn’t play against the Caps.

    I got Ben’s release after a very heated and nasty discussion with Albert and one of the assistant coaches. Ben skated five minutes with the Sons midget team and was asked to sign. So did the two other players that requested their release.

    Many posters may believe that Ben was not a good enough player to play for the Caps but he went on to play Tier I Jr. A hockey in the CCJHL, GOJHL, and spent a brief period of time with The Guelph Storm of the OHL. He is now focused on playing in Europe this upcoming season. The other player mentioned played Jr. A. in the CCJHL with the Corwall Colts, GOJHL, QMJHL in St. Johns for the Seadogs and attended the Guelph Storm and London Knights training camp. The third player mentioned played in the NOJHA and CCJHL for the Pembroke Lumber Kings.

    The reason mentioning this is very simple: It is important to realize that these three players are good players.

    My advice to future players and their parents is find another place or system to play. Our experience with the Caps was terrible and Albert Coradini is a snake oil salesman and operates on his own agenda. This is just my opinion, and it appears to be the opinion of many of the posters.

  27. Hey Randy,
    Granted, I’ve never been involved with minor hockey in the Sudbury area, but I’m following this situation with a lot of interest. And I’m certainly not in a position to take sides in the affair.
    I do notice that you are conspicuously quiet on the many posts, after having written the original very well-documented article. Are you at liberty to comment? Are you saving it until all the dust has settled? Or is discretion just the better part of valour? Who is more qualified than you to offer an objective expert opinion on any Northern hockey matters? Certainly, this affair seems to be taking on a life of its own. “Veeeeerrrrrrrrrrry interesting.”

  28. Albert Corradini and Peter Michelutti are up to their old tricks again. This weekend they boycotted there team’s participation in the 2017 Big Nickel tournament and were absent while the team made it and lost in the final game of the Midget AAA Division. Corradini and Michelutti did not want the Sudbury Minor Midgets in the tournament so they could call up two kids from the Minor Midget team to play for them. They are also trying to get rid of the Minor Midget cards so they can pick up the top players off that team. S.M.H.A. isn’t backing them so they decided it was best for them to boycott the tournament. Also quite a few parents are pissed off as they haven’t been told anything all year.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *