Notes from the NOJHL AGM

June 20, 2015

There are a few noteworthy developments from the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League’s annual general meeting that is being held in Sault Ste. Marie.

NOJHL governors have voted on new one-year contracts for commissioner Robert Mazzuca, executive director Ted Magee and administrator Hector Seguin.

With the new deal, Mazzuca’s annual base salary will jump from $30,000 to more than $65,000, according to a source within the league.

The pay increase was met with opposition as five team governors reportedly opposed the hefty raise.

Meanwhile, the NOJHL will operate with two six-team divisions and an unbalanced schedule in 2015-2016.

Soo Eagles, Soo Thunderbirds, Blind River Beavers, Elliot Lake Wildcats, Espanola Express and Rayside-Balfour Canadians will make up the West Division.

The East Division will be comprised of the French River Rapids, Powassan Voodoos, Timmins Rock, Iroquois Falls Eskis, Cochrane Crunch and Kirkland Lake Gold Miners.

Five teams in each division will qualify for the playoffs with a new twist. The fourth-and-fifth-place regular-season finishers in each division will meet in a best-of-three series to decide the no. 4 playoff seed in both the West and East.

What you think about “Notes from the NOJHL AGM”

  1. That’s a lot of money to be paying a Comissoner IMHO. I wonder how Teams in Blind River, French River and Irooqois Falls (as examples) will be able to afford this. No wonder hockey is becoming so expensive when they are paying big money to the Executive’s.

  2. When Joe Draggo was Commish of the NOJHL it was a Volunteer Position. My oh my have times changed. This just does not seem right to be paying a NOJ Commish that kind of money. I wonder what they are paying the other 2 who also got new Contracts with Mazuca ?????? RR ?????

  3. Good decisions, all. You get what you pay for. Want the NOJ to be a top tier league? It starts with leadership. Strongly agree with the 2 division format. I wouldn’t want my son playing the same three teams over and over again. Much better for fan interest as well. Thanks for the scoop Mr, Russon.

  4. I wouldn’t really freak out about this guys…the contracts are one-year deals. If the new 12 team league cannot afford to pay their front office people like this, something will be done about it.

    They aren’t tied down to these contracts. It’s a trial based contract, if it works, he may get extended, if it doesn’t, then back to the drawing board.

    I love the 2 division, 6 team per alignment though, it will create some great rivalries such as SOO/SOO USA, Espanola/Rayside a blast from the 1960’s (maybe a throwback jersey night would be cool with Espanola wearing the Eagles colours, and Rayside wearing vintage Canadians jerseys).

  5. Brad … I am with you I am looking forward to the Rayside/Espanola rivalrey being re-renewed. Lots a history there.

  6. Great news on the 2 division format. Many historical rivalries renewed in Espanola. As for the pay raise, I believe it has been reported that this salary just brings Mazzuca in line with the likes of the Commish of the SIJHL, a smaller league.

  7. Must be nice to be abel to get a pay increese of more than 100 %…..
    Funny that the kids pay to play so the adults can get a nice big pay check. Not only does Mazzucca get a nice big raise but so do his 2 cronies who are both collecting Pensions – Hector Seguin was a School Teacher and Ted Macgee was a Police Officer from what I understand. (Randy can you check this out to make sure.)
    Yup…..MUST BE NICE!!!!!

    1. Voodoos Supporter,

      It is none of my concern, nor does it interest me in the least, what Messrs. Seguin and Magee did for a living before earning a paycheque from the NOJHL.

  8. Bring on the Soo Eagles // Soo Thunder Birds TWIN SOO rivalry.
    Lets get ready to rock the old Pullar!

  9. … and up here it will be 4 Team Rivals with the Eskis, Timmins, Cochrane and Kirkland. I can hardly wait tho I wouldnt mind some warm weather first Ha Ha.

  10. Soo Eagles and Soo Thunderbirds will play each other 12 games this year, 6 at home and 6 away should be great Rivalry each team will play 27 home games

  11. Plenty of room to build up some intense rivalries with the two divisions. Interested to follow the two Soos rivalry again. You could also toss in Elliot Lake into that mix. The other division looks promising too. The Noj is on its way up.

  12. If the Owner’s voted for the increase in pay then they oviously think that Mr. Mazzuca is worthy getting what they will be pay-ing him.

  13. Salary increase for the NOJHL teams wouldn’t seem to be that much more – Commiss getting twice as much for twice as many teams – seems that poised for a couple of more soon too. Mattawa – Huntsville – Parry Sound????

    1. Perry- I think Huntsville or Parry Sound could be a possibility at some point, however I would say NO WAY to Mattawa. They have had 4 years of Junior Hockey in Mattawa with low attendance and low corporate sponsorship as there just is not a lot of business or industry in Mattawa. Mattawa is a great town and has a ton of great people, however given these facts, a facility that is not up to Junior Hockey Standards and a ice plant that won’t allow for ice to be made until the end of September each season it is just not realistic at all.

  14. It was reported on MCTV Sports last night that the Commissioner resigned to pursue other interest.

  15. Check this out. Comes from the NOJHL website.

    Mazzuca steps down as NOJHL Commissioner

    06/22/2015, 8:45pm EDT

    By NOJHL



    Release Date: Monday, June 22, 2015

    NOJHL contact: Scott Marshall, Executive Committee Chairman
    (705) 232-0566 (Cell) (Email)

    Mazzuca steps down as NOJHL Commissioner

    SUDBURY – The Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League announced Monday that Robert Mazzuca has stepped down from his position as NOJHL Commissioner to pursue other opportunities.

    The announcement comes following the NOJHL Board Meetings held over the weekend in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.

    A search for a new commissioner will commence immediately.

    Interested applicants are asked submit their notices of interest to NOJHL Executive Director Ted Magee at The deadline for applications is July 10.

    Also at the meetings, the board established an Executive Committee headed up by a Chairman of the Board as well as being comprised of one representative each from the East and West.

    Heading up the committee as chairman of the board is Timmins Rock president Scott Marshall.

    Jim Taylor of the Kirkland Lake Gold Miners will serve as the East representative while Todd Stencill of the Elliot Lake Wildcats will represent the West.

    In discussing Mazzuca, newly appointed chairman of the board Marshall offered these thoughts:

    “Robert Mazucca has been a tremendous asset to the NOJHL, a great friend, leader and innovator,” stated Marshall.

    “The league has made enormous progress under Robert’s watch and we are most grateful for his outstanding work ethic, vision and guidance,” added the NOJHL Chairman.

    “We wish Robert every success in his new endeavours and know he will succeed in whatever he decides to pursue. He will be sorely missed and the new commissioner will have very big shoes to fill,” summarized Marshall.

    Other agenda items finalized at the board meeting over the weekend include the following:

    DIVISIONS: The 12-team NOJHL will be divided into two divisions for the 2015-16 season.

    Comprising the NOJHL East will be the Cochrane Crunch, French River Rapids, Iroquois Falls Eskimos, Kirkland Lake Gold Miners, Powassan Voodoos and the Timmins Rock.

    In the NOJHL West it will be the Blind River Beavers, Elliot Lake Wildcats, Espanola Express, Rayside-Balfour Canadians, Soo Eagles in Michigan and the Soo Thunderbirds.

    SCHEDULE: The league will play an unbalanced 54-game regular season schedule commencing Sept. 9 and concluding March 9.

    PLAYOFFS: The top five teams in each division will advance to the league playoffs.

    Postseason play will commence with the fourth and fifth place teams in each division playing a best-of-three elimination series.

    The surviving squad will then take on the top seed in their division in a best-of-seven series while the No. 2 and No. 3 sides will do likewise.

    All remaining league playoff series will all be best-of-seven affairs.

  16. Hallelujah and amen to the league finally (FINALLY!) not having every team making the playoffs automatically. By having the top ten teams advance to the playoffs, it makes all regular season games more meaningful and provides some excitement for fans to cheer on their team to make the playoffs. All competing players want to win but for fans, knowing their teams would automatically make the playoffs, it robbed them of the fun of earning that spot. Of course, having 12 teams allows you that luxury as opposed to the old days of just 6, but nevertheless, it is an encouraging step forward.
    Two divisions of 6 is also fan-friendly because it reduces the monotony of seeing the same old-same old that would come with three divisions of 4. Both of these decisions are positive and progressive in my view and if the commish had a hand in steering the league in those directions, then pay him the money, though I see he has already decided to part company.
    Whoever replaces him will hopefully keep things moving onwards and upwards.

Leave a Reply

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