It is Crunch time up in Cochrane.
President and coach Tom Nickolau has hired a general manager and an assistant GM to bolster the staff of the Cochrane Crunch of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League.
The 55-year old Nickolau purchased the Cochrane franchise a year ago and steered it through 21 games of a 2020-2021 NOJHL season that was abbreviated relative to COVID-19.
Now, ahead of the 2021-2022 season, Nickolau has brought 54-year old Jim MacEachern aboard as GM and 28-year old Nick Porter as assistant GM.
MacEachern, who resides in Kitchener, has prior coach and management experience in the Greater Ontario Jr. Hockey League as well as in the Alliance under-18 loop. He has known Nickolau since their Ontario Hockey League playing days with the old Guelph Platers.
“Tom and I have talked a lot about how he wants to turn it around up in Cochrane and how he wants to be able to focus on coaching and the business side of the franchise,” MacEachern told Hockey News North. “This is a good situation for me to be involved in junior hockey and with Tom. There is a lot of work involved in running a junior hockey franchise.”
As for Porter, who resides in Sudbury, he has prior experience as an OHL scout.
“I first talked to Tom about helping out last year but with COVID-19 and all we didn’t finalize anything until just recently. This gives me the opportunity to be involved on the management side of an NOJHL team,” Porter relayed.
Cochrane posted a record of 4-15-2 in 21 games in 2020-2021 and Nickolau told Hockey News North that he is “looking to turn things around for next season. There is a lot of work to do. Hence why I brought in a GM and AGM.”