LET’S HOPE THE NOHA APPROVES KIRKLAND LAKE

A group intending to secure a Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League franchise for Kirkland Lake has run into an unexpected obstacle from the town’s AAA midget team.

The executive of the Kirkland Lake Legion 87s of the Great North Midget Hockey League has done an about face regarding its support for the Kirkland Lake Jr. Hockey Club Committee, which has already received conditional approval from the NOJHL to purchase the Manitoulin Islanders and move the team to Kirkland Lake.

The KL Legion executive released a statement recently saying that it feared the arrival of an NOJHL team to town would “sound the death knell” of the midget program.

That stand is in sharp contrast to a letter that the KL Legion executive sent to Bob Kasner of the KL Jr. Hockey Club Committee that was dated March 28, 2011.

The letter from KL Legion president Brian Kenny to Kasner reads as follows:

“Dear Bob, Thank you very much for meeting with the 87s executive on February 15, 2011. The Legion 87s AAA Midget Hockey Club has all intentions of operating in the Great North Midget Hockey League for the 2011-12 season. We wish you luck in your bid for a Junior Hockey Club and will work with you in the event you are successful.”

To me, the letter from Kenny to Kasner is self explanatory. Let’s just hope the Northern Ontario Hockey Association — which is the governing body for both the NOJHL and the GNMHL — agrees and permits the transfer of the Manitoulin franchise to Kirkland Lake.

The NOJHL has made it clear that it unanimously supports the transfer of the troubled Manitoulin franchise to Kirkland Lake, a vibrant, growing community of close to 10,000 residents.

The KL Legion executive offered written support to the KL Jr. Hockey Club Committee as it sought to secure an NOJHL franchise for the town.

Whether the KL Legion executive has now withdrawn that support should be a moot point.

The NOJHL wants Kirkland Lake.

I have been told that hockey fans in Kirkland Lake want a Jr. team.

Let’s hope the NOHA makes the right call and supports the NOJHL and the Kirkland Lake Jr. Hockey Club Committee.

The KL Legion executive can’t have it both ways — it can’t be allowed to get away with speaking out of both sides of its mouth.

89 thoughts on “LET’S HOPE THE NOHA APPROVES KIRKLAND LAKE

  1. KL

    right on Randy the fans up here are excited for Junior “A” hockey and those who I talk to are pissed that the Midgets would even try and block this. This gives players in Town a chance to stay home and play Junior “A” and any one who can’t see that doesnt care about the kids imo.

  2. Eskis Fan in Kirkland Lake

    There is NO QUESTION that Kirkland want’s and will fully support an NOJHL Team.

  3. foober40

    Well Randy ,

    It’s unfortunate that you don’t have all the facts regarding the dealings between the two groups or the town of Kirkland Lake for that matter . The town is no t at a population level of 10,000 it is closer to 8500 . While there is growth in both exploration and mining going on there is in fact little growth in population at this time . The removal of derelict buildings over the years has resulted in a lack of affordable housing in town and no building of new multiple unit housing going ahead at this time . While there are single unit homes being built they are either for people who already live here or are so highly priced that few of them have been sold . Further the new workers being hired are either from town or are sharing an apartment with fellow workers who all go home during their weeks off .There are also no new major business locations opening which means that there is no new sponsorship money to fund two teams .As for local players , having grown up here I can assure you that most local players who have the ability to p[lay at the junior level want to leave this area to do so just as most high school graduates here want to go away to school and not stay here to go to college . Given a lack of sponsors , a lack of housing , a small population and a severe lack of local players it would seem that there are issues that need to be addressed and have not to this point .

    Further to the dealings between the parties , while it may appear that the 87′s changed their mind they really have not . The letter you refer to was the result of a private meeting that occurred between the parties and the town . At this meeting there were acrimonious discussions that took place and there were several promises made that have not turned out to be truthful . The executive was never in favor of the NOJHL coming to town and have in fact been fighting this for over two years with the Royals attempts to move to Kirkland Lake . I will not begin to discuss in detail the goings on at any meetings that were held but I would encourage you to contact Brian Kenny personally if you would like to have more knowledge . As to whether the town of Kirkland Lake wants the NOJHL I would say that from my discussions I have found that to be debatable. While I do know many people that enjoy watching the NOJHL , I know even more that would and do travel to Rouyn to watch the QMJHL Huskies . There is some support for both teams but the consensus is that both can not survive . As for the NOJHL needing or wanting Kirkland Lake , I’m sure they do . It would be impossible to keep face as an organization if they continued to field a team as poorly run as the Islanders . The fans on the Island deserved a much better fate than they received . Finally , the NOJHL has only approved the transfer in principal . The junior group must still provide their financials and a business plan to the league before they receive full approval so it is not a done deal yet .

  4. Cassio

    Kirkland Lake is home to many legendary NHL’ers: the Plager brothers (Barkley, Bob & Billy) the Hillman brothers (Larry & Wayne) the Redmond brothers (Mickey & Dick) – rather amazing to have 3 sets of brothers from the same town who all made it to the NHL.

  5. Eskis Fan in Kirkland Lake

    foober40 – I believe that you if you did a survey and asked which team the fans of Kirkland would rather have a Midget team or a Junior team it would be heavily in favour of the Junior team. Also so you know the Great North Midget League is not all that fond of the Kirkland Lake Legion 87′s organization and I am told that there would be few tear’s shed if Kirkland left the GNML.
    Besides there could be room for both a Midget team and a Junior team in Kirkland and Bob Kassner even offered to work together with the Midgets but they declined the offer.
    Also do you really think that Junior teams in the NOJHL are all made up of players from there towns??? Not at all. Do your homework foober40 before you mouth off.

  6. RR

    foober40,

    I have written several stories, including this one, that do in fact say that the NOJHL “conditionally approved” the sale of the Manitoulin franchise to Kirkland Lake.

  7. foober40

    Hello Randy ,
    I am very much aware that you know the existing offer is conditional as I follow your work closely both here and on the Times site . May I say that I enjoy all of your writing and that I concur with those who label you as the biggest supporter of the NOJHL in the media . The comment in question was not so much meant for you as much as others who read the blog . I apologize for the implication that you were not aware of this fact .

    As for Eskie fan in Kirkland Lake : I have talked to very many people in town and as I said I find the support to be split just about evenly between the two teams . This is not an exact scientific pole but it is my experience , hence why I stated that in my post . Further , I am well aware of the composition of NOJHL teams . Maybe even more aware than you .I think if you look you will find that most teams try to have a healthy number of local players on the team and that this is often a complaint if there are not enough . My comment is based on Mr. Kasner’s assertion that this will be an option for local players . As for the GNML . there are teams ( Soo ) that hate coming to Kirkland but then they also hate going to Kap so what difference does that make . As for doing my homework , I did . I am not mouthing off , I simply state several facts that are all common knowledge to anybody who has been following this closely . You should relax and try decaffeinated as I’m told many taste just as good as the real thing . Have a nice day all .

  8. Eskis Fan in Kirkland Lake

    foober40 – I sorry & appologise to you about “mouthing off” a poor choice of word on my part. I am not so sure if we know same fans but one’s who I talk with say they prefer to have Junior Hockey. This NOJHL is good Hocky my friend and many wish to have this brand of Junior Hockey in Town. Agree with you that RR is # 1 for NOJHL reports.

  9. KL

    Question: can the Legion Midgets and this Kirkland Lake Blue Devils Junior Team not work together? That is what Bob proposed and it makes a lot of cents to me. In North Bay the Junior Trappers and Midget Trappers are affiliated. The Legion Midgets should be thankfull and not resentfull that Kasner wants to work with them insted of against them. We need to unite here!

  10. Peachy

    lots of nice Kooger in Kirkland Lake ahahahahahahahahahahahahaha
    Peachy take Road Trip to chek on this ahahahahahahahahahha

  11. 55

    I hope for the sake of being competitiv that those in charge of the Kirkland Lake Program make sure that they are staffed by a Scout who has the contacts nesessary for a successfull program! This is Junior Hockey not House League! We dont need another Manitoulin Gong Show dammit!

  12. eaglesrock

    1. 55 – another day another alias???!!! (Dammitt!)
    2. I have heard all good things about this Kirklend Lake thing from Bruno, Tommy so I hope this works out for the League.
    3. RR – Nice update on the 2 Eagles showing their Spirit!

  13. dcky33

    Well having grown up , played in KL though Juvenile and was there when the 87′s Midget team was born , my opinion is that Junior Hockey is exactly what KL needs. Here are some perceptions – when the KL AAA Midget team requires a coach from Timmins because no one in KL will coach – i percieve a problem . The 87′s will benefit from their succesful playoff run of last year and continue to develop midget aged players . The success of the KL Legion Midget Program is through hard work by a few executive members that have been in KL for a number of years as well as through the dedication of many many parents last season to ensure their program was sucessful. But face it they dont sell 500 seasons tickets a season , their attendance is based on current success and walk ups . However, I commend the Legion program – It was a founding member of the AAA midget league , produced OHL Players like Garth Joy (Hamilton), Peter Viskovich (Kitchener) and Shane Whelan (Oshawa/Windsor) and David Doyon who went to Ohio State , numerous other solid hockey plaers , but really today, the reality is the the GNML that league is really a AA league with 2 maybe 3 AAA Teams.

    Now onto the Blue Devils Jr Team . The Kasners own a number of companies which mostly are successful , thus the number of sponsors required drop down. The Arena is the perfect size for a team of this nature – 1100 fully packed but will seat 600 very comfy. To make this team a success they must do a few things ..

    1) Hire a coach with the ability to develop players. Credibility in coaching and development sells the program and brings kids into the area to play for them – look at Abitibi.

    2) They must recruit not only in KL but throughout temiskaming, new liskeard, haileybury , etc and benefit from clubs like the New Liskerard Cubs, The Timmins Majors , and the Kap Flyers and most importantly the KL Legion 87′s.

    3) The team must not expect the town to welcome them but they welcome the town /district – partnerships, marketing , advertising , full time , all the time, not only to KL but everywhere in between.

    In KL when you win , you are supported , hands down ,

    I being a KL’er at heart (even though im from Virginiatown) want to see this franchise to be successful , for the community, for the district and then for the League, and see players like Jordan Turbide , Riley Cox , and Jordon Cale stay home – play jr hockey in a successful program and take that one or two extra years developing for a shot at the OHL or CIS or NCAA Hockey – isnt that what a development league is supposed to be striving for. Shouldn’t that be what the NOJHL is all about

  14. foober40

    Hey ,

    No problem Eskies Fan , I know you are a big fan of the NOJHL . I see your postings here all the time . I too attend the games in the Falls and / or the Bay when I can and have had the sons of several different friends play in the NOJHL over the years . I also know several management and board members there whom I count as friends on different teams . It is a great league and the games can be very competitive . I’m not attacking the league in any way . All I’m saying is that it is the common held belief amongst those who have be involved in the junior team moving to town is that it is not possible for both teams to survive . This has been going on for over two years now .Mr. McCharles tried to move here the last two years from Temiskaming . There has been much discussion amongst the hockey people and the town during that period and the result is always the same , one or the other not both can survive . As to whether we talk to or know the same fans , it’s a small town and I’m sure we probably talk to some of the same people from time to time .

    KL , it would be nice if the two groups could work together and they have held meetings and had talks . There has been some misunderstandings between the groups and there is some mistrust based on what has occurred behind the closed doors at these meetings . I am not in a position to say more about it as I was not in attendance and have learned much second hand or in confidentiality . In the end the market will decide who remains and who ceases to exist . The caveat here is that the 87′s if they do fold are done forever as per the GNML constitution and there will never be AAA midget hockey here again . I have watched enough NOJHL hockey to know that this league is always in a state of flux with teams changing towns and owners on a somewhat regular basis . That is just a fact of junior hockey and is no way just a NOJ problem . If for some reason we lose the 87′s and them the junior franchise moves we will all be left driving to New Liskeard , Iroquois Falls , North Bay or Rouyn to watch a higher lever of competitive hockey . This being said , I would prefer to watch AAA midget at home than hitting the road all the time . These are just my feelings though . I also understand nothing ventured nothing gained but I’m worried about the long term outcome .

    Hey 55 is your alter ego Hockey Adviser available .Maybe he could help lead us all through the wilderness .

  15. deepwater

    Kirkland Lake is no better prospect than Manitoulin.The NOJHL knew 5 years ago that Reggie was an Actor not a hockey executive.They could have been active in solving the manitoulin ‘problem’. .However theywere coplicite in Reggie remain ing.No, instead of helping with the Manitoulin situation it is easier to foist it upon a community that has more interest in their Mdiget team.Never forget that the League was not interested in getting rid of the’LEGEND’ who piled up more fines for dishounable conduct in NOJHL history…and someone wonders why there was no t much kickback from manitoulin fans,,,,give us all a break!!!From the beginning THe NOJHL did not want a franchise on the Grand Manitoulin.They hid behind the outrageous “leadership” of little man Guy Blanchard and his mentality.They hadno appreciation for the original WILD sucess…in fact when Manitoulin beat the “seahawks” the first time Guy was fit to be tied.THe fans are still on the Island.We do NOT live in the 19th Century.

  16. eskisfan

    Wow lots of informed comments regarding KL

    I’ll say this, i think the pop is closer to 10K than 8K. town is busier than i’ve seen it inteh past 20 years. no new business is false, lots of “small” new entreprise.

    KL Gold is only going to get bigger, Lots of mining properties being develop that are coming to development stages. being told Fairhurst is going to turn the old DVA building into condos once the new DVA is built.

    I said before that i don’t think there is room for both. not eneough ice is just one problem. there are not enough fans for two franchises. not enough businesses to support the two clubs. Although there are more wealthy people KL than most/many communities that size, i don’t know of any that are ready to jump no board and fund the program.

    I think the blue devils are oging to have to wait at least one more year, til the 87′s fold. IMHO, this the end of the line for the 87′s. Kirkland lake and their lack of ice haven’t produced enough “good hockey playing kids” to compete in the GNML. A hiccup in the scouting program saw the Iroquois Falls talent switch to Kap 3 years ago and they haven’t went back nor do i see that happening in the near future. In that hiccup year they lost the Englehart talent also and they’ve been in Liskeard since. KLMHA didn’t win a NOHA B championship this year. Where is the talent going to come from? not a KL rep team that comes even close to a temiskaming shore rep team.

    3 maybe 4 players from last year team can play junior. someone mentioned Cox, he’s my maybe and that is a very loooooooooong stretch. turbide, with the right attitude, yes! Cale if he decides to skate, yes! Cobean, absolutely and anywhere he wants probably (not from KL BTW)

    I predict the 87′s program folds, in april if they don’t in September. Blue devils are going to need to HIRE a coach. Someone is going to need to be brought in (or someone has to convince the Doc to take over and i can’t see that happening.)

    In the end, i think junior hockey is the answer for KL’s hockey thirst. That community hasn’t produced enough talent to compete in a very long time in the GNML. Town loves the game i’ll say that. near perfect Jr rink, if they can get ice time. Best dressing room in the NOJHL if they take over the 87′s room when they fold. If you can bring in a good coach, find an EXCELLENT recruiter and the 87′s brass realize they’re beating a dead horse, Jr hockey works in KL.

    Any future midget talent needs to go to Liskeard, and jr talent from the south temiskaming comes to KL to play jr, the two could work hand in hand, but it’ll be the only way it works.

    As for past KLer’s in the NHL, those named are just a few of some 50

  17. northbayhockey

    deepwater i do agree with you in the sense that hockey can survive on the island, but before you go GUY bashing i do belive that the skyhawks operated the wild for one full season whenm they hit money problams, am i wrong RR?

  18. dcky33

    More news from Kirkland Lake – interesting read .

    http://www.northernnews.ca/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=3142077

    Deepwater : I agree – a well run competitive club on the island would be supported however i truly beleive Reggie and his antics have soured the of the good people of the island towards junior hockey – The Wild were a fun team to watch – they competed every night .

  19. foober40

    Well Eskies fan ,

    We both agree that both agree that two teams cannot survive in KL . Hence the 87′s lack of support for a junior team that would kill their program . Would anybody who has spent their time and effort to run something just decide to support its demise ? I think not . You are correct in some of your assumptions regarding KL and the midget program . The Iroquois Falls players have in fact chosen to go to Kap the last few years but I have it on good authority that several have expressed the desire to play in Kirkland next season . As for Englehart players , some come here and some go to New Liskeard . It depends on many things and again several players from Englehart have expressed a desire to play in KL according to my sources . Of course these things will work themselves out .

    As for Kirkland , I believe I said the population was closer to 8500 so I will not argue over a few hundred people . You are correct , the town is busier than it has been in a long time . Unfortunately the increase in jobs has not resulted in an increase in full time population . Many of these new workers simply live here for the week of work and then go back home for the week off . I know many people who work at the mines and they are the ones who tell me this . As well I know many people who in fact do this as well . I would disagree that there are lots of small enterprises starting here but if you could prove this to me I would gladly change my mind . If this turned out to be true it would be great for the town . Yes KL Gold is going to hire as is the mine in Matachewan . There is optimism regarding Queenston and the Virginiatown area as well . Still even with the old DVA building being converted to condos , which will not happen for quite a while , and the new homes being built there is a lack of housing to limit numbers moving into town . Temiskaming Shores is also on record offering a free bus from there to Matachewan if miners will live there . Competition for population and players as well . Of course maybe all these people who move here will have midget aged or younger children and will want them to have the option to play AAA midget hockey . Who really knows .

    As for a junior franchise , I agree for the need to hire a high quality coach . Also the need for capable scouting and player recruitment / retention personnel . I agree that the Doc will probably not want to do these things and I’m not sure where you would find somebody to take these positions on . I believe they would be from out f town . Then it becomes an additional cost . In the end I guess we’ll see what happens . It will sure make for some fun times at the local watering holes the next few months . I can’t wait .

  20. eskisfan

    Foober i was in town the other day, mall seems better with the clothing outlets and the homesence. Sears back is good. rosko’s mill although not soo “new” is recent and helps iwth 30 or so jobs. Building across the street from Crappy tire is another. I’m sure i’m forgetting a few, maybe just wishful thinking, i dunno.

    Englehart did have a good bantam team this year, hopefully that translate into few good players for the 87′s, based on what players are graduating, next year might be along one for the 87′s. I do know of 2 players from here (I.F) that will be trying out in KL for them. 3 of the I.F kids that went to Kap are now graduated from midget leaving only the goalteder Miron and Marco Dube (lil bro of former eskis captain Dan Dube) Dube has family there so he won’t be going anywhere.

    Going back to coaching, finding a coach for the Jr club will be tough indeed, has a replacement been found for the AAA coach?

    One of the best hockey/person development programs in the country is the school based Notre Dame Hounds program out of Saskatchewan. The Hounds start young and continue through to midget and into junior. A nice model but as mentioned in done in conjunction with a private school. Surprised we don’t see more of such systems.

  21. RR

    Is former OHLer and Kirkland Lake product Shane Whelan a coaching candidate? Just curious. Haven’t seen Shane since he played in the OHL with London (and before that, Windsor and Oshawa) circa 1987.

  22. foober40

    RR

    In all my talks with Shane he has not expressed an interest in coaching at the junior level or even returning to the midget level . I will ask him this weekend , but he works shift work and I’m sure he would not feel comfortable not being able to make a 100% commitment . This is a reason many qualified people give for not wanting to get into coaching . It’s common in a mining town where shift work is common . I’m surprised you would bring his name up after the article you mentioned him in last week . You are a font of knowledge though regarding northern players though I will admit . While he wasn’t the most successful first rounder ever he was far from the worst I’ve seen and he did go in the 3rd round to Philadelphia in his NHL draft year . He is a very knowledgeable individual and would make a great coach if that was what he wanted .

    Eskies fan you are correct about these few businesses you mention but some have been here for a while and predate this current mining rush . The new building you refer to is just replacing the Shell gas station with a Macs but it will probably cause the closure of A-1 Variety . The mill is not running 100% as far as I know and the lumber business i s not particularly stable right now . As for coaches , I know that there have been talks with some individuals concerning the 87′s position but I, not sure if they have a decision as of yet . You are correct when you mention the Notre Dame Hounds as being a great program for sure . The problem I have is with them getting players from all over Canada when other provinces won’t allow the same advantage to their teams . If they want to have hockey schools / factories then maybe all the AAA programs should be that way . I believe the OHF is studying the AAA and junior leagues and are working to reduce the number of teams in all divisions . That is why there is a moratorium on new teams in junior or AAA in Ontario right now . There may be big changes coming in the next few years. you are correct concerning the number of players the 87′s are losing due to graduation for next year . There were some very talented here who won’t be back , but that is how it goes in a small town / area . We start to build for a better run next season and do our best to be competitive this year . Unlike the bigger centers who just reload from year to year . The GNML is a development league much like the NOJHL is and we try to help our players improve so maybe they can play at a higher level . I’m sure you know this all though .

  23. RR

    foober40,

    I mentioned Shane Whelan out of curiousity because I was told just the other day by an old fastball teammate of his that he was back living and working in Kirkland Lake.
    I remember well when he was playing midget hockey in KL and I remember covering the NOHA playdowns back in 1984. KL had Whelan and Garth Joy, who both went on to play in the OHL as well as Dave Doyon, who went on to play NCAA Division 1.
    The North Bay Pinehill team had future OHL and NHLer Darren Turcotte and Soo Legion had had future OHLer Paul Maurice, now a veteran NHL coach, as well as Rob Zettler, who went on to play in the OHL and NHL.
    Anyway, Whelan was an exceptional midget with KL, big and strong and a good skater. Never lived up to first-round selection by Oshawa and later played for Windsor and London. I did interview him a couple of times and found him to be a very personable and down to earth kid. I also had occasion to have a beer with Shane’s late dad and Cornwall Royals scout Gord Wood at the NOHA playdowns that year in the Soo.
    Was just curious if Shane had stayed in hockey as a coach at any level in KL.

    Regards,

    RR

  24. RR

    KL,

    No, I am not from Kirkland Lake but my oldest brother-in-law, Branko Danicich, is. Good town, I have had some really good times up there, some of which I can actually remember.

    Regards,

    RR

  25. eskisfan

    Shane still plays men’s league and was an assistant coach for few years with the Legion 87′s

    Shane was the first but certainly not the last to wear number 88 for the Oshawa Generals. While in Philadelphia Flyers training camp he fought (i believe) Gary Roberts. You don’t get much more easy going than “Cheezy” Whelan.

    Fooober the 87′s do many things well and i hope they can survive. I know they are all volunteers and do the best they can. I may sound negative but i’m really do hope they survive. No one wants to lose a good thing and the Kl & 87′s have proud hockey history. one way or another the town deserves competitive hockey and with amount of KLer’s who care, i’m sure there will be an entertaining level of hockey in KL for years to come. I found it alot of fun to be in the rink for game #3 of the playoffs this year and to see that many people take in the game. Great recruiting tool right there, bringing a prospect to watch a game with over 1000 fans is a sure way to create interest.
    I’m not overly exicted when i look down the minor hockey talent pool in KL but you never know. Good recruiting can go a long way, finding a respected and knowledgeable coach will also help in that department.

  26. foober40

    Well Randy ,

    Shane did coach a few years ago as an assistant with Steve Polyblank and Mike Poulin to then head coach Jim Taylor of the 87′s . I don’t think he enjoyed the politics as much as he enjoyed the interaction between himself and the players . He was well liked by the kids and they responded to him very well . I talk to him often and the subject of returning to coaching has come up but as I stated with shift work and such he is not really motivated that way . Maybe in the future he might and that would be a good thing for hockey here in KL .
    If you don’t mind me asking , who were you talking to? I played against and with most of the fastball players from KL in my day . Also coached many of the kids Shane’s age in Little League , some of which you mentioned above ( Garth , Dave , Kevin Lee to name a few .)

  27. RR

    foober40,

    Derek Callahan is someone who I have talked to about Shane Whelan et al.

    Regards,

    RR

    P.S. Who is “Doc”, who has been referred to for his coaching background.

  28. foober40

    I know Derek quite well , we played slowpitch together with the Federal Tavern for a couple of years . Still working hard like a good V-Town guys . He’s an asset to the Bay . The Doc is Tom Sinclair former coach of the 87′s and a retired high school teacher . I’m sure you’ve met him someplace in your travels through the hockey world of the north . He’s been very involved at all levels of hockey for a long time .

  29. RR

    foober40,

    1. would Tom Sinclair be related to Gord Sinclair of KL hockey?
    2. Virginiatown, Swastika, the old haunts on Government Rd. (Princess Hotel, for one) all conjure up good memories of good times in KL. Also remember shooting pool in the basement (of some bar?) on Government Rd. I believe it was owned by the family of Dennis Giannini, who played in the OHL (with St. Catharines and London, I believe) and then in the American Hockey League with the old Cleveland Barons and maybe in the World Hockey Association with Cleveland Crusaders. I think Dennis would be a couple of years older than me, I was born in October, 1952.
    P.S. Then of course, there were the 52-mile jaunts to Rouyn for late night/early morning Labatt 50.

    Regards,

    RR

  30. foober40

    Sorry Randy , no relation between Gord and Tom . I remember the haunts you speak of well . Spent many an afternoon and evening at the “Prin” . Also the road to Rouyn is always a memory filled trip . I have met Dennis , he was back here a few years ago and my buddies Murdy Stratford and Mike Chodoriwsky recognized him so he sat for a while and had a pop with us . Had some great stories . I think you are referring to Mary’s pool hall on Government road . I don’t remember a bar but I’m a couple of years younger (59 birth) so I won’t disagree .

    Eskies fan you are sure right on the head about the Whale , he is pretty easy going most of the time . You get him Garth , Doyon , Pete Visco and the boys together together and they can entertain you all night . I know where you are coming from concerning the 87′s and I concur . There was an initiative last year to try and work on developing a more concentrated approach to skill development in the KLMHA but one of the main driving forces has just announced he is leaving town to pursue a job opportunity . I;m not sure where this will end up now . I have heard the Bob Kasner has a similar plan but I can;t comment on what his plans are because I have no direct knowledge . I was involved in the other one a little so I have knowledge of the people involved there and what they hoped to address . I think losing the 87′s would be a bigger loss than many people realize but as I said previously the market will dictate who survives . Aggressive recruiting and a good coach would go a long way to helping the program though, much like what Kap did after their 1-33 season . I know that the Major’s are certainly going out after players with more urgency this season . Have a great weekend .

  31. dcky33

    Thanks for the kind words foober wonder if RR can get u my email addy . Ahh the good ole days of Billy’s Boys , The Prin, Billy;s Bar , Club Fed and Fed Up LOL- truly hope that an arangement can be worked out to accomodate everyone – maybe have to go back up and reopen the virginiatown arena as a private hockey acamedy – wonder if sweats would front me some $$$ for that.

  32. abitibian

    For what it’s worth….. Agreed that two won’t survive,take a look at Tmmins Golden Bears,it might not have been the sole reason but fan support wan’t there any more.
    Even before talk of bringing in Junior hockey in K-L,I didn’t think the Legion would survive .(not trying to knock the prog.I know there is alot of work & $$ involed).Their record is there,a high of 14 regular season wins this year,a low of 5 last. Did not go past first round in how many years ? Turbide carried them the last 4 yrs, nothing coming up in KLMH.But they are always well supported from the area,5 from Timmins this year (something is not right with the Majors) & I-Falls have well represented them ,up to 7 players in the St-Jacques era.
    But as previously mentoned the wave has turned towards Kap for I-Falls players.Maybe 3 AAA caliber players coming up not much more and 2 have shown interest in Kap.
    Recruiting is the big thing now because you can’t depend on local products only and the fans have a hard time accepting this.Kap turned it around 3 yrs ago & dividends came in this year making it to the finals with mostly recruited players ,5- I-Falls,2- Hearst, 2- Moosonee, 1-Cochrane.
    In my opinion the AAA league is deluted, too many teams plus High School hockey is a major factor especially N-Bay ,Sudbury.
    For sure K-L wouldn’t like to see the Legions go,(lots of history) but the signs are there.

  33. foober40

    Hey dcky ,

    I will just add you on facebook and things will be good to go . Those were fun days for sure , at least the ones I can remember .

    Abitibian ,

    I agree with what you are saying on all counts . I know the numbers well . The Majors have issues and the I.F. Kap , Cochrane , talent pool is thinning as well . Recruiting will be a big factor in the future and development as well .The GNML and OHF want fewer teams at the AAA level and have put rules in to address this . Also school hockey is getting big in Timmins as well with the Soo also having a big focus on it . The times they are changing and a lot of work is required , hence the NOHA Summit this August . It will be an interesting couple of years . Glad I can go watch the Q from time to time

  34. foober40

    On a NOJHL aside , it is a blog about the league after all . Any word on a new coach for the Trappers yet ? Haven’t heard of a new assistant for the Beavers being confirmed either . Has Bryan Verreault been confirmed for the new look Cubs for the season ? What prospects are there for the Royals relocation if they take this year off . McChareles was set on moving to KL for a while now what ? Comments on the Outlaw league expansions , contractions , team sales and franchise movement . Stay tuned , the fun is just beginning .

  35. dcky33

    Word around here is the the Trappers will announce coach very shortly – they wont accept any more applications after Tuesday and want to have a coach in place by mid june . Ran into a former NHL/AHLer yesterday at Work – Jonathan Tremblay – played in the Q and with San Jose . Nice to see Sudbury come up with a seperate identity – that will be good . Word out of Temang is that things are coming along nicely -coach Nathan Hewitt (former Skyhawk and Laker) is at the helm and response from the community is encouraging. Question is when is the decision on KL coming as they had a number of players that can make the step to the NOJHL should it not be accepted up there .

  36. foober40

    Did they receive that many applications ? Any big names amongst them ? The sooner the better for the teams planning for next year . Always good to see the guys come back home for a few weeks in the summer . Kurtis Maclean was home for a while to see his family , playing in the Swiss league next year . The league will make their final decision next weekend at the AGM I’m told . Then it’s on to the NOHA . Not sure how long that will take . A few of the ex 87′s have a great deal of interest from southern teams so I expect a few of them not to be in the NOJHL next year . Still a couple more are going away to school so they may play in the NOJ but not in KL . The rest I’m not sure how they are leaning at the moment .

  37. RR

    BULLETIN

    I have just been advised that the Northern Ontario Hockey Association (NOHA) has approved the sale of the Manitoulin Islanders to a Kirkland Lake group headed by Bob Kasner. The NOHA has also approved relocation of the franchise to Kirkland Lake. The new Kirkland Lake Blue Devils will debut in the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League come the upcoming 2011-12 season.

    – Randy Russon.

  38. abitibian

    This is a northern community enriched with hockey history ,well deserved . Wish K-L many years in the NOJHL.
    Now let’s hope for one more team to balance everything out.

  39. Taco John

    Lettuce hope that this new Kirkland Lake Franchise realises that this is only one step! There is much work to be done in order to compete! Coaches to hire and hopefully they will hire a Chief Scout with contacts, vision, expeariece, etc. etc.

  40. KL

    My list of Candadates for Coach & Asst Coach of KL Blue Devils:
    Darran Turcotte – Doc Sinclair – Shayne Whelan – Brien Bertoncello

  41. eaglesrock

    looking foreward to watching this new Team from “Kirkland Lake” Welcome to the NOJHL from the Original Hockeytown USA!

  42. biosphere

    You’ll forgive us on the Island if we don’t send too many congratulations to Kirkland Lake, no disrespect. Anyone wants to join the tar and feather ceremony for the reggie and his board of directors?

  43. foober40

    Well KlL.

    Turcotte is about $40 k a year and is currently associated with the university team in North Bay . He turned down an offer to be head coach in Temiskamang last season . In my discussions with both Shane and Doctor Tom recently , I got the impression that neither was in any way interested in returning to coaching any time soon . Both are excellent choices though with a great deal of knowledge and experience . As for Betoncello , he was very busy with work last season and spent little to no time at the rink as far as I know . Not sure what his work schedule and plans are for this year .

    Better choice for head coach would be Marc Lafleur , late of Hearst , who went to the Rouyn Huskies at Christmas last year . Great coach , wants to move up the ladder but needs a head coach job somewhere to get started . More probable assistants might be Dave Bolger , Mike Poulin , Jason Melong ( wants to be a ref though ) , Jed Allick , Ian Borden or Chico . Maybe Bill Enouy might want to rejoin the fray as well . I’m looking forward to seeing who the staff will be .

    Taco John , don’t worry . The word is that Hockey Advisor has volunteered his time to lead the team in the right direction . With all of his experience and connections it should be a good fit .

    Eskie Fan in Kirkland Lake , it should be a good rivalry . They will play each other about 14 times this year not counting exhibition and playoffs . Should work up a good dislike for each other .

    Biosphere , don’t worry I understand the feelings on the Island . You deserved a better fate . I don’t think the Kirkland folks will mistake your feelings for Reggie as being directed towards them .

  44. leafsrock

    Peachy you better be careful….the Cougars sited in the KL district are more likely the four legged variety!!

  45. fanman

    With a 50 game regular season last year, is it fair to say the schedule will more then likey be 48 games this year? That is, 8 games each against the other 6 teams? Or could we see an unbalanced schedule?

  46. RR

    FYI,

    this is my idea for a schedule should this be a seven-team league for 2011-12:

    – Soo Eagles/Soo Thunderbirds play one another 10 times and play the other five teams eight times apiece for a total of 50 games.
    – Sudbury Cubs/Blind River Beavers play one another 10 times and play the other five times eight times apiece for a total of 50 games.
    – Abitibi, North Bay and Kirkland Lake play one another nine times and play the other four teams eight times apiece for a total of 50 games.

  47. RR

    Also…

    Sources say that a Manitoulin group is trying to trying to put together a bid for an expansion team for the 2012-13 season. The Manitoulin group may well show up at this weekend’s AGM in Iroquois Falls.

  48. eaglesrock

    Taco John = Hockey Advisor = Master of Hockey = Big Cheese = Cadnus Quill = ???

  49. abitibian

    I understand that Manitoulin got the short end of the stick for the last couple of yrs. but ….. they better have a solid proposal on the table cause once they’re gone it’s pretty hard to get them back.
    Sure would like to see another revision of the former Manitoulin Wild with the likes of Moose Johnson et all….best of luck…..cheers to the people on the Island.

  50. fanman

    abitibian: I’m not sure what you mean. Manitoulin does not have a team now based on the Kirkland Lake news. Do you really think there will be another Junior A team in Manitoulin? Just curious.

  51. bayer

    Would be nice to see the likes of the 2 Soos a couple more times a year up this way, would attract some more people i think that complain about not seeing them enough, you can only watch so much of the eskis, as im sure they are tired of seeing north bay so much to and would rather see the soo also.

  52. deepwater

    I and another group of enthusiasts would gladly help get Jr.A hockey back on Manitoulin.There is avery obvious precedent.The Nojhl allowed Rayside Balfour to re-enter the League when their frANCHISE WAS sold to the WILD…without Rayside having to pay a franchise fee.Turnabout is definitely fair play!!!GO MAN ITOULIN.Many of the NOJHL executive were there when the aforementioned Rayside favour took place.I trust they will not forget the big favour that they did for the Sabrecats….let’s see if fair play exists in the NOJHL.!!!!

  53. abitibian

    fanman
    according to RR a group is trying to put a bid in for next season…(read post above mine)…just wishing them best of luck. Would like to see an 8 team back in the nojhl

  54. RR

    Sources say the new Kirkland Lake Blue Devils could name their first-ever head coach by Monday of next week.

  55. eaglefan

    Congratulations to the Kirkland Lake group on their successful entry into the NOJHL. Looking forward to seeing you in the Pullar.

    Hopefully, Mani can come up with a successful bid. There have been some good players, in the past couple of years, on the team. They just didn’t seem to have a direction.

    eaglenews…nice job on the website. Very professional!

  56. eskisfan

    Was seriously hoping to see the original logo and colours from the storied KL Blue Devils of days of old. That was a great logo and i think those colours would fit perfectly in our league. Nothing really wrong with the new logo, just hoping see to the original.

  57. leafsrock

    eaglesrock,

    Who cares if Hockey Advisor has several identities? Also, he may not…and there may be several people with similar opinions who sound like him/her!
    The point is, a BLOG is a place for dialouge, not consensus, not agreement….not like thinking.
    It takes all kinds to make a planet and diversity fuels reflection.
    Spend your time making your point and worry less that someone else is diametrically opposed to it or proffers less wisdom than you believe to espouse…FREEDOM of the PRESS I say!

  58. Scout

    leafsrock: Exactly right! Some of these Eagles fans need to get the knot out of there panties…and come down off of there high horses! The Eagles won the Championship fine & well but this does not give there Fans the right to try and rule this Blog with there bullying tactics! Enough now!

    On to topics that perhaps the “real fans” would like to discus and that would be: WELCOME TO OUR GREAT LEAGUE, KIRKLAND LAKE! This is a grass-roots league run by many great Volunteers who do things like scout… all for the LOVE OF THE GAME!

  59. eaglefan

    leafsrock,
    He spews the same venom, usually negative about the Eagles, using 15 alias’ and if any one says anything, he screams freedom of the press, as you are doing now. Freedom of the Press comes with a responsibility to speak truth and not slander others. He missed that Civics lesson. Ethics!! Others are just as entitled to their opinion, whether you or I like it or not.

    Personally, since I know who the person is, I rather enjoy watching him turn green with envy about the Eagles and their success! Eats him up!!!

  60. abitibian

    Leafsrock-Scout: agreed

    It’s a blog where you share info & offer opinions, which might not be right or wrong,that’s why it’s an opinion. You can easily see those who try to promote themselves or have motives….just let it slide.
    This is where Peachy comes in, it puts things back into perspective….relax & enjoy. If you can find the lighter side of it, you might even have a chuckle.
    Cheers !!

  61. Peachy

    Scout change his name moar time than a Old Whore change the Sheets ahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

  62. dcky33

    Thanks Eskifan – i agree the old one is a classic but i think it may be in use by KLMHA right now – I remember classic battles between Timmins North Stars and KL and Rouyn Noranda and KL as well in Intermediate Hockey . AS a midget player , playing in the same rink i wanted to make that next step up – hopefully the same will hold true in the upcoming year.

  63. eskisfan

    Old logo is in use by KLMHA but they’ve sort of softened it up and added more to it. Removed horns, changed tongues and added a helmet and gear etc. not really the same at all anymore.

    my favorite blue devil jersey (of old) are the solid blues, with DEVILS (in red) very much like the New york Rangers have the RANGERS stitched diagonally across their chest. Add in the 4 or 5 inch Devil logo (the original) on top corner, beauty!

    No team has solid royal blue jerseys in the NOJHL, NY Rangers style and colours, personal fav for me.

  64. foober40

    I like the Rouyn Huskies jerseys and I hope to get to see more of their games this year , even if they are terrible .

  65. Hockey Advisor

    does any body really find this Peachy idiot funny ??? !!! Best to ignore this morron!

  66. leafsrock

    eaglefan…..
    Who the “F” cares ! Let him babble……….. living in the USA…… you know that censorship is as alien a concept as Borsh (Russian Beet Soup not sure of the spelling) there!

    The Eagles Won….nothing can change that….They played fabulous at the Dudley….nothing can change that…..AND….. they could have gone to the RBC with a bit of luck….nothing can change that.,….Don’t go getting McCarthy on us okay….relax have a beer and Bask in the Success!

    Without considering the private logic of others we are enslved to the belief systems of our own minds………. which unfortunately may also be flawed!….Here endeth the lesson!

  67. eaglesrock

    For what it is worth “Hockey Adviser” a.k.a. Scout a.k.a. Tacko John a.k.a. Cadnus Quill I find Peachy to be VERY FUNNY and entertaining! I would be way more enclined to ignore YOU than Peachy. Besides if any one here is a “moron” or “idiot” it might be you who adds those to your list of nick-names.
    P.S. ahahahahahahaha

  68. leafsrock

    Life without “The Peach” would be very very dull….yeah “he makes about as much sense as lighting a match at a gas leak”……sure he tells us nothing that enlightens us to hockey….BUT…..he is like a breath of air to a drowning man…..temporary reprieve from the monotony of Life!

    Long Live The PEACH!

  69. eaglefan

    leafsrock,
    The lesson is lost on me! As a matter of fact, I’m not sure what it is you’re saying. And I’m quite sure you don’t either.

    No person has said ‘ban’ the arse. He is over-reacting to people’s responses by screaming ‘freedom of the press’, while he demands to have Peachy banned, using one alias or another. Does multiple personalities mean anything to you.

    I’m very aware of this ‘chumps’ private logic. Ethics aren’t part of that process. I will carry on calling him out (all 15 alias’), as the situation requires.

    I think we have one more alias to add to the other 15.

  70. sanchin

    Sad for the Island and well Espanola as well,was kind of hoping that we in Espanola would eventually get a team. Congratulations to KL you guys deserve the team and hopefully a few of your locals can make the team. Now on to something that i know will create negativity but I have talked to some people around that have been involved in junior hockey for quite a while and they think that the NOJHL should actually be Junior B league and i tend to agree. If you look out west their leagues are one step above the north unfortunately,sorry if anyone gets upset but it would make more sense.

  71. Peachy

    I like evrybody eccept Hockey Advisor and he’s 15 Twin Brother ahahahahahahaha
    Hockey Advisor I hope a Big Eagle take a shit on you head ahahahahahahahaha

  72. BirdsFan1

    Really I find ‘Hockey Adviser’ to be rather spitefull with many comment’s made in poor taste.
    I am a Thunderbirds Fan & Sponser and I gladly gave credit where credit was do when the Eagles beat us in the Playoffs & then went on to win the Championship. I agree with ‘eaglefan’ that ‘Hockey Adviser’ & his sibblings are anti-Soo Eagles for whatever reason that may be.

    AGM this weekend and I trust that RR will do his usually great job and keep us up to date. BTW RR I happened to stop in at the Riverside in Blind River on the way home a few days ago. Met the bartender Ken – he said all good things about you. Quite the old place the Riverside – built on charm and hard work no doubt. I’ll be back!

  73. leafsrock

    eaglesfan…….Dear “Pit Bull”….”LET IT GO”,,,,,You spend far too much energy and effort in disecting something that in the the grand scheme of things, doesn’t matter !

    Man if you are this cheerful when your team wins…..what are you like when they lose?

    P.S. here is some “Moody Blues” advice…….Face piles of trials with smiles….it riles them to believe that you’ve perceived the wit they’ve wrought
    ……I am an independent Sir….. and not associated with or to any of the fifteen avatars you have assigned to your nemesis!

    As I said have a BEER…..in your case try an I.V. and a five gallon drum!

  74. RR

    FYI,

    From this weekend’s NOJHL AGM in Iroquois Falls:

    Contrary to the recommendation of their search committee, NOJHL governors have decided not to offer the commissioner’s job to Danny Bertoncello, at least at this time. Matter has been deferred to a later date.

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