Fans and supporters who live in the north country — good girls and bad boys alike — may have even more junior A hockey to watch in 2015-2016.
To be sure, the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League is hoping to expand beyond its current nine-team membership for the 2015-2016 campaign.
In the hands of — and awaiting the approval of — the governing Northern Ontario Hockey Association are requests by the NOJHL to put a new team in French River and allow for the Mattawa Blackhawks to relocate to Iroquois Falls.
Iroquois Falls has been home to the Abitibi Eskimos since 1999. But Abitibi management opted to take advantage of the bigger, nearby market of Timmins and has already received approval to move there for 2015-2016, as previously reported.
In that Iroquois Falls — as home to the aforementioned Abitibi Eskimos — led the league in attendance in 2014-2015 with a per-game average of 513, one would hope that the NOHA will see fit to approve the NOJHL’s request to move the Mattawa franchise there.
As for the French River area, I am told that the town of Noelville has an arena fully-equipped to house and maintain a junior A team.
At any rate, as we hopefully await NOHA approval for both Iroquois Falls and French River, we do advise that NOJHL commissioner Robert Mazzuca will guest with me tonight during the Hockey North Show that I host from 5-6 p.m. on ESPN 1400, which is available on-line via stream.1400espn.net.