Beavers snag new bench boss

Will the power of positive thinking be a plus in Blind River come next season?

The new coach of the Blind River Beavers of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League plans to draw on the many positive experiences of his 21-year career as a professional player.

48-year old Doug McEwen takes the helm of a Blind River team that won only 8 of 50 regular-season games during the 2011-12 campaign while icing the youngest team in the NOJHL.

McEwen replaces coaching veteran Jim Capy, who stepped down as the Beavers bench boss after five years spanning two stints. Capy, a Sault Ste. Marie resident, led the Beavers to winning seasons in three of his five terms in Blind River.

“Good attitude and a positive approach can go a long way towards building a competitive hockey club,” said McEwen, who resides 90 miles from Blind River in Sudbury. “I like to think I am a good motivator who has a good understanding of how to treat people and what it takes to develop young hockey players.”

Fact is, McEwen isn’t that far removed from his own playing days as he was still skating at age 42 in a United Kingdom professional league.

In all, McEwen played 21 seasons of pro hockey in the United Kingdom, scoring an amazing 771 goals as a small-sized forward.

McEwen, who grew up in Elliot Lake, not far from Blind River, played Jr. A in his hometown before moving on to the Ontario Hockey League with the Kitchener Rangers and the Ontario Colleges Athletic Association with Humber College.

Then it was off to play in the United Kingdom, where he met his wife, Julie. Their son, Corey McEwen, who played in the NOJHL with Blind River as a rookie last season, was born in Cardiff, Wales.

The United Kingdom, which is a sovereign state, consists of four countries: England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.

McEwen, who moved his family to Sudbury five years ago, is excited about coaching in the NOJHL.

“It’s a good league, I got to watch a lot of it the past couple of years,” he related. “I’m particularly excited about the challenge of making Blind River a competitive team again. Blind River is a good hockey town and the fans will support an honest effort.”

Growing up in Elliot Lake with a family that includes his younger brother Dennis “Q” McEwen — who went on to score 50 goals one season as a hardworking left winger with the OHL’s London Knights — McEwen is well aware of the impending rivalry renewal between his hometown and Blind River.

Coached by Ryan Leonard, the Elliot Lake Bobcats will debut in the NOJHL effective the 2012-13 season and are expected to form a rabid rivalry with Blind River, which is less than 45 minutes away.

“I’m hearing a lot of talk already about the Blind River-Elliot Lake rivalry,” said McEwen, who was just hired as coach of the Beavers a few days ago.

McEwen, who has helped coach midget hockey in Sudbury the past few winters, plans to call on a few of his old contacts for assistance in the player recruitment department.

One of them is Bruno Bragagnolo, the well-respected coach-general manager of the Soo Eagles of the North American Hockey League.

About 35 years ago, Bragagnolo, who is from Chicago, found his way to Elliot Lake, where he was a goalie with the erstwhile Jr. B Vikings. McEwen said he remembers Bragagnolo.

“In fact, Bruno used to date my sister,” McEwen recalled. “Hockey is a small world.”

As for who will assist McEwen with the 2012-13 edition of the Beavers, holdover assistant Rusty Joncas will return. Joncas is also considering taking on the general manager’s duties that have been vacant since Jim Yardanoff resigned at the end of the 2011-12 season.

McEwen and Joncas have already scheduled a Beavers tryout camp, which is slated for June 23-24 at Countryside Arena in Sudbury.

For more information, contact Beavers board member Kerry Joncas by e-mail: kerry_joncas12@hotmail.com.

31 thoughts on “Beavers snag new bench boss

  1. North Shore

    Can’t wait to watch the “New” Beavers this coming season. Lots of “posative” talk around Town since Linda made the announcment and RR’s article’s.

  2. Beavers1

    I think that Rusty Joncas would be a good person to be G.M. He is involved with the Team & cares about our Team.
    Also to RR : good write up on the new Coach. It will be nice to see a happy face association with the Beavers. I can already bet that attendance will go back up just like when Todd was here.
    To Gramma Beaver Elva, Lee Ann, Linda, Kerri etc. thank you for making this happen.
    Being dumped by Verrault may turn out to be a blessing in disguise if Doug brings such a positive attitude to the Organisation.

  3. Cue For Treason

    The Beavers need a breath a fresh air and we hope that Doug McEwan can provide this.
    GO BEAVERS GO! BEAT ELLIOT LAKE! BEAT THE BOOZE BIRDS!

  4. BirdsFan1

    Definatley good to see Blind River get a Coach in place and begin work on next season! He seems to have the right attiude etc. going by what RR wrote. Beavers-Thunderbirds has had some good rivalries in the past even if the past season was not that good for Blind River.

  5. Cassio

    I have heard all good things about Doug McEwen. I agree that this is a good hire for Blind River.

  6. Frood

    Dougie Mcewen will bring energy and passion to those Beavers in Blind River. His positive out-look will rub off on players and fans in Blind River imho.

  7. Hawks_96

    Anything on the cubs? McEwen will be a good coach Blind River now Sudbury needs to find a guy like him.

  8. Brother99

    The Elliot Lake Bobcats had an awesome camp this weekend. Also they had an interesting format to allow the coaching staff and players a second look, a pre all-star game on Sunday morning, a first for me to see. The two games on Sunday were fast and exciting and the spectators were treated to some good hockey. Kudos to the Coach, staff and Mrs. Leonard as they handled the camp very well from an organized matter as well as the personal touch of talking to the players. To the Elliot Lake fans and to the NOJHL in general well played by the Bobcats in Sudbury this last weekend. Just a comment not that it had anything to do with the camp Sudbury was a nice town and the rink missed an opportunity to make money at the concession stand (no it wasn’t open).

  9. Beavers1

    Thats good about David Mcaig hired as Asst Coach for the Beavers as he symbolised the dedication it took to be a member of the Beavers. Congrats to David and to the new Coach for hiring him. Obviously RR is happy that his favrite NOJHL Player is now a Coach eh RR! Seriusly this is good for David and the Beavers. RR hope to see you in BR soon. Buy you a cold one at your favrite Northern Ont bar.

  10. BeaverGrad2010

    Best coverage of the Blind River Beavers is by Randy’s articles. I would not know a thing about them in the Media if it wasnt for Randy. Thanks RR.

  11. Linda Lamorie

    Blind River Beavers Reunion Committee

    We would like to let all Beaver players, executive and fans from 1970-2012 to know that we are having a reunion. Dates: Aug 3-5th
    Please check out the web-site @ blindriverbeaversreunion.com
    Ticket are on sale now.
    In Blind River we now have an office at 13 Murray St.(the old bakeshop). Hours are 10 a.m. -1 p.m., 3-6 p.m. daily

    For further info you can also call me, Linda, at 705-356-4937

  12. North Bay Trappers

    The 2012/13 Dudley Hewitt Cup Host North Bay Trappers are holding a free agent conditioning camp in North Bay July 6,7,8, with the first ice session at 6pm on friday night.

    If you or anyone is know maybe interested in attending this camp please fill out a player profile on the Trappers website http://www.northbaytrappers.com and get in contact with Associate GM Randy Blake for more information at randy.blake@northbaytrappers.com or 705-497-0059.

    The camp has limited spots and players are accepted on a first paid first registered basis, so dont miss out on a great opportunity to play Jr A Hockey.

  13. BeaverGrad2010

    See you all at the Beavers reunion! Mr. Russon I hope to see you there. – C.

  14. Randy Russon Post author

    FYI,

    Sources say the Sudbury Cubs have been sold from Bill Scott to Mike Mooney Jr. Mooney is the son of Mike Mooney Sr., former owner of the NOJHL’s Rayside-Balfour Sabrecats.

    RR

  15. Hawks_96

    Thanks Randy for the update on the Cubs. I hope the Mooney’s bring the same success as they did with the Sabrecats.

  16. Randy Russon Post author

    Hawks_96,

    You are welcome. I am hearing they may drop the “Sudbury” name from the team and call it the Copper Cliff (where the team plays, as you know) Canadians or Copper Cliff Wolves or, whatever.

    Regards,

    RR

  17. Frood

    As always, count on RR for the scoop. I hear all good things about Mike Mooney. NOJHL needs to be better promoated in Sudbury that has been a problem with prior ownership groups even when Burgess owned the team it wasnt a priority because of course him owning the OHL Wolves. Burgess did save the NOJHL in Sudbury give him credit as no one wanted the team then.
    I like the idea of going with a “local” name instead of Sudbury Jr. Wolves or Sudbury Cubs. If they play in Copper Cliff then thats where the name should come from.
    Copper Cliff Canadians or Copper Cliff Capitals anything like that would sound good and give the small town sound to it.
    I am assuming Brian Verreault will be coaching the new Sudbury-Copper Cliff team. I am sure the folks in Blind River wouldnt mind kicking Verreault’s ass once or twice this year.

  18. Peachy

    PEACHY BLOG

    New Owner in Sudbury is good man old Manger is good for shit ahahahahahahahahahahahaha

    ahahahahahahahahahahahaha

    eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

  19. Cassio

    Brian Verreault will be the Coach of the “new” Sudbury NOJHL Team. That is the word at Casey’s on the Kingsway last night.

  20. Mike

    Verreault is telling everyone he can that he was offered the head coaching job with the Sudbury Cubs… Sudbury Canadians… Copper Cliff Canadians… Who konws…

    I guess the very ugly green uniforms will be gone.

    Same old, same old in Sudbury. If Mooney’s to lose money on this, he maybe should have gotten rid of the old guard and started new with a fresh coaching staff. Same old, same old in Sudbury.

  21. David Harrison

    From all reports former NOJHLer Brett Findlay is on his way to the Peterborough Petes for his overage year.

  22. BirdsFan1

    Thunderbirds have offerd the Head Coach position to Frank Porco.
    RR: I am sure that you have heard this.

  23. Barbie Blond

    Randy – great coverage of the NOJHL on the Juniorhockey.com site as well. Way to stick it to Verrault ha ha.

  24. Mike

    Lying Bryan! Good one RR! Will stressed out Rod assist Lying Bryan? Quite the tandem they were. Lying Bryan’s going around town telling everyone he can that Mooney’s desperate for him to run his team. Mooney would be wise to look high and low for new blood to run his team. Lots of good local candidates but also but, really, he’d be better off bringing in an outsider (like the Trapps) did that won’t be “influenced” by local politics and money bags in their coaching decisions. Lying Bryan knows a thing or two about that methinks!

Leave a Reply

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

 characters available

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>