MID DECEMBER IN THE NOJHL

KASNER SPEAKS OUT

Kirkland Lake Blue Devils owner-general manager Bob Kasner has responded to the six-month suspension that he’s been handed by Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League commissioner Robert Mazzuca for violations of NOJHL/Northern Ontario Hockey Association/Hockey Canada regulations.

Kasner told me by e-mail that “Although we followed Hockey Canada’s rule in regards to the amount of carded players for December 1st, we did not file the necessary document with the NOHA/NOJHL. Unfortunately, the league elected to suspend me for this oversight and my penalty is as the commissioner has stated.

“It is unfortunate that the league took this stand against a new team that is trying everything to put kids on the ice for the right reasons, however rules are rules and we are not above them nor do we think we deserve any special treatment.

Kasner then took a bit of a shot at NOJHL administrator Hector Seguin.

“Having said this, it would have been helpful if we had received a phone call from the league administrator on December 1 asking for our cutdown list. We simply did not understand that an actual document was necessary…we certainly do now!” Kasner concluded.

It’s been a rough first season in the NOJHL for the Blue Devils, who have actually shown marked improvement on the ice over the last month.

Prior to Kasner’s suspension, Blue Devils coach Dave Gillespie was twice suspended by the NOJHL for using illegal players.

BEASTS OF THE EAST

Sudbury Cubs seem to have shrugged off a November slump and have moved back atop the NOJHL’s East Division.

Led by the three-headed offensive monster of former Ontario Hockey League skaters Jordan Carroll, Jamie Haines and Nick Esposto, the Cubs have surged ahead of the Abitibi Eskimos to reclaim top spot.

Still in the hunt, though, are the North Bay Trappers.

While the Trappers are merely a .500 team at the moment, president/general manager Chris Dawson has made several additions to his team’s lineup without giving up a lot in return.

WEST SIDE STORY

Simply put, Soo Thunderbirds president Albert Giommi is a good guy, a very successful, self-made businessman who just happens to like hockey.

Now in his second season as Thunderbirds president, Giommi has actually been with the team as an investor since it entered the NOJHL in 1999.

Not only are the Thunderbirds a hobby for Giommi, they are also a major passion. And just as Giommi is passionate about his team, the same holds true for the NOJHL.

“I think we are really making progress as a league,” said Giommi on a recent edition of the Hockey North Show on Sault Ste. Marie radio station ESPN 1400. “The league is going in a good direction and I believe that it will continue to get better and better.”

Giommi didn’t pull any punches when asked about the possibility of the Thunderbirds main rival, the Michigan-based Soo Eagles, leaving the NOJHL after this season for the North American Hockey League.

“First of all let me say that I have a lot of respect for those who are involved with the Soo Eagles,” Giommi said evenly. “For a group that is only in its second season, they have been a major success on and off the ice.

“But if they want to leave us for another league,” Giommi continued, “that’s their call. So be it. If we have to, we’ll move forward without them.”

HIGH-FLYING EAGLES

The reigning champion Eagles are currently the NOJHL’s hottest team.

With a record of 9-0-1 in their last 10 starts, the Eagles are rounding into mid-season form.

An offensive machine led by seasoned forwards Brock Raffaele, Brian Depp, Travis Payne and Shane Totten, the Eagles have been getting exceptional goaltending of late from Luis Puig and Chris Truehl.

89 thoughts on “MID DECEMBER IN THE NOJHL

  1. Cubs Fan

    another great article Mr Russon thank you !… You give our league such great coverage I only wish other news agency around the north would do the same. Good luck to the Cubs tonight ! U gotta beat them boys from the Bay !

  2. eskisfan

    Indeed, it would suck for sure if the Devils and Eagles were gone for next year.
    Seems to me like a stiff fine for an expansion team especially if the Kasner comment about any assitance or lack of was accurate. With the 3 suspensions between Kasner and Gillespie, it begs the questions on how much support from the league is available to assist with an expansion team and all the formalities of CJAHL franchise.
    It could very well of been a 6 team league had KL not picked up the Isles (with little time to get organized and prepared i might add). I’ve said all along the timing of the Blue Devils is just right as the 87′s would be entering some lean years. As predicted the midget franchise is struggling mightily on the ice and the Devils couldn’t of asked for better year to draw a few extra fans who want to see a more competitive product and maybe help out the Devils in their first year of existance.
    (87′s are very young and should they still be around next year, and although i don’t think they’ll compete for a championship, they should win a few.)

  3. icedog3

    Randy, as a new follower to this blog I must say I do enjoy reading your articles and updates on the teams and players. With that said is there not 7 teams in the NOJHL? Eskies got themselves in some trouble it seems, and Beavers finally broke their losing streak. Seems like some news is in there?

  4. North Shore

    I find more coverage on the Blind River Beavers here than thru any other Media source from anywheres. Good good stuff!

    I agree with the Thunderbirds Prez about the Soo Eagles and that is if you want to leave then go ahead and leave! Personaly I enjoy watching the Eagles a very fast very skill team with a good Coach but…check out the grass on the other side of the fence to make sure it as just as green in the NAHL. From what I hear it is NOT!

    As for Kirkland Lake and the comments of Mr. Kasner: Stand up and take the blame and don’t blame the Administrator! Geez is it his fault that your team has TWICE used an illegal player????

    Where is Peachy??? I miss him & his nonsense!!!

  5. American Eagle

    I hope the Eagles stay in the NOJHL as I am a fan of the Eagles manely because of the rivalry with the Dirty Birds. The “NA” did not work here before nor did it work in Marquette or Alpena and it aint working in TC neithr. Wake up Mr. Lavvin and smell the coffee ! ! !

  6. BirdsFan1

    Albert has been very good for the Tbirds and is as RR says a good man who cares about this Team. The Tbirds wll be in good hands as long as Albert is in charge imho. He cares and he knows how to Market this Team.

  7. eaglesrock

    AE: I agree. The Eagles are doing well by the NOJHL and the NAHL is not where its at. Joe Shahan had a winning team every year for 10 yrs when the Soo Indians were in the NA and they had a vary poor following.

    golden bear: be careful what you wish for. Mr. Negativity you are!

  8. ABITIBIAN

    Peachy: Did you happen to run into Kurly while in town…we haven’t heard from him on this blog for awhile…

  9. eaglesfanmarquette

    Good point about the goal-tending RR! Pueg has made a big diference for the Eagles & Truel is OK from what I have seen. Also RR excellent articles about the Eagles on Juniorhockey.com!
    As for the Eagles leaving the “NO” for the “NA” if I had a vote I would tell Coach Bruno and Jerry to STAY PUT!!!

  10. Hockeytown Detroit

    Hi Mr. Russon: Great Blog. Joe MacDonnel from the Red Wings says you are right about the “NOJHL” that it is a very good league. Told me directly that you got his Scout to come to Soo St. Marie twice to watch players and that he is coming again this year. Good work promoting your league that you cover Mr. Russon! I am involved with a MAHA team in Detroit and we have heard many good things about the “Soo” teams and the “NOJHL” in general.

  11. sigs2011

    Hear that Peachy was getting it on with his I.F. girlfriend and her twin. I asked: “How can you tell them apart?” He said: “Her brother’s got a mustache.”

  12. American Eagle

    If Joey Shawan over at NMU is doing his home work he will find that there are at least 4-5 players on the Eagles who can play D1:
    Raffaele and Depp 1991.
    Gavin Burbach and Dallas McLaughln 1993.
    Ty Sehovic 1995.
    Joey and Michigan Tech should look at these kids because the Lakers Coach has his head up his ass when it comes to the NOJH.

  13. meats12

    First of all, Detroit has never been and never will be Hockeytown, that label belongs to the Sault, so Hockeytown Detroit should find a different and original name.
    As far as the NOJHL, it is a good league and it also has some good players, but for every good one in the NOJHL, there are 3 or 4 better players in other leagues, the NOJHL is getting some notice and will continue too.
    To the players, continue to work hard and get better and remember the old saying, “if you are good, they will find you”.
    As far as the Eagles moving on to the NAHL, that would be a mistake, as people in this area recognize cross border rivalrys between the T-birds and the Eagles,ect. not so much the teams from Kalamazoo or Port Huron, in short they would lose support.

  14. Yooper

    I totally agree with meats12 on the possible Eagle move to the NAHL ! Hockey Fans in both Soo’s come to watch the cross border battles between the Eagle’s, Birds & everyone else in the NOJHL & I’m pretty sure they will be down to the 300 diehard Eagle Fans if they make the move !!!

  15. soo indians fan

    AE,
    Those you mentioned could play D1 but they wouldn’t be a top 2 line player and that is what they are looking for. I was told that personally from a Laker coach. They would be solid DIII players. I also know that other than 3 current Eagle players everyone on that team was cut from at least one NA team. What does that tell you?

    Meats, very well said!!!

  16. bayinfo

    sigs2011,

    With regards to Peachy I think you meant…”her brother doesn’t have a moustache.”

    ahahahahahahahahahahaahhaa ;)

  17. Long Live The Alpha Bar

    I have lived in Michigan all of my life and love the Junor Hockey. I know Hogger and Jeannie and I have the respect for Coach Bruno, Denny, Rich etc. I wish to say that if I was to be given a Vote I would vote for the Eagles to stay in the NOJHA rather than move to the North American League. The fan support that you have at this time is because of the League that you are in!!! Customer’s tell me this all the time!

  18. Cement Head

    The Noje needs more Owners like Albert Geommi who runs a $$$$$ Multi Million business but who cares so much time and effoert about the Birds and the League that they play in. Albert spends to put the Thunderbird name out there and this is why hockey fan’s are alking about them + RR’s coverage of this team is #1.

    Great articles about the Noje Randy! You write well for a Dunn grad lol!

  19. Brother99

    Yes when it comes to the Soo the NO is where it is at. The Eagles would lose revenue. I do not know the exact count but they definelty would lose all the canadians that fill their stadium at game time plus I might add a few loyal fans that like watching the Eagles beat the teams across the border. I cannot see a good financial model for this. The players might be better scouted as they go south and with the showcases. That is one thing I always thought the NO lacked. Now if the NHL stars could convince both Soo teams to go to the NA what a hoot. Better yet maybe the NO could just become the great white north division of the NA LOL with lots of sarcasm. RR is there any truth to the NA rumor?

  20. Golden Bear

    There’s no doubt in my mind that the Eagles should go to NAHL because the scouts look at the ushl and the nahl for players . I have personally talked to 50-75 hockey people myself and not one of them has any bad words for the nahl.

  21. upfront

    In the fight fest last week should there not have been more suspensions ? Esposto leaving the penalty box to fight should be more than 2 games that’s an automatic for being 2,3,4 fight in same stoppage

    Once again Mazzuca being inconsistent and doing what he feels like

  22. eskisfan

    golden bear, why not take it up a notch and jsut shoot for the stars and try the best Junior league in the world and go for a CHL franchise

  23. North Shore

    hey Peachy…good to hear from you!

    with regards to the Soo Eagles I do hope they stay in the League as I beleive that they make the rest of the Teams want to beat them. Like I said in earlier post if the Eagles want to leave then go ahead there is nothing the other teams can do…having said that I do wish they would stay and help the Thunderbirds and the other Teams help the NOJHL grow.

  24. Hockeytown Detroit

    Golden Bear – it is obvious that you are from the Michigan side however you should read the posts from American Eagle & Yooper & Eaglesrock & Eaglefan-marquette who all seem to think that the “Soo Eagles” should stay where they are in the “NOJHL”.

    as for the “Soo” being Hockeytown USA I agree. I only call myself “Hockeytown Detroit” because that’s where I am from and I think you might agree that Detroit is a pretty dam good Hockey Town! I do recall the “Soo” being known for good places to eat like the “Palace” & “Robin’s Nest” don’t know if they are still there as I have not been to the good old “Soo” since Jeff Jackson was coaching the LSSU Lakers.

  25. Yooper

    Hey Hockeytown ! Right now in the Soo the best burger being served is at the Pullar Concession ! P.S. It’s been a long time since you’ve been to Soo Mich., the Robins Nest has been gone for at least 15 years !! Pullar Burgers & beer at the Bomber !!

  26. eaglefan

    re: good food in the Michigan Soo…
    The Palace is still good though. But my favorite is Zorbas. Great food, easy atmosphere and joined at the hip to the Alpha!

    re: The Eagles switching leagues…
    I sure don’t like the idea of the Eagles switching leagues. One has to be careful when wishing for something. If the owners would like a franchise in the NA or USHL, they should probably buy a team in the division.
    It’s been stated already…a huge part of the success of the Eagles to date hedges on the rivalry they’ve built with the T-Birds. Fans are evolving on both sides of the border and the season series has been nicknamed the ‘Border Battle’ by Ritchie D. and RR.
    I really like Soo Mich., but I love the Pullar Stadium. It oozes tradition. It doesn’t have the sterilized feel of a new arena. And when there is a good game on, it rocks!!

  27. upfront

    Well Well Once again out coached on D

    T-Birds need serious help back there to many guys not willing to hit at all it will be the demise of the birds again this yr

  28. Dcky 33

    An ok game at the gardens ce soir..rumour has it that Aubertin is no longer with the trappers , he wasnt in the line up tonight. Newbe Captain Gehl is a big lad but ran out of gas by the third period. Cant see the current edition of the Trappers going too deep in the playoffs right now , way too many defensive laspes, good teams will bury those mistakes and Trappers dont have that many go to goal scorers rights now. Good guess would be that the dressing room isnt quite set yet do these guys better start producing or its a bus ride out of town. We will see what gang shows up against Abitibi on Thursday

  29. eskisfan

    That’s odd, i wondered if Aubertin would finish his career with the traps, despite breaking a few long standing records. Been a pretty good player but hasn’t even come close to living up to the expectations. Still can’t see the trappers moving him but if they do,i hope he ends up here.

  30. Trapperfan

    As of late most nights Aubertin played I can’t say he was noticible on the ice. Good hockey player but didn’t bring his good game on a very consistent basis. You gotta keep showin up and play each and every game and not take it for granted that your ice time is guarenteed. Maybe Aubertin needs a change for him to get back to playing up to his potential.
    Speaking of expectations I would say there are a couple of other players that are not playing up to the clubs expectations. Good to see the grinders putting up a few numbers as of late though.
    I agree with DCKY that the inconsistant defense and goal tending (if I might add) does cause problems especially when playing the better teams. It will be nice to see 3 wins in a row going into the x-mas break, this team can beat the Eski’s if the players all come to play hockey.

  31. Hawks_96

    I could see Aubertin going to the OJHL or the CCHL to pursue more of a NCAA route. But again who know I don’t why he would go to the Soo he is from Hearst so if he was homesick he would go to Abitibi or Kirkland Lake as they are closer places.

  32. Hockeytown Detroit

    I thought that I might pass this one to Mr. Russon and Fans of the NOJHL and that is that a colleague of mine who is in the College Hockey Business happened to mention to me while we were at a recent CCHA game that not only are D-1 Scouts & Recruiters very aware of your “NOJHL” but that he knows of more than TEN players from your League who are being very closely watched!!! He predicts that more than half of them will get D1 offers in the next 1-3 years. I took the time to write their names down so I could pass them on. The players who’s names that I wrote down are:
    Tylor Sehovic, Soo St. Marie Eagles
    Dallas MacLaughln, Soo St. Marie Eagles
    Derek Dias, Soo St. Marie Eagles
    Christopher Truehl, Soo St. Marie Eagles
    Brock Raffeal, Soo St. Marie Eagles
    Jake Wright, Soo St. Marie Thunderbirds
    Fraser Turner, Soo St. Marie Thunderbirds
    Jordan Turbide, Kirklan Lake
    Shane Snow, Blind River
    Tyler Brown, Blind River

    P.S. I am not a Scout or Recruiter but I am affiliated with the MAHA and my colleague is a D1 Scout.

  33. scott

    Hockeytown Detroit,

    Darcy Haines should be a name in there as he puts up numbers with limited ice time. Younger brother of Jamie Haines, note that he has always been ahead of Turbide and Wright in past years in scoring. With normal ice time next year, his name could pop out. Kaden Ruest is another name who could be uo ther next year. Guess only the Soo gets seen by scouts? if so thats too bad for the young Sudbury and North bay players (Pawson).

  34. eaglesrock

    Hockey Town Detroit – this is great great News!!! I have heard that there have been Scout’s from Clarkson and Notre Dame following some of the Eagles Players so this just conferms this!
    No doubt that the Lakers will probly miss the boat again as they did with Adam Philips and the Perlini kid from Sault Canada.

    Also RR: great articles about the Eagles on Juniorhockey.com

  35. American Eagle

    Eagles can’t use the “no offers from D1″ as a lame excuse for wanting to leave the NOJHL. If the owners from Chicago and Florida have these big plans to go to the NAHL that’s fine but don’t shit on the NOJHL in the process.

  36. soo indians fan

    I’m just throwing this out there but how many players got D1 offers directly from the NOJHL in the last 5 years? I can only think of Perlini and Doan, and he hasn’t made NMU yet. Cooper from Blind River can’t be counted as he wasn’t given any money from the hockey team. I know this as his father is my Dentist.

    Why doesn’t the NOHJL website post this information?

  37. soo indians fan

    Sorry for the second straight post but I found the NOHJL commitments and I think my question was answered. If someone can think of another player please let me know.

  38. David Beauchamp

    Trappers should trade for Jeremy Brattengier of the sioux lookout flyers, he is a 19 year old goalie and he has played junior A since 16 with fort william at 16 and 17, 18 and 19 with sioux lookout he has one more year of eligibility after this year and rumer has it wants a trade, decent numbers and good experience at the Junior A level.

  39. Randy Russon Post author

    soo indians fan,

    Just because a player from the NOJHL didn’t go the NCAA route doesn’t mean he didn’t get a Division 1 offer.

    As an example, two years ago, two former NOJHLers, defenceman Colin Miller of the Soo Thunderbirds and winger Brett Findlay of the Blind River Beavers, chose free-agent offers from the OHL Soo Greyhounds over Divison 1 offers. I might add that both Miller, who is a prospect of the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings, and Findlay are both top-end players with the Greyhounds.

    A year ago, erstwhile Soo Eagles defenceman Nathan Glass turned down an offer from Division 1 Mercyhurst to sign with the OHL’s Erie Otters.

    This year, North Bay Trappers winger Danny Desrochers turned down a full-ride Division 1 offer from Clarkson to sign with the OHL’s Sudbury Wolves.

    5 years ago, centre Matt Caria of the Soo Thunderbirds turned down a full-ride offer from Lake Superior State to sign with the OHL’s St. Michael’s Majors.

    Just a few examples off the top of my head. I’m sure there are more.

  40. Hockeytown Detroit

    Good points made Mr. RR! The “NOJHL” is a good league…the “OHL” knows it and the NCAA schools who go after these players know it as well. Ask Adam Philips former Soo Eagles who now plays D1 at UMASS and he will tell you that the NOJHL and the USHL prepared him well for D1. It was also Dave Colb the Red Wings scout who saw Adam Philips plays when he was with the Eagles…wink, wink, at RR’s suggestion I am told! The Red Wings continue to follow Adam Philips to this day! It is very surprising to many the number of players who LAKE SUPERIOR STATE has missed out on in their own back yard. PERLINI, PHILIPS, DOANE…

  41. eyesforhockey

    If Chris Truel of the Eagles is a D1 goalie then I would think that John Klinehans is as well. Johnny can play and is just as good as Mike Doan imho!

    Word is that Mr. Charlie Murray has assisted Joe Spitzer of the T-Birds to get a deal with a D3 school I beleive that it is either Becker or Marian which are 2 of the top D3 schools. RR perhaps you might have more on this???

  42. Nukker

    Thanks RR for clarifying! There are also some cases where the elite NOJHL’ers have lost their NCAA eligibility, having played in the CHL at some point in their careers.

    With the OHL offering education packages now, NCAA isn’t as attractive of an option as it used to be. Your seeing many elite Americans committing to CHL teams or leaving their current NCAA squads for the CHL (Sharks 1st round pick Charlie Coyle being the most recent to leave for the Q). Campbell, Gibson, Levi, Tinordi, Prince, Saad, Watson, Miller just to name a few Americans who are currently playing in the CHL. I believe all of these players have been selected in the top 3 rounds of the NHL draft in 2010 or 2011. Don’t be surprised to see all or most of these guys playing for Team USA at the upcoming World Juniors either.

    It begs the question, has D1 become a #2 option to the CHL even for US-born players?

  43. eaglesfanmarquette

    Insted of worrying about the D-1 bullshit and the N.A.H.L. bullshit I think that the Eagles should stay in the N.O.J.H.L. be a developmint team for the O.H.L. as Randy says they have already sent Pattersen and Glass there and now are developping 2 more O.H.L. drafts Lopez and Sehovick.

  44. bayinfo

    RR, soo indians fan, etc; Sacha Guimond of the North Bay Trappers had RIT calling and decided to go to the London Knights last year, and is now doing very well in Baie Comeau.

  45. Eskisfan

    Nukker, long time guy!! good to read ya and you nailed it! The CHL has basically eliminated the risk with education packages. If you combine that with the fact that no other league will get you more exposure, it’s an easier decision for the player.

    Sarnia’s trio of Anthony DeAngelo (16yrs), Connor Murphy (Phx) and Reid Boucher (Dal) are a few more examples of guys who gave up their scholarships in favour of the CHL.

    As for our league, Begin is another who burned his card a while back but would of garnered some NCAA interest. He’ll likely play CIS University hockey next year.

  46. Yooper

    Hockeytown D ! Perlini, Philips & Doane ? LSSU has been missing the boat for over 30 years. I guess it’s easier to recruit in Sask, Que & Man,than in their own back yard, they almost have a 50% American roster. I’m not bashing Canada by all means, but it is an American school.

  47. nickelseats

    Depending on what source you credit, LSSU has anywhere between 9 to 12 Americans this year, and 15 to 18 Canadians, the point being LSSU has, and for the most part, has always had, more Canadian players on their team than Americans.

    Back in LSSU’s prime, when they would play the ‘big schools’, there was a saying bantered between the Lakers and their opponents that went “our Canadians can bear your Canadians”..

    ..am I’m certainly not knocking the U.S. schools for choosing Canadian players. Canadian players currently only make up around 1/4 of the NCAA college D-1 rosters.

    That being said, I find it odd that a college, based on the Canadian-U.S. border, has more Canadian players than American players (understandable I gues, given location) but searches out those Canadian players from far away leagues rather than the ones in their own backyard..Yes, that’s odd..

  48. nickelseats

    The saying in my previous post should have read “our Canadians can beat your Canadians”..my apologies..

  49. Dcky33

    Well Traps win 6-3 , had 4 chances with the open net – hit two goal posts and missed net twice however played well enough and deservered the victory. One thing stood out with me tonight and that is the coaching style of Mr. McCarthy , from the day he came in he preached about teaching lifeskills etc both on and off the ice which i admire for sure but for the life of me what is he teaching by screaming at his players the entire game – in fact his screamng has rubbed off on some players as they come off the ice screaming and swearing on the bench loud enough so the entire cavernous gardens can hear them, i can imagine in a small arena like Suds or the Rhodes what it sounds like . It was just something that came to mind tonight . Anyways to RR and the rest of the Bloggers , please have a safe and enjoyable holiday season .

  50. Rack

    Dcky:
    I sit behind the Trapper bench and have never heard the coach swear. He is yelling instructions to his players,much in the style of the late, respected Bert Templeton.

  51. Blueliner

    Obviously the Eskimos have some work to do, given their performance the last few games. In all fairness the team is playing with a short bench, however, their are opportunities before them with some of the “local” players. One of them is Ryan Aubertin, who seems to be coming along really well, by his performance last night. There are others in the GNML that should NOT go unnoticed.

    Like I said, there are opportunities and the moves should be made NOW, in an effort to have good players next year.

    In the last ten games, North Bay would have barely played 500 hockey. But thanks to the last couple of games with the Eskimos, that’s where they are and then some.

    Don’t chase ghosts in Southern Ontario, look closely here at what we’ve got.

  52. Dcky 33

    Rack ..never said coach was swearing said players…i was associated with Bert in the mid eighties, Bert only yelled when required not continously…not saying its a bad way to coach but very unusual style from someone who has played in the nhl and been exposed to various coaching styles. happy holidays to you and rest of section 6 gang

  53. sigs2011

    Joyeux Noel a tous, safe and happy holidays to all.
    Let’s all take a short break from NOJHL hockey (won’t stop us from watching world Jr.’s though :) ), catch our breaths, and be in shape for the last 1/3 of the season.
    My,where has the time gone, eh?
    Seems like September was just last month!
    Eskis fans: better things ahead, guaranteed.

  54. bayinfo

    Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good world juniors and great conclussion for our season. Some better for others of course :)

  55. Johnnie K

    I think the NOJHL is a wonderful little hockey loop that probably deserves a little more recognition than it currently receives but the problem is that it is trying to be something that it is not, a bonafide Junior A league. Now I know many here will be offended by this statement but why not allow the league to return to its roots as a Junior B league such as the old International Junior B league?
    The reality is that many of the small towns in this league cannot consistantly recruit Junior A caliber players, making for some very uneven competition and I believe that even some of the “larger” market teams have the problems.
    I happened to watch the pre season tournament the Soo Eagles put on and it was more than apparent that a team like the NAHL’s Traverse City North Stars were so much deeper and skilled than any of the NOJHL teams…little wonder that the ownership of the Eagles are looking at making the move to that league.

  56. Kl,er

    Is kirkalnd lake going to have a team in the new year ? There are lots of rumors going on of money problems with the owner.

  57. stick

    As I have mentioned before the NOJHL is on shaky grounds with KL, Sud and BR having financial issues. If the Eagles leave not sure what will be left for 2012.

  58. Golden Bear

    Johnny K –You hit the nail right on, I have said all along that the NOJHL ia a good league and has a few ohl or div 1 college players, but the league just does not get a lot of recognition from any college or ohl scouts. Thats why I would like to see Soo Eagles go to either ushl or nahl. I don’t know if the eagles have enough qualifactions for the ushl like size of rink etc, but I do know they can get in to nahl, which I hope does happen.Even if they do get in to the nahl why can’t there be exhibition games against some of the nojhl teams that would play like t=birds.

  59. North Bay Hockey

    so confirmed Jonathan aubertin will be traded come the January 10th deadline, rumer is to BCHL for a kick back for gheal, or the CCHL.. wish him the best of luck where ever he ends up i hope he lights it up his last year next year and earns a D1 so the haters can stop hating on the NOJHL lol.

    PLEASE GET US A GOALIE DAWSON!

  60. Golden Bear

    Good Luck to the nojhl allstars, hope they have a good showing in Smith Falls Ont. First game tuesday Dec 27

  61. Sec2RowP

    You know Johnnie, the NOJHL has had bumpy times in the past and has still managed to carry on somehow. On the other hand, if it all went kablooey for some reason, there is not a small number of fans in my corner of the Gardens who would like to see the Traps return to the OP.

  62. stick

    Nojhl deserved a better fate today, they carried the play and where not out classed by their opposition. If they could have scored on the PP the score would have been a lot closer. Esposito was their best player.

  63. upfront

    NOJHL not doing so well 0-2 Good Games

    I see that the roster changed Turbide ,Lacroix scratched Gehl, Hyrsky added

    Now how does a player [Gehl ] that just got traded into the league played 6 games get selected as a NOJHL Allstar ???? .and Well Hyrsky plays for the Eagles so that’s a no brainier so you can’t say there were the next best 2 What about the younger Hanies kid or Aubertin ,McMillian ,Battagin, Jones etc

  64. Bayer

    Turbide cancelled the night before the team was to meet, Lacroix is hurt.
    Haines boys went away for a holiday so were not around, aubertin is not with the trappers at the moment.

    better game tonight by the team in a 1-0 win, Esposto, Therrien and Gehl were said to be the best line for all 3 games in the tourney according to the announcers.

    goalies played well, D could have been a bit better they seemed to get skated around lots but for alot of these players not normally playing together hard to get used to each other with one practice before playing a game.

  65. stick

    I thought our team did quite well for not having all of the top players there. Our first game we carried the play and with a little luck should have made the score much closer. I didn’t get to see the second game but our third game we were very compeditive with a team that had won it’s first two games. So all in all with the players we had job well done lads.

  66. upfront

    Well as for the D not playing together and getting walked that is something that is individual Playing with your partner is Defending the zone as a unit
    one on ones is timing ,and playing the man not the puck and hitting basic D at this level you should be able to play with who ever is paired with you other teams seem to do it

    But all in all good games way to go boys

  67. AlaskanEagle

    Ok Randy, I have to ask. I just checked out the article you posted on juniorhockey.com and then I went to check out your past articles and I found a recurring theme. That being that all of the articles are about the Eagles. Now, understandably they are the best team in the NOJHL, so I can see why you would want to write about them.

    But seriously, is there a reason for this like they only accept articles about American teams?

  68. Randy Russon Post author

    AlaskanEagle,

    Since the beginning of December, I have been paid to write stories for http://www.juniorhockey.com dealing exclusively with the Soo Eagles. Beginning in the New Year, I will be writing more for juniorhockey.com, dealing with the NOJHL and the Ontario Hockey League, while still maintaining a separate weekly article on the Soo Eagles. I trust that this response is a suitable answer to your inquisitive ways.

    Regards,

    RR

  69. eskisfan

    Last time i checked the Tbirds were the best team in the NOJHL. Yeah they have few games in hand but to me, the Birds are the most complete team in the league.

    Since US junior hockey was mentioned, how about those US juniors sent to the relegation round! hounds fans will be happy, maybe they can get Campbell back early. I hope they give him a nice Canadian thank you when he’s back at the Essar LOL.

    Interesting to note that in that czech game that both goalies are obvioulsy not from Canada but play in the O show. I wonder what Shane Prince will say to Mrazek when they get back together in Ottawa. Will there be resentment that Mrazek knocked out his home country or if he’ll say thanks and buy him a pop for bouncing the team that somehow snubbed him.
    3 goals combined agains the Finns and Czechs! yikes

  70. bayinfo

    World Jrs 50/50 Canada vs US tonight was almost $147 000.00 Now that is pretty awesome. So much for the 50/50 = attendance theory on that one :)

  71. sigs2012

    eski01, with all due respect, and to kurly, rumours are a dime a dozen and not worth the the coffee being swigged at a timmyho’s powwow, even if it makes for interesting conversation. best to wait and see what truly transpires.

  72. eski01

    Well there better be something happening because eskis are going down hill. Nick Beaudoin suspended for rest of season (20 games)

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