NOJHL EXPANSION INTO MICHIGAN?

If the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League adds another team or two for the 2012-13 season, the expansion could lead into the state of Michigan.

Sources tell me that no less than four northern Michigan towns are possible sites for NOJHL expansion teams, including Marquette, Alpena, Cheboygan and Gaylord.

Marquette and Alpena formerly had teams in the North American Hockey League but left because of the high cost of doing business in the United States-based loop.

The NAHL is comprised of 28 teams spanning several states from New York in the East to California in the West to Alaska in the North to Texas in the South.

Marquette is a tidy town of about 20,000 residents, while Alpena’s population is just over 10,000.

The other two towns that are being explored by investors as potential sites for NOJHL franchises have smaller populations. Cheboygan has just over 5,000 residents and Gaylord’s population is just under 4,000.

Marquette, Alpena, Cheboygan and Gaylord are all located within a 90-180 mile distance from Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. and Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. which are home to two NOJHL teams, the Thunderbirds and Eagles.

The interest that potential investors have in acquiring NOJHL expansion franchises for any of Marquette, Alpena, Cheboygan and Gaylord is tied to the success that the Michigan Soo Eagles have enjoyed on and off the ice, sources tell me.

Under the second-year ownership of Ron Lavin, Gerry Fraser and National Hockey League Hall of Famer Pat Lafontaine and a hockey department led by coach-general manager Bruno Bragagnolo and also featuring Dennis Bolton, Michael Barbeau and Tom Farnquist, the Eagles are not only reigning NOJHL champions but are now averaging more than 600 fans a game at Pullar Stadium, which is the second highest attendance figure, trailing only the Abitibi Eskimos.

The Michigan Soo is a town of about 17,000 residents.

Sources tell me that the Eagles on-ice and marketing model is being closely studied by those interested in being a part of Michigan-based, NOJHL expansion franchises.

Right now, the NOJHL is a seven-team league, with six Northern Ontario-based teams plus the Michigan-based Eagles.

As for any possible expansion by the NOJHL within Ontario, a Manitoulin-based group led by Jim Stringer has decided not to proceed with expansion plans for the 2012-13 season, citing a lack of support from municipal government.

51 thoughts on “NOJHL EXPANSION INTO MICHIGAN?

  1. American Eagle

    Exciting News RR! Even if 2 new Teams into the NOJHL from Michigan this would make for a rather intresting Division.
    I could see the Eagles, the Thunderbirds, Blind River, Marquette & Alpena forming one Division of 5 Teams. (Intresting that you also mention Cheboygan which is a real “hockey hotbed” but not as big a Town as Marquette & Alpena. Also Gaylord is a thriving Town, lots of $$$$$ there.)
    I suppose we will not see all of the 4 Towns that you mention but 2 more Teams from Michigan I would think would be great for the NOJHL which is a great League. And yes the Eagles are a great “model” as Bruno and his people are “front and center” in the Soo Michigan Community.

  2. stick

    Looks like the Americans might save the NOJHL because as I have noted before lots of teams in trouble financially with low fan support.

  3. Sec2RowP

    I think most NOJHL fans would welcome any or all of the Michigan locations mentioned. The bonus of a 10-team league is not only the prospect of finally seeing some new teams but that size would also finally allow the league to correct that long standing, excitement-killing practice of allowing all teams to make the playoffs. I understand the standard explanation for this being that the bottom feeders need the revenue but they should be striving to get their act together instead of being spoon-fed extras. The importance of regular season games is lessened by the current system and those dwindling numbers of fans who still care about this league are being deprived of some exciting, nail-biter finishes of teams working to make the playoffs.

  4. eaglefan

    I like the prospect of more American teams in the NOJHL. It could open up possibilities of 2 healthy divisions, both competitive. All of the Michigan towns mentioned seem small on the surface, but they are surrounded by other close-by small towns, which could feed the attendance base.

    There could be a problem with the 2 masters…Hockey Canada and USA Hockey. But certainly wouldn’t be insurmountable.

  5. Eskisfan

    Two teams from the States would be nice. The US franchises seem to always be competitive and i believe there are too many JR teams in Ontario. It’s pretty slim pickings all over the province and our teams have a 9 player import rule. US teams can take as many US players as they want, from across the whole country. A huge advantage compared to the rest of us and for that reason alone, it should keep all the US franchises competitive. Eagles are an all around gem to the NOJHL and i’d gladly welcome a couple more Orgs like that.

    Fan support is basically the same as it’s been n most years. Beavers Cubs and Trappers are down a bit but the rest are all up on average. KL doing much better than Manitoulin was at this point, in attendence anyways and they are also higher than Temang was.

    Trapps are up against a strong Lakers team and 4-5 seasons without being a true threat to win the league, all this in the wake of very good Skyhawk teams/years. Top it all off with a good chunk of community that only supports winners and it’s a tougher sell. Trapps are a good team this year with a great coach and i anticipate attendence and their game will climb from here into the winter. Not sure if Dawson secured a new agreement with City of North Bay becasue he was getting raped. nothing wrong with a near 600 fan per game average in tier II.

    It’s worth mentioning that if you’re basing your argument on the NOJHL attendence figures from last year, you should take into consideration that they include playoff totals. All teams draw better in the second season so those numbers are inflated, especially in the case of the Tbirds, Eagles and Wolves who drew much better than they did in the regular season.

    Birds are doing great in the Essar and are up about a 200 per game.

    Eskis are finally at the top of the attendence standings now that North Bay has slipped. Eskis fans seem to support consistently, for better or for worse. The Igloomaniacs are the envy of most Jr franchises in Ontario.

  6. ABITIBIAN

    Always been insupport of betterment of the NOJHL and expansion is a must.
    And where else can this league go? It didn’t seem to work out on the Quebec side…. not saying it can’t, but where else can this league go ?
    I’m sure many will have suggestions but can it be viable ? As mentioned, Jr. hockey is getting deluted in Ontario so you need good recruitment programs.
    The ” Build it and they shall come ” attitude doesn’t work everywhere, make sure your work is done before you build it.
    IMO the only shaky franchises are Sudbury and K-L. Sudbury only needs the right persons in place to make it successfull and K-L is going through growing pains.
    Long live the NOJHL !!

  7. Ned33

    I am thinking that the US additions have been in the works for a while now…why do you think that the NOHA and NOJHL were in such a hurry to relocate the Manitoulin team to KL?…they needed that to take place to open up room in the other division…

  8. bayinfo

    eskifan:
    the Lakers/Trappers 3 year deal with the City of North Bay is up at the end of the year. Both teams are in need of a better deal.

  9. SooFan

    Looks like a closer game tonight vs Kirkland Lake – streak continues 15 straight – should be fun tomorrow night vs Eskis… How was the game tonight?

  10. sigs2011

    Interesting outcome in KL. Another win for the ‘Birds, although the score was a lot closer than one would of expected, and perhaps a bit too close for comfort for the visitor’s side,

    Now I realize that the Soo may not have brought their “A” game to the Joe, and may even have sat a key player or two. Kinda hard to get charged up to play the BD’s, which is unfortunate for both sides. KL isn’t trul that “bad” , dare I say they could benefit greatly from a systemic strategy and better discipline, which could make them a lot more competitive, in working with the roster they currently have. More skilled players wouldn’t hurt either, but they could do so much better with what thay’ve got, IMO.

    Reminder that its the THINK PINK game @ the Igloo tonight. Fans who wear something PINK can go enter free draws for swag, buy tickets for autographed shirts & premium prizes, get their pink ribbons &/or purchas limited edition ICEd PINK skate pins ($5) etc.

    Proceeds & profits to Canadian Cancer Soc. & Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation.

    Swag tables will be on upper concourse, near souvenir shop; look for thge pink light.

    Should be a great game, and expecting the biggest crowd yet @ the Igloo.

  11. Eskisfan

    what top gun was sat, what players if any were sat?

    I see both sartoretto’s, amadio, campbell, michelcavage, jackson, barbarie. looks liek a full line-up to me. did they underestimate eh Devils, guaranteed and i’m sure mizzi tore a strip off the boys afterwards but give the devils credit. Devils have some very capable goaltenders also that can keep them in games. Getting appleby is simply a remarkable feat and kudos for whoever worked that deal out.

    best player to not have dressed in the game would be the Blue Devils newest acquisition, Jordan Turbide.

    Last year’s GNML landslide scoring title winner will surely help an offence that seems to sputter. Turbide, D. Roy and Brain together should be able to combine for a least a couple a night.

    KL not great, not totally bad either. They are showing much more control than they were in the early parts of the season and more than the Isles ever showed under Reggie. IMO, the trade for Manitoulin to KL has been good. I predict they’ll eclipse the 4 wins mani had last year, attendence is better (& will keep getting better with Turbide)and the on ice product will only get better too. there truely are growing pains in an expansion year but things appear to be looking up. The better KL does the better it is for the NOJHL so good lcuk and keep plugging away Blue Devils players and admin

  12. Peachy

    PEACHY BLOG
    I by new computer old Apple wuz Lemon ahahahahahahahahahahahaha
    Seagles go for Big Shit in Iraqwa Falls and Nord Bay better luck to play Blind Drunk River 2 time ahahahahahahahahahaha
    More team from Michagun wood be good Peachy get lucky 1 nite in Gaylord after by 6 pak of Old Swilwakee and share with Old Hoor in Cabin ahahahahahahahahahaha
    ahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

  13. ABITIBIAN

    So the Blue Devils got a hold of Turbide…..good hockey player, amazing hands but was never a fan…will see what he can do at this level. That should help bring in the crowd plus the addition of Gordie Sinclair another local product. I see they also brought in 2 players from the Sioux Lookout Flyers…maybe things are shaping up !!
    Anxious to get a look a the Thunderbirds tonight, hope tonight is going to be a good night .

  14. SooFan

    Should be! Thunderbirds are on a huge roll as are the Eskis at home – I’ll have to watch online tonight – the games are on fasthockey right??

  15. upfront

    Having 2 USA teams would be be great…it just might bring the league back. It also will give it some more credibility.
    I remember when it was the IJHL Jr. B League and there were 2 US teams it was a great league Marquette Americans and the Soo Indians had a great revelry…Wawa even had a team back then, sure would like to see it again!

  16. eaglenews

    Have to agree with you upfront, it was always a blast the Indians vs the Marquette squad, and the Travellers as well!

  17. SooFan

    Nice win by the Tbirds – wow 16 straight. Eskis are a solid team hard to keep there snipers off the score board. Tough test tomorrow in NB.

  18. Eskisfan

    Figured tonight’s match-up of the Igloo would be a good gauge of how the eskis stack up against the NOJHL’s Best, and it didn’t disappoint.

    Birds all over the Eskis before they even had a chance to shake last night out. 3 quick goals and the Eskis were playing a team too good to play cath-up with! Almost all special teams tonite. Soo PP was deadly, that being said, Eskis PK was an ensemble of gafs, full of weak checking and running around out of position. Not sure how some guys were thrown back on PK after PK with terrible results.

    Amadio was great flying under the radar tonight and making key plays. Good vision. Kleinhann was solid and some big saves against the Eskis PP.

    Nice big fast team the Birds are and they move the puck well. Full marks for the W. Althoguh the Eskis are a nice team, I think it was quite apparent they’re are still 3-4 quality players (maybe a couple of releases too) away. Probably grateful for some questionable calls that allowed the Eskis to keep sneaking back in the game.

    All good, great measuring stick and im sure some things must have stuck out tonight for those looking at what areas need to be improved upon. Eskis were pretty good on PP, missed some great chances. you can say they won the 3rd period but the birds appeared to protecting the lead rather than pressing the play.

  19. no blood no foul

    The commish must be a big t-birds fan, suspend Diaz from the Eagles for 3 extra games because of a hit on a t-bird player, now Butorac of the Beavers gets 5 games for a hit on a t-bird player. What i do not undsrstand is in both cases the ref was right there on the ice who saw the hit, but someone who is not even at the game uses his power and watches the game on video and makes the call. Hey commish why don’t you let the refs make the call and you concentrate on building up this league as there are a couple of shaky franchises that may be gone next year. DO YOUR JOB THAT THE LEAGUE HIRED YOU FOR!!!!!

  20. stick

    Very bad start for the Eskis last night and that was really the game. The Soo team is big and skilled and if you give them a lead it will be very hard to come back especially 5 on 5. The better team team won last night.

  21. Randy Russon Post author

    no blood no foul,

    Regarding the power of NOJHL commissioner Robert Mazzuca, it’s no different in any other league. For example, in the Ontario Hockey League, commissioner David Branch is not at all games yet when an infraction comes under his review, he makes the call to further suspend or not to based on videotape of the game. As for whether Mazzuca is a “T-Bird fan” as you say, he did suspend Thunderbirds defenceman Dylan Connolly for four games earlier this season. Mazzuca was hired, in part, to clean up the NOJHL and make it a safer place for players. I believe that he has done that so far — and done it rather effectively. Just my 2 cents!

  22. ABITIBIAN

    Yep, the better team won last night…the T-birds are big & fast ,in your face style which didn’t give our Eskimos much time to think. The ‘birds won most battles on the playing field , Kleinhann is good but I don’t think he was really tested ,they close the perimeter whuich resulted in not toomany quality shots. I was impress with their D, they move the puck well.
    Can the Eskis beat them ??? Sure….on a better night..lol

  23. SooFan

    Wow 17 straight against a pretty competitive league – nice start to the season by the TBirds – should be a barn burner Friday night vs the Eagles!! Can’t wait…

  24. Brother99

    Randy;

    If I read right no one from the NOJHL made the East team. I am confused when you have the Tbirds in the top ten and the fine performance of the Eagles last and the couple of Stars that are out there. Please tell me I am wrong and its my dyslexia and not some peachy term group of idiots out there. Oh Swami of hockey north please enlighten me. Where should this blog send its emails of rage……Or maybe I am missing how this works

  25. Sec2RowP

    stick –
    I think your comment about financial troubles in general will certainly be true for the Traps by the end of this season. Their base has settled into the 500-600 range and while that may be decent in some markets, it will likely not be enough for them unless they can somehow get a better arena deal. Dawson has limited options considering the city expects full arena cost recovery and the larger sponsorship opportunities have mostly gone over to the Lakers. I know NB is considered a solid operation but, as it always does, it will come down to money.

  26. Goaliekid

    Having played in the NOJHL a few years ago I’m really glad to see that the thought of expanding the league is being looked at. It would be great to see another US team or two added to the league. On another note… I understand that the new commissioner was brought on to clean up the league. However the players should have some power so ensure that “dirty” hits and plays don’t go unpunished. The way I see it one of the best ways to ensure that players aren’t being gunned after is to eliminate the fighting rule that was instituted a few years ago. The first year the Eagles came into the league, there was no limit to how many fights you could have and no suspensions for fighting. The players governed themselves and it seemed that there were less “dirty” plays that occurred because of the repercussions of doing such. If you did something considered to be dirty, you payed for it by having to go toe to toe with someone. For most of the players that was enough incentive to back off or ease up from a potential bad hit or cheap shot because they didn’t want the crap beat out of them by someone. I understand that people want to limit the fighting, but players during the game can’t be protected by their teammates because of the fighting rule. And we all know that the refs do their best, but they can’t control everything and they do miss things. All I’m saying is give it a try for a season or two without the fighting rule. I think that you’ll see the suspensions for cheap shots or bad hits go down. Idk just my own personal opinion. What do ya think?

  27. Randy Russon Post author

    A invitation to join me tonight at 6 p.m. for the Hockey North Show on ESPN Radio 1400. The HNS is available on line: stream.1400espn.net

    Content tonight will include commentary on Commissioner Rob Mazzuca’s “iron hand” suspensions, the influence of the “Outlaw League” on the NOJHL, the future of the Blind River Beavers, and possible expansion to Michigan. Will also have guest appearances from members of the Soo Thunderbirds.

    Regards,

    RR

  28. Armand5

    Will be interested to hear what the commish has to say about the effects of the GMHL. The Trappers are surrounded by Temiscaming, Mattawa, Sturgeon Falls and Powassan (though I think Powassan has gone kablooey).
    That must affect something.

  29. stick

    I wonder how the Eskis will bounce back after the defeat in the Igloo. Suds will be wanting to go on a winning streak and will be more than a handful I’m sure.

  30. no blood no foul

    Royce King from Kirkland Lake got two extra games for head contact on a T-Birds player but a T-bird player only gets 2 min penalty for spearing but no extra games for that. WHAT A JOKE? Seems like you can’t hit T-Birds there invinceable.

  31. Eskisfan

    Yeah it’s good test for the Eskis, next 4 games are really as they’ll be playing the Cubs and Trappers twice in 10 days. Its an opportunity to give themselves some breathing room in the battle for 1st in the east, but it won’t come easy!

  32. Bull_moose_hunter

    Listened to Randy’s “Hockey North Show” last night (November 1) because there were 2 topics mentioned that were of interest to me. Those being the GMHL and the future of Blind River.

    I’m from Temiscaming so the GMHL is of interest, and a player that I’m close to, and that played for the Royals last year is going to Blind River so that interested me.

    The two topics may have closer ties than some would like to admit I.M.O. I’m saddened to hear that Blind River is having troubles and may fold after this season. I believe that part of the reason for this may be what partially lead to the demise of the Royals. Lack of quality players available to play in rural northern communities.

    Hockey Canada’s rules for import players may work well in southern Ontario where there is a large, local player pool to recruit from. We in the north don’t have that luxury hence our teams suffer both at the gate and on the ice. The NOJHL is a good league but and unbalanced one in terms of available talent.

    Under the GMHL rules there are no restrictions to imports allowed on a team. It’s far easier to build a decent team when you have a world to recruit from as to opposed to a province that is over recruited to begin with.

    Randy mentioned last night that the on ice quality of the GMHL was sub par. I wonder how many games he’s attended and which ones. I’m sure if I were to have been at the 14-2 game on Oct 26th or the 17-0 game played on Oct 7th I’d walk away with the same impressions about the NOJHL.

    The GMHL is home to last years NOJHL top scorer. It also has 2 of the top 10 scorers from last year. Sure some games are not all that great but that can be said of any league. I’ve seen Games in both leagues, know players from both leagues and I.M.O. both leagues better teams are on par with one another as to on ice product.

    The GMHL is just a better fit in Temang without restrictions from Hockey Canada and or Hockey Quebec ect ect. The GMHL is starting to stabilize and is in it for the long haul. Not every kid cares to play for a H.C. sanctioned team as their wish may be to play NCAA or elsewhere. At the end of the day it’s only a game not politics..

  33. eskisfan

    i agree with Bulloose Hunters statement about it the GMHL being a better fit for the Royals. Although i would of loved to have seen the Royals stick and succeed in the NOJHL, the restrictions against that team specifically were tough and must have been unbelievably frustrating. They seem to be able to compete well in that league and can recruit from anywhere, so good for the people of Temang, they get to watch hockey and cheer on the Titans who will compete for championship. Do i think the league is on par with the NOJHL? no, but as mentioned, i don’t think the retrictions against Temang were on par with any other team in the league.

  34. mrbyng

    Can we see the GMHL starting up in Blind River to replace the Beavers???
    Rumours that Espanola is back in next year…Thessalon,Bind River,Elliot Lake,Espanola all part of the GMHL possibly…???

  35. Elliot Lake Bobcats

    All the teams in the North Shore Area are in same boat. It is not possible to keep up with the big boys like Abitibi, Soo’s,Suds and the Bay. All have Universities and AAA midget team’s close by to attract players. Right now in the North Shore there is not even a Midget houseleague let alone a Midget Rep team in the area. Until HC raises the import rule to have more and also widen the areas it is impossible to ice competitve teams to keep up with the big boys. Do you know in the US your only an import if u are from another Country maybe this is why their leagues are starting to dominate ours they have the whole States.

    The GMHL is great for small centers because it does give u a wide range of selection to bring players in. Yes there are not all good quality teams there are sub par Junior teams then there are the good ones that could play in the NOJHL easily. The parity in the GMHL this year has been better then alot of games this year in the NOJHL. We have double the amount of teams but our top 7 would compete with the NOJHL 7 teams.Needless to say we have another 6 that compete hard also in a 13 team loop. In the GMHL the teams that do all their homework and bring in the best possible talent and entertainment from where ever u can find it are very successful.

    There are 4 teams in the North right now who are doing excellent and have the right hockey people who spend tireless hours trying to do the best for their programs on and off the ice. Mattawa has a full team of 25 players from all over the world they do well and also draw well for a first year program. Temiscaming is 12 -0 on the season has a pretty much a team where 3/4 has played HC and NOJHL experience and they are very much older and then others and do well both on and off the ice and bring in huge crowds has players with the likes of Mandleson,Leclair,Kohler,Abbotts and I could go on there. The Sturgeon falls Lumberjacks are in same boat have many players who played in the Nojhl and some with OHl experience and some players that also dominated the Nojhl at times with the likes of Roustoul,Joel Senecal,Sidun and many more. Elliot Lake won the whole league last year averages about 425 fans a night sent 5 players to NCAA Div 3 last year to Bethal College 1 player,Finlandia University 2 players,St Olaf College 1 player,Worchester State 1 player and 3 to the NAHL in Corpus Christie,Michigan Warriors,Fresno Monsters. Then we have 3 more who are in the FHL and one player in the Russian MHL.

    It is just another League that has alot more to offer with much wider selection of teams and rules…..Both leagues have good things going for them but if u are from a small Town or City in Northern Ontario and dont have the players it isnt worth trying till HC opens up the playing field and this is out of the NOJHL control as they do the best they can with what they have. The new Nojhl commisioner has a great vision but untill HC bends will be tough for small towns.

  36. kenadian

    I’ll be a the Eskies/Cubs game tonight………….watching for those “phantom” Begin assists (or does that only happen at home games?)

    :)

  37. fanman

    The Eagles now have 10 twenty year olds and I think you can only dress 9 in a game. Who will be the odd man out?

  38. Randy Russon Post author

    fanman,

    The Eagles are okay in the 1991 birth year category for now as one of their 20-year olds, forward Matt Wiggemansen, is on the injured list as he recovers from knee surgery.

    Regards,

    RR

  39. bull_moose_hunter

    May be a premature question or it may of already been answered.
    Whats the format for this year post season play with an odd number of teams?

  40. kenadian

    Cubs better find a Dman or 2……………one gets tossed tonight (only 5 dressed)
    Question to Eskie’s fans: is Begin always a floater? Or was it because of the score (and his 0 points) even thought he played the whole 5 on 3 PP to end the 2nd. And looked like he was getting frustrated, standing around and waiting for the puck.

    Eskie’s had lots of pressure in the 1st (with the Cubs 7 penalties in a row), wish Mackenzie would step up to get the penalties under control and not let the players run the team!

  41. North

    Kenadian-curious of your thoughts on some of the Cubs players or play from you. The Eskies had enough pp to take control of the game but the Cubs pk created lots of scoring chances and they finally got some good play from their tender.

  42. kenadian

    Actually it looked like (both teams on the PP) like to keep the puck low lots of (extra) passes looking for the perfect cross ice pass/goal. And some players on both sides don’t like to come back to help in their own end, they’re standing up at the blue (sometimes red line) waiting for a pass, then when there’s a scoring chance they huslte
    And I’ve said it before (here and at the rink) some of the Cubs think their there to put on a (individual) show for the handful of fans.
    We have players working hard when they get on the ice creating chances (and giving the Cubs PP chances) yet they get no PP time and very little icetime……Cubs go with 2 lines up front and last night only had 5 D dressed (and Gagnon gets kicked out)

  43. eski01

    Eskis have been doing that for years on the PP, they leave one winger at the oposing team blue line, I’m sure it’s what Gagne wants or they would not be doing it. It keeps the oposing D back and creates open ice in the middle, at least thats how I see it. On the PP it hapens to be Begin…

  44. bayinfo

    Press Release;
    North Bay Jr. Trappers forward Danny Desrochers has gotten the call from the OHL Sudbury Wolves. The 16-year-old North Bay area forward was drafted in the 3rd round by the Sudbury Wolves this past spring, but an injury kept him out of much of the Wolves training camp in September.

    However, Desrochers has been a pleasant surprise with his hometown Jr. Trappers in the NOJHL, playing on the top line and recording 6 goals and 7 assists in 15 regular season games so far this season.

    “What an exciting time for Danny,” noted Jr. Trappers head coach Tom McCarthy about the mid-season call-up.

    “He’s certainly qualified and I’m sure he’ll do just fine. He needs to take his great work ethic and apply it the same at every level of hockey and life as he continues to reach his dreams,” added McCarthy.

    Desrochers joined the Wolves for practice on Thursday and is expected to dress for a pair of home games in Sudbury against the Oshawa Generals on Friday night and the Peterborough Petes on Saturday.

    “Practice was great but I was really nervous at first,” said Desrochers about joining the injury riddled Wolves.

    “Meeting some of the guys is great and make things much easier – it’s an honor to be there. I mean I got to work my way up there and prove that I can play there, this weekend is going to be a learning experience to bring back to North Bay and learn from it and only improve.”

    The Wolves are expected to return Desrochers back to North Bay in time for their next home game on Thursday, November 10th when the Jr. Trappers take on the Abitibi Eskimos.

    The Jr. Trappers, minus Desrochers, will host the Blind River Beavers Friday night. Game time is 7:30 p.m. at Memorial Gardens.

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