The new Espanola Express has added a trusted, seasoned veteran to its Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League staff.
Randy Blake joins the Express — which will debut as an NOJHL expansion team in 2015-2016 — as its director of operations.
Blake, who hails from North Bay, has a prior association with the NOJHL in Espanola.
During the 2013-2014 season, Blake was general manager of the Espanola Rivermen, who led the NOJHL in average, per-game attendance. But the erstwhile Rivermen left the NOJHL to join the Canadian International Hockey League, which folded after its inaugural 2014-2015 season.
Before Espanola, Blake held management and scouting positions with former NOJHL teams in North Bay and Temiscaming.
In returning to Espanola with the Express, Blake reunites with head coach Tom McCarthy. The two worked together previously in both Espanola and North Bay, winning an NOJHL championship with the Trappers in 2012-2013.
Blake joins an Express hockey staff which besides McCarthy, also includes associate coach Jason Rapcewicz and general manager Chad Clarke.