Mattawa on the agenda

October 3, 2014

Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League governors are slated to meet in Sudbury on the weekend and one of the items on the agenda concerns the Mattawa Blackhawks, formerly the North Bay Trappers.

This is the first full season for the NOJHL in Mattawa following a trial run of games late in the 2013-2014 season.

The Blackhawks have played just one home game at Mike Rodden Arena in Mattawa thus far this season and drew a respectable crowd that was reported at 387.

For the 2014-2015 season, Mattawa has played eight games thus far and is still looking for its first win.

But it’s not Mattawa’s 0-8 record that has it on the NOJHL agenda.

Rather, it’s the off-ice state of the Mattawa franchise that is reportedly going to be discussed.

To be sure, Mattawa owner David Beauchamp, who has yet to celebrate his 30th birthday, is finding out what it is like to own a team in the NOJHL.

Young Beauchamp got into the NOJHL as an owner in North Bay in 2013-2014 and was granted approval to move his franchise to Mattawa for 2014-2015.

Those who know Beauchamp are saying that he has worked hard to pay off debt that was incurred in 2013-2014 when the NOJHL made a big mistake in thinking that North Bay could still be a viable franchise even with the return of the Ontario Hockey League to the Gateway City.

Thus, Beauchamp was allowed to pack up and leave North Bay for nearby Mattawa, a small town of a few thousand residents.

As owner of the Blackhawks, Beauchamp has thrown himself head first into the operation of the franchise though those close to him say he has tried to do too much on his own, from hockey operations to marketing to the little things in between.

Do the Blackhawks have debt and are they behind in their league fees? Sure they are.

But I doubt that Mattawa is the only NOJHL team that is in some financial strain.

To be sure, one would like to take a look at the financials of other teams in the NOJHL, say the more-established Abitibi Eskimos and Blind River Beavers, for example.

I am not sure why Mattawa is being singled out by the NOJHL as it pries into the finances of the franchise and its owner.

Perhaps we will learn more in the days ahead.

There are two sides to most stories and the facts are usually somewhere in the middle, depending on the factions involved.

What you think about “Mattawa on the agenda”

  1. Well said RR. The team is only a couple pieces away from being a serious competitor. They work their butts off, and are a group to be proud of. They have been behind the eight ball from day one, no free agent camp, no ice, etc, their season has really just started a week ago when the ice was put in to the Mattawa arena. They will need a new updated system in order to produce ice in warm temperatures. Nothing but the best of luck to the Blackhawks.

  2. looks like the commissioner and his planned “budget” failed, If I were Beauchamp I would fold and join the CIHL…I personally saw him yesterday and he looked tired and worn out.

  3. Hey Bobby there is for sure a good old boys club in the NOJHL,but there may be more to this. I hear that the commisioner has been protecting DB for quite a while now,but it was probably more of an ego stroke for the commish to say how many teams he had etc..Randy I fully agree why just meet about Mattawa when there are more teams in the same boat. While I prefer the CIHL I really think that what is happening to the NOJHL with their leadership is a disgrace to hockey.

  4. Lets be realistic here, there is not enough players to support 9 NOJ, and 4 CIHL team in the north. The quality of hockey is declining. I am not leaving the confines of my couch to go watch blow outs.

  5. Hey guys. Give Dave a little slack. He’s working hard. He’s learning what it takes to be a team owner. In time, he will be a fine member of the ‘league of hockey team ownership’. Its a rather exclusive club. And its obvious that the critics haven’t got a clue how difficult it is to succeed at this level.

  6. Should of stayed with the GMHL Mattawa, the player fees help pay the bills and atleast you have a hope of putting a good team on the ice in a small community with the use of imports. Almaguin thanks you for your team.

  7. I for one hope all nine clubs stick around for the long hual in the NOJHL, I cant believe how expensive and complicated junior hockey has become in the past 20 years nuts man. What happen to days when OHL hockey cost 7.50 a ticket lol Good luck to the Blackhawks ! get that first big win tonight boys !

  8. Beavers hanging in there after two with the Goldminers will this be the night they brake the goose egg ? 3-2 miners nation going to the third,

  9. Many fans asking the ownership in Mattawa last night what was going on, I did not hear much but the answer given to most was that they are a first year team and budgets are tight , one young player who lives with my Freind was not in the lineup for the second straight game because of a transfer issue apparently because the league will not allow him on the ice… I smell trouble there seems to be a recurring issue with the NOJHL and the govoners

    Another big crowd let’s hope the team gets a win to keep them coming back.

  10. Off topic here, but looking at the NOJHL website and I see IM and PJM next to some players names… I know R is for rookie, and AP is affiliated player but don’t know what the others mean anyone?

  11. I agree with Stix, too many teams for the region. Teams with cash buy good JrA players and the other play with short benches.
    What’s Abitibi going to look like when Locke gets called up to Major Junior?

  12. Power rankings:
    1. Barons
    2. Wildcats
    3. Miners
    4. T-Birds
    5. Eskis
    6. Crunch
    7. Voodoos
    8. Blackhawks
    9. Beavers

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