NOJHL notions a la RR

February 5, 2016

Let’s head East and West, team to team, town to town in the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League, according to the gospel of RR:


A legitimate contender to win the NOJHL title this season mainly because of owner-general manager-coach Ryan Leonard, who is one of the best recruiters in the league. There is no one in the NOJHL who out-works Lennie.


Good team that is peaking at a good time. No doubt that the town will do a good job of hosting the Dudley-Hewitt Cup, Central Canada playdowns in May. Too bad the Gold Miners have such tacky uniforms.


Good ownership, good management, good coach, good players. Say no more.


On top of a Rock in Timmins sits a dinosaur named Scotty who is watching the game pass him by.


Eskis coach Corey Bricknell wants to settle down in Iroquois Falls to the extent that he would like to buy the team from owner Allan Donnan. Stay tuned.


The Rapids have won only one game thus far as a first-year team but they have a good coach in Moe Mantha who is also an upfront guy.


If head coach Jordan Smith doesn’t win the 2015-2016 NOJHL coach-of-the-year award then his assistant, Jeremy Rebek, should.


Not only is Nathan Hewitt a good coach but Wildcats general manager Todd Stencill has a 7-0-1 record while filling in behind the bench last season and this one.


Owners Mike Mooney and Chris Whitehead have agreed in principle to sell the team to a Sudbury hockey guy who will keep the Canadians right where they are.


My favourite place in the NOJHL to watch a game is venerable Pullar Stadium. And as a bonus, the Eagles cook the best home-made burgers at their concession stand and sell ice cold beer from Marchetti Distributing. Strong ownership has made the Eagles a mainstay in the Michigan Soo.


Good management and good coach who are keeping the faith despite the fact that attendance has been sluggish.


You have to feel for an executive with good intentions and a good business plan that cleaned up the mess left by previous leadership. Beavers brass spent big money to bring in a full-time coach but the team remains in last place. Still, Blind River remains home to one of my favourite northern Ontario bars, the Riverside Tavern.

What you think about “NOJHL notions a la RR”

  1. i seen this post scrolling down my feed and recognized that corner of the bar immediately , will never forget some of the nights spent in that place and the memories made with a great group of guys. like one of the nights; we had just aqcuired and required branden ominika and nate macloed from the islanders as we got ready to take on the thunderbirds on home ice just after the deadline, following a big 3-2 win the team and half of the town crawled down to the riverslide for a few wobbly pops on the house! made for a memorable night as most of our families made it to the game, (and barely made it out) lol

  2. I like the NA a lot but to be honest I am glad that the Eagles are back in the NOHL. The rivalrees in the NOJHL are the best espesially Eagles/Thunderbirds, Eagles/Blind River and Eagles/Elliott Lake all those visiting Teams bring there fans to the Pullar making for a GREAT atmosphere.

  3. You are bang on about the Ownership of the “Soo Eagles”. The Eagles do alot in the Community and the Community respect’s the Soo Eagles and support them very well. You are right about the “Pullar Burgers” to and the Cold Beers to wash em down!

  4. If Hearst is getting an expansion team, the NOJHL should form a division with Hearst, Kirkland Lake, Cochrane, Timmins and Iroquois Falls. Sturgeon Falls should get a team too, after their GMHL franchise pulled out of the season last month and claim to be returning next season. Bring back the Sturgeon Falls Lynx

  5. Randy, thanks for confirming something we’ve been hearing for some time now. I am still, however, disappointed that you are the one who is informing us… disrespect to you, your good at what you do. I just think that the fans of Iroquois Falls should have heard about this first, locally, before it got here.

    Having said that, in my circle of friends, most of us are not going to invest in the Eskis (what’s an Eski anyway) like we have in the last 10 plus years with season tickets. Unfortunately, what we saw here this year was a team that gave away some good players, for those who were cut from the other teams in the area and the end result is displayed on the NOJHL website.

    Anyway, I could go on and on, my point is that we need to hear something positive about this team and that we should not have to sit on rumours for weeks on end before something is announced on a blog, that most fans don’t frequent.

    That’s my rant for the day….keep up the good work Randy.

  6. blueliner, so if the team changes hands, that would mean your complaint about the product is not very valid is it, and you would have no reason not support right?

    I think the prospective new owner might be frustrated by this years product and that’s why he put in an offer. If we as fans of hockey in Iroquois Falls can’t support a new owner who is willing to pony up 49500 more than me and you are, then were in trouble. I hope if the team is sold, I’ll see you in the lineup to get season tickets for next year.

    that being said, you are not the only one who I’ve heard say they won’t renew unless a change is announced. I just hope the businesses and hockey fans step up to the plate again, guarantee it will be an exciting 2016-17 season if the club is sold to the person I’m being told is the buyer. and how do you announce something that hasn’t been finalized? apparently its getting closer, but I can only assume no deal yet

  7. I do agree with you that the Espanola Express have excellent coaching and a good management team. The disappointing attendance is the result of a couple of things. First, the previous owner in Espanola turned off a number of fans, especially season ticket holders who did not renew for this season. Many took a wait and see attitude, and when the team got off to a slow start ,(the second reason) with some blow out games, they did not return. The team has improved immensely as the season has progressed, and hopefully the attendance will improve over the last games of the regular season. With up to 15 players possibly returning next year, the future of junior hockey in Espanola is encouraging.

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