DAILY DISH: So long Soo? Not So Fast...
The North American
Hockey League's Soo Eagles may be forced to move their membership closer to the
footprint of the league. A number of
eastern states have been rumored to be the landing zone for Bruno Bragagnolo's team.
I know that we
kind of made a rule around here to not utilize unnamed sources, I'm afraid that
rule has to be broken today. I'm fairly
certain that doing so is not going to result in a lawsuit, so with that said, here
A source, at the
highest level of the organization, has confirmed that Soo Eagles hockey will
continue at Puller Stadium, for next year and beyond, with or without the North
American Hockey League. The most obvious
scenario has the Eagles returning to the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League.
I find this news
to be quite ironic considering the fact that an entire truckload of I told
you so's could be delivered to Eagles' owner Ron Lavin. Let's not go there.
Can the Eagles
return to the NOJHL be facilitated in time for next season? A few things will have to happen in order to
make that work, including approvals from both USA Hockey and Hockey Canada; I
see those approvals being little more than a formality.
The Eagles return
has to be good news for the Soo Thunderbirds.
Renewing that rivalry is simply great for the community and the
remains, will the Eagles be restricted to players within a certain branch like
the proposed restrictions being placed on the Wenatchee Wild's potential move
to the British Columbia Hockey League? I
doubt it, but it certainly shouldn't be out of the question.
What does this say
about NAHL Commissioner Mark Frankenfeld's failure to secure qualified
ownership in hockey rich states like Michigan? Sault Ste. Marie joins
Marquette, Alpena, Traverse City, Flint, Port Huron, Detroit, and Kalamazoo as
failed markets. That has to be a blow to
the justification of inflated league membership values.
The NAHL will
potentially lose two markets to the Canadian Junior Hockey League for next
season. Will there be more? I'm afraid so.
There are a number
of teams, in the league's Midwest division, that would rather play in the CJHL's
Superior International Junior Hockey League than continue traveling to Alaska. Could we see the Wilderness return to the
SIJHL? Let's ask that question again
after this weekend.
RIP MINNESOTA JUNIOR HOCKEY LEAGUE
The membership of
the Minnesota Junior Hockey League met last night to go over a number of
topics including the disbanding of the league.
All but two of the teams have committed to moving from the MnJHL to the
USPHL. Only the Rochester Ice Hawks and
dormant Minnesota Northern Lights were left off the USPHL dance card.
The league elected
to not renew registration with USA Hockey for next season. Commissioner Mike Staloch's
name inevitably becomes synonymous with the destruction of the MnJHL. The sad
part of this is that a lot of folks saw it coming... especially the ones in
I think it's now
fair to say that Dells Ducks (and Wisconsin River Kings?) owner John Schwarz may
have lost a few battles but eventually won the war.The folks here at JuniorHockey.com are just happy that our teams' have captured the last two Bush Cups. Just sayin'...
GAME OF THE NIGHT
Sioux Falls Stampede vs Tri-City Storm, United
States Hockey League Western Conference Final, (8:05 PM Eastern) -The
Storm lead the series 1-0 after Friday night's 4-2 win. The Stampede can't
afford to lose again tonight and will be feeling the pressure.
time for the site to take things to an entirely new level. We are looking for
regional writers to cover the Canadian Junior Hockey League, United States
Hockey League, major junior and women's level of play. Interested? Give me a
call at 281-973-2050.
Heisler has spent a lifetime in the game of hockey. Now semi-retired, he spends
his time in Florida with his children Sonia and Tomas.
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