Classic Rock

April 11, 2015

Timmins will make its return to the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League in 2015-2016 after an absence of more than 15 years — and the team will be known as the Rock.

The Rock moniker, logo and maroon-gold-and-white colours were unveiled at a Friday gathering at McIntrye Arena in Timmins.

The Rock is born from the erstwhile Abitibi Eskimos, who are relocating to Timmins after playing out of the much-smaller, nearby town of Iroquois Falls since 1999.

“We have been working on this for four months but it starts now, it gets real now,” Rock president Scott Marshall told the Timmins Free Press.

Marshall — one of the founders of the Abitibi franchise — will scoot from Iroquois Falls to Timmins to oversee the Rock in the same capacity that he had with the Eskimos.

Marshall’s long-time sidekick, the iconic Paul Gagne, a five-time NOJHL coach-of-the-year and erstwhile hockey boss of the aforementioned Abitibi Eskimos, will be coach-general manager of the all-new Rock.

Marshall gave reasons for naming the team the Rock.

“We wanted to pick a name that the young fans could relate to and we wanted a name that tied into Timmins and mining. We wanted to brand the team to support the brand of the city, and their branding efforts.

“All of these factors were taken into consideration. The board considered I don’t know how many names before we arrived at the name,” Marshall added.

Friday’s get-together was not without politics.

Timmins Mayor Steve Black attended the event — and had much to say.

“Timmins will Rock the Mac,” he said.

“I have my four season tickets, down by the penalty box, already.

“This is a great opportunity for the City of Timmins and council, staff and myself have been working hard on this over the past couple of months to allow the team to relocate here and find a partnership that works.

“Hopefully the community will rally behind the team now that that campaign (season ticket and corporate sponsorship) has officially been launched,” said Black.

Marshall revealed that the Rock has already sold more than 100 season tickets, which puts it on the way to achieving its lofty goal of 650.

“Our season ticket campaign has been going well already, despite not having any formal advertising,” Marshall boasted.

Rock on.


Meanwhile, the NOJHL is poised to return to Iroquois Falls in 2015-2016 without ever having left it.

With Mattawa Blackhawks owner Allan Donnan having received the clear-cut support of NOJHL governors to move his franchise to Iroquois Falls by way of an 8-0 vote, all that stands in the way of relocation is the approval of the governing Northern Ontario Hockey Association.

Iroquois Falls — a resilient town of about 4,500 which is located about 45 miles from Timmins — was faced without having an NOJHL team for the first time since 1999.

Afterall, it was just a few months ago when the NOJHL approved the relocation of the Abitibi franchise from Iroquois Falls to Timmins for the 2015-2016 season.

Undaunted, a determined group of Iroquois Falls residents, led by Allison Madden-Blais and her husband Ron Blais, banded together to try to get a new NOJHL franchise — and it did just that when Donnan acted on the opportunity to move his Mattawa team to a town that led the league in attendance in 2014-2015 with a per-game average of 513.

Thus, pending the formal approval of the NOHA, the Mattawa Blackhawks will become the Iroquois Falls Eskimos in 2015-2016.

PHOTO: Timmins Rock coach-general manager Paul Gagne with the new team logo.

What you think about “Classic Rock”

  1. Can someone tell me who owns the Rock. I was always under the impression that the town of Iroquois Falls owned the Eskies.
    by moving would they still not belong to them.? Would someone from the New or old Eskies board know this. One simple question who owns the Team Called Rock.?

  2. I still dont think its rite for Scotty and Paul to turn there back on there Hometown & move to Timmins. This is just my opinnion but it does not seem rite to me lets just hope that Iroqoius Falls do good with there new Team. Scotty and Paul may be legends of a sort but what is rite is rite and what aint rite aint rite neither. Timmins belong in the NOJHL as a city there size they should support the team and this will be good for all but only if Iroqoius Falls works out for them.

  3. I was only recently introduced to this Site and I want to commend you on the professionall writing by your self and the over-all quality of the Site.
    As a resident of Timmins and as a ‘Hockey Mom’ I also want to thank you for such a nice Article on are Timmins Rock.

  4. Former Eskis now Rock are owned by a board of directors including Scott Marshall and possibly others with investment in the club. Town of Iroquois Falls has/had no shares or ownership in the team.

    Nothing wrong with em moving them to Timmins where it might have a better chance for their business model. I was surprised to see a goal of 650 season tickets for the Mac tho, i don’t think there is more than 400 seats with unobstructed views of the ice there. I know if I was planning to buy Rock season tickets, I’d be buying right now to ensure I can actually see the ice.

    Looking forward to seeing the tweaked Iroquois Falls Eskimos logo and can’t wait for next season! I think the Igloo is going need extra security for the first time the Rock come to IF. never played a game yet but lots of bad blood already and its going be a nasty rivalry. Let the games begin!

  5. What do peeps who ran team for 16 year owe to anyone? They did not even get a Thank You, they almost get run out of town for working 16 year for you.
    I.F. would have had ZIP-o Jr a hockey if not for them. I.F. did good, adopting the former Timmins team, and support it as best they did for so long.
    If their model of business no working in I.F. anymore, so be it, they did what they have to do.
    Attitude of being “owed” is just like someone who work somewhere for many years – he got paid, owed nothing. The people paid, the team played, no one owe no one nothing. You ppl in I.F. More worked up about losing that franchise than about losing your mill;you got your priorities all rong.
    Good luck to Matawan if noha approve them do not forget they are a for profit business unlike Abitibi, not for profit – who would you prefer working for ? Just askin.
    Oh ya, by way I like new Timmins Club name Rock and.logo ok too.
    Everyone in timmins Cochrane I.F KL lucky to have 4 team within a coffee drive of other each.

  6. Hi Randy – I want to say thank you again because so many that I talked with today have red this and they are all fans of are new Timmins Rock.

  7. So eskisfan you are saying that this is a private Business and the people that put money in the team such as the wall of fame to keep the team in Iroquois Falls were donating to a private Business? One good thing I hear they made arrangement to repay the town for the ice bill. They should do good with the population in Timmins.

    1. There were many, many donations made to this team by hockey fans who feel that a community meeting should have been held before the team announced it’s departure. Some people feel like they’ve been robbed.

      There’s more to this story than just the team moving and being owed.

      1. bluliner what you saying? one day your hospital may close and what then all people who fundraised and volunteered but if and when it happen it the province make business decision and nothing you can do then what then you carry gruge to your grave?
        you put money in something you hope it work, and when it don’t well that suck but that life get over it.
        tooo many like you make it soound like there is flim flam going on what you say? people pocket money? people get robbed ? say it out loud or can it man becuause otherwise one like you who talk its just poison i see it where i come from and it aint nice not pretty tear community apart and for what coffee rumour , jellous and spiteful people. if you really think there is something bad or illegal done call the cops and you better have some proof other wise let it go.

  8. Alain 1,yes.

    Tigertail, no one puts the team before the mill, this is a site dedicated to hockey not economics or politics. come to IF and learn what the priorities are. And although I agree with you for the most part, i know I don’t feel I’m personally owed anything. In the end, there are frustrated people who did donate, provide good ideas, came out droves in to create the highest ticket season base in the league. The general feeling is that the community did everything that was asked, but the eskis did nothing that was recommended by its fanbase for a few years. I too am frustrated at that part, but its not my business and those decisions were made by the board that me and 99percent of the peeps in town aren’t a part of.

    It was good, it was great, but the fact is, there is some owings and to finally decide to charge players after leaving the falls is the salt in the wounds.

    1. eskisfan i ran a business many years ago that did good then things changed loss of jobs in the town i was in (out west) lumbar mills closed. people were great not there fault. bottom line is that there was no business left, not enough of it.
      way i see it in IF is that fans were great, still are. but you cant put all cost of running a team on the fans or your season ticket would have cost you around $800 which i know you would not pay don’t blame you. IF great town great peeps; BUT no industry, hardly any commerical sponsorships available. not your fault, mine or RR’s or mayor shea it’s just the way things have turned out now.
      way i see it correct me if wrong is fans did their share absolutly yes; but the rest didn’t fall in place so what team to do?
      as for charge players to pay – thats a business decision and if they chose to not do it thats a business decision they made and why probably they move.
      where did you see or read that that Rocks are charging their player next year? i look, no find.
      and between you n me and the doornob, if i were 18 again and had to pay to play and could pick between timmins and kl and IF and cochranes , id pick none of them i go play where even bigger place. but if i had to pick, and the price was the same all 4 places, i woud go where there is more to do k, more for my mony and sorry hony it is not IF . it has nothing to do with the quality of the peeps there, its a bussiness decision. you may think different i respect that. but no way i alone thinking what i said.

  9. Tiger, no one said that the Eskies were owned, but there are people who invested dollars in the team for a return value

  10. Some of you Eskimo Fans need to relax just a bit and think about that Timmins deserves a Team of are own as well. Why point finger’s at Scott and Paul for all they have done to keep hockey in small market such as Iroquois Falls for so long. Why can’t you just enjoy Junior hockey and the nice article that Randy has wrote up on the Rock!! We will Rock so come the Mac and enjoy!!

  11. So…..The Timmins/Iroquois Falls rivlrey begins and it is only Middle April. and 4 1/2 months til the next hockey season begins.
    Like Brenda toll you already…..thanks to you Randy Russon! great articl.

  12. Been Trying to find season tick info & link to Timmins Rocks site to see how we compare. Any one.

  13. I don’t think there was any way the Eskis thought there would be a team back there immediately. The business decision to move was one that anyone else would have made. With the mill gone, there will be substantially less sponsorship money in the community. It’s simply a trickle down effect. I hope Mattawa does well and I hope everyone can survive. Love the logo, colours, and the buzz around Timmins. Next up – who is going to be the wingmen behind the Rock bench? Word is Mr. Dube is not venturing south to Timmins.

Leave a Reply

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