Teams from the Midwest Jr. Hockey League and the new Canadian International Hockey League are perusing a 2014-2015 regular-season schedule that would include interlocking games based on geography.
When the MWJHL convenes for its Annual General Meeting on June 21 in Detroit, it will be joined by officials from the CIHL.
The MWJHL — which was formed in 2012 — and the new CIHL are both members of the sanctioned United Hockey Union, which is part of the Amateur Athletic Union.
The MWJHL is a nine-team league with eight of the clubs based in Michigan.
Michigan-based teams in the MWJHL are Soo Firehawks, Traverse City Hounds, Alpena Street Cats, West Michigan Freeze, Michigan Ice Dogs, MC Monarchs, Berkley Bruins and Detroit Fighting Irish. The Illinois-based Decatur Blaze is the other MWJHL entry.
Right now, the Ontario-based CIHL has approved five teams to begin play in 2014-2015 — Espanola Rivermen, St. Charles Spirit, Central Ontario HTI Stars, Colborne Cramahe Hawks and Milton Battle Arts Cobras — and more are expected to be added within the next week to 10 days.
In a geographic crossover involving teams from the two leagues, Espanola and St. Charles of the CIHL are within 150 to 325 miles from the Soo, Traverse City and Alpena of the MWJHL.
Further south, Central Ontario (Barrie-Innisfil-Angus), Colborne and Milton of the CIHL are between 225 and 325 miles from five MWJHL teams, beginning with Detroit.
To be sure, both MWJHL commissioner Scott Gardiner and CIHL president Tim Clayden have been discussing variations of an unbalanced, geographical interlock with teams in their respective leagues.
PHOTO: About 150 miles is all that seperates Espanola Rivermen of the CIHL and Michigan Soo Firehawks of the MWJHL.