Iroquois Falls Eskimos approved

April 22, 2015

The Northern Ontario Hockey Association has given formal approval for the Mattawa Blackhawks to relocate and become the Iroquois Falls Eskimos, has confirmed.

With today’s NOHA approval, the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League officially returns to the town of Iroquois Falls without ever having left it.

Iroquois Falls — a resilient town of about 4,500 which is located about six miles east of Highway 11 on the banks of the Abitibi River — was faced without having an NOJHL team for the first time since 1999.

Just a few months ago, the NOJHL and the NOHA had approved the relocation of the Abitibi Eskimos from Iroquois Falls to the much-bigger, nearby town of Timmins for the 2015-2016 season.

The new Timmins team will be known as the Rock.

Meantime, now that it has NOHA approval as the former Mattawa entry, fans and supporters up in Iroquois Falls can officially begin to get ready for the 2015-2016 season.

Allison Madden-Blais, community co-ordinator for the new Iroquois Falls Eskimos, could barely contain her excitement after hearing of the NOHA approval.

“This is so exciting,” Madden-Blais told “I am almost speechless with excitement — and I am not usually at a loss for words. The community has been on pins and needles waiting to hear from the NOHA.”

Today’s approval from the NOHA is well-timed, according to Madden-Blais, as team owner Allan Donnan is slated to be the guest speaker tonight at an Iroquois Falls Chamber of Commerce meeting.

The NOHA serves as the governing body for the NOJHL.

What you think about “Iroquois Falls Eskimos approved”

  1. This is great news for Iroquois Falls! Now, that its all official, lets see how ethical Coach Gagne will be when it comes to any local players that may want to be traded back home from the newly formed Timmins Rock. Those locals didn’t cost that franchise a penny to acquire, wonder if he will soak the Iroquois Falls team or will he actually play fair. Time will surely tell.

  2. if there s a Town that deserrves a Junior A hockey team it is Iroquois Falls for sure on my mind. This will make for a great rivalery with Timmins, Cochrane and here in Kirkland. Who will Coach the Eskies who knows.

  3. I hope that Taurean White stays with that franchise with the move to IF. He is a great coach and he did wonders with a Mattawa team who’s fate was surely going down the same track as the Beavers season. He took over and made that team someone who could go in to someone else’s barn and steal a game, especially against the top teams in the NOJ.

  4. Northern Observer…… is irrelevant that the I.F. Players did not cost anything to sign. The teams sign players, develop them, and to think that they would be signed over because of their geographical origin, well this is not how things work. There is compensation involved no matter where they go. There will be some players granted an outright release IMHO.

  5. HockEye.
    To start, there was little to no development in I.F. last year, could barely get 3 proper practises a week and could hardly get Gagne on the ice more than twice a week. I agree that there should be some type of compensation for a player, I agree fully, but it’s gotta be realistic. I know how this group works, they will ask at least a couple thousand dollars for kids they didn’t even play and they will ask top dollar for kids they actually played. Their ethics are the shits and no one will get out right released. Hopefully all future players realize that’s how it’s gonna work in Timmins too.

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