Midwest merry-go-round

June 2, 2014

Round and round it goes.

There are major confirmations to relay today from the Midwest Jr. Hockey League.

Michigan Ice Dogs — who are based in Farmington Hills — have a new head coach.

As well, the MWJHL has approved the relocation of the Bloomington Blaze to the Illinois town of Decatur.

And the new MC Monarchs have announced upcoming tryout dates.

About to enter its third season of operation in 2014-2015, the MWJHL is primarily based in Michigan with teams from the Great Lakes State that include the aforementioned Ice Dogs and Monarchs as well as (alphabetically) the Alpena Street Cats, Berkley Bruins, Detroit Fighting Irish, Soo Firehawks, Traverse City Hounds and West Michigan Freeze.

The eight Michigan-based teams along with the relocated Decatur Blaze makes the MWJHL an eight-team loop for the 2014-2015 campaign.

As members of the United Hockey Union, the MWJHL is affiliated with the new Canadian International Hockey League that will begin play effective the 2014-2015 season.

Around the MWJHL we go:


Michigan Ice Dogs have hired Kyle Lang as their new head coach.

No stranger to the MWJHL, Lang was co-head coach of the Detroit Fighting Irish with Jason McCrimmon in 2013-2014.

“Kyle is a very detail-oriented coach who gets the most out of his players,” said Ice Dogs general manager Jeff Price. “His knowledge of the game is extraordinary and he’ll be a major asset to our program next season. Organization, structure and professionalism are three words that come to mind when I think of Kyle.”

Lang said his experience with the Fighting Irish in 2013-2014 will help him with his new gig with the Ice Dogs.

“I think being a part of the Fighting Irish coaching staff prepared me well to fully understand all that goes into the development of student-athletes and helping them achieve their aspirations and goals is paramount to me,” said Lang. “One of the things that I have always worked hard to do is to utilize my coaching network and relationships to advocate for players at the next level. To me, it’s all about helping young men open doors of opportunity for their academic and hockey futures.”


Bloomington Blaze has made the relocation to Decatur for the 2014-2015 season official.

Zac Pearson, who has served as Bloomington’s coach-general manager the past two seasons, will continue in those roles and will also take over ownership of the franchise.

“I am certainly grateful to have obtained unanimous approval from the MWJHL’s Board of Governors for this move,” said Pearson, who played Division I, National Collegiate Athletic Association hockey with the Ferris State University Bulldogs from 2003 to 2007 before going on to a six-year pro career. “This league continues to grow and have talented players move to the next level and I want to continue to be a part of it.”


MC Monarchs general manager Mark Gilman has confirmed a five-session schedule of tryout skates as the expansion MWJHL team continues to evaluate talent for its maiden season.

Monarchs head coach Jason McCrimmon and will be hosting the open-skate sessions and scrimmages for potential players on the following dates and times — June 25 at 6 p.m., July 10 at 6 p.m., July 22 at 5:30 p.m., August 12 at 7:30 p.m. and August 19 at 7:30 p.m.

The cost per skate is $15 and all will take place at the Monarchs home rink — Mount Clemens Ice Arena.

For more information, contact Gilman at mark@freshicehockey.com or McCrimmon at Jason@freshicehockey.com.

What you think about “Midwest merry-go-round”

  1. Thank You for this information Mr. Russon! We are most ecsited to have Junior Hockey in our Area and we thanks to Mark for this.

    P.S. I enjoy your Website very much for the many Articles and so Professionel.

  2. I think the League might be smart to put 1 more team up North in Gaylord (nice rink that has room for 1000+ Fans) and also 1 team in Port Huron with no NAHL team there no more.

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