Bummer in Blind River

November 5, 2014

They have seen better days.

All is not well with the Blind River Beavers and one has to wonder about the future of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League’s smallest-market team.

Attendance is down.

Players are looking to leave.

The Beavers are again the worst team in the NOJHL, just as they were last season.

Through 18 games thus far this season, the Beavers have but a single point from a record of 0-17-1. They have scored only 34 goals and allowed a whopping 130.

The sad state of the Beavers bothers me.

I have long had a soft spot for the Beavers as a team and Blind River as a hockey town.

But I just don’t know how long the Beavers can carry on in their current state of hockey despair.

As if the losing isn’t bad enough, the Beavers have financial issues as well.

What a bummer.

I used to travel to Blind River frequently, hosting the odd Hockey North Show at the Riverside Tavern and attending numerous games per season.

The Beavers were very competitive for a stretch of seven years from 2004 until 2011 and average attendance was about 350 per game.

Now, the Beavers have trouble winning games and attendance has dipped to an average of about 200 per outing.

Is the end near for the Beavers in Blind River?

I hope not.

But it’s not looking good in Beavertown.

What you think about “Bummer in Blind River”

  1. Honestly it’s not nice to hear that being from a town that didn’t have junior hockey for years it’s just not the same

  2. So has anyone asked how the league can remove a owner in Mattawa but the Blind River team is still allowed to operate in a financial red year after year? I have heard from the president PERSONALLY the town pays the ice bill and rights it off every year.
    Robert pull this one off, 3 hudeny acts in one year is tough and your CJHL partners are starting to take notice.

  3. Always love these guys when then come to town over the years , sad to here about the current state of the franchise, i sure hope things will make a turn for the better real soon ! Good Luck !

  4. I agree with you R.R. Its probably the toughest market to draw players. Its tough for all involved, including the players. Im not sure there is a positive solution that could keep the team in Blind River. Its a case of too many teams in a condensed area, and their is just not the volume of local kids to draw from like their was years ago. Between the politics, and the cost to play, we are killing what was once Canada,s game. “In my opinion of course”. cheers!!!

  5. move the team to Kap. population 8200
    that will freeze out EL and SOO but they can join the CIHL if they don’t like the transportation costs. or better yet, join the NAHL. What a rivalry that would be…SOO mi, SOO ont and EL.

    1. New franchise fee in the NAHL is $300,000. I doubt you are going to get the Soo Thunderbirds or Elliot Lake to even consider that.

    1. It’s a minimum $300,000 — new franchise or purchase — as per what the NAHL has set. That is fact. I am not confused. Perhaps you are?

  6. The town of Blind River and the team do not generate enough sponsorship $. Other Markets get up to $80,000 in sponsorship to BRs $12,000. How can u possibly compete when the GM is told to field a team with $10,000? An average to great player costs $3,000 to $5,000.
    If the town gets together to raise substantial $ for next season maybe the team can be saved, if not, bye bye.

  7. Game in Timmins tonight was entertaining to say the least…worst bang for my buck was watching the official Clement resort to his Tim Bit tactics all night – make a call and then goad the players into extra by following them to the box. For God’s sake, make the call and then skate away. This guy is a total joke and how he is officiating at this level is beyond me. Almost a big bruh ha ha at the end of the came due to his incompetency. Riggsy gets a B+, Clement an F.

  8. Randy: Mattawa won 2 games in October yet today the NOJHL standings indicate they only have 1 win. Did they have a win taken away from them?

  9. By the by, a group of NOJHL players are playing in a tournament in Toronto this weekend. Team NOJHL is competing against other Junior A leagues in a lead-up to players being selected for Team Canada East to play in the World Juniors (A) later this year.

    As I write this Team NOJHL is getting a lot of respect as they have played two solid games losing both in over-time shootouts.

  10. I forgot to mention Team NOJHL won their third game also in a shootout before losing in the semi’s. They were tied 2 to 2 before one of the OJHL teams scored 3 times.

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