Monday, August 20, 2007

Interest picking up for dormant Indians

RR Media Service

New commissioner Mark Seidel has wasted little time in putting his mark on the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League.

In an innovative move, Seidel has confirmed that NOJHL governors have passed a motion that all games played during the 2007-08 regular season will be worth three points.

Regulation-time wins will be worth three points, as opposed to two in the past. Games won during overtime or shootout will be worth two points, while losses will be worth one point.

"We're trying to give more meaning to winning in regulation time," said Seidel, who only recently was named commissioner of the NOJHL, replacing Hector Seguin, who had held the job on an interim basis.

Seidel is a former assistant general manager of the Ontario Hockey League's Erie Otters and has scouted for the Minnesota Wild of the National Hockey League. Besides his NOJHL gig, Seidel is also employed as the chief scout for the NHL's North American Central Scouting Bureau.

As he settles into his new job as NOJHL commissioner, Seidel, who is from Espanola but resides in Lively, just outside of Sudbury, is studying expansion of the tidy six-team league, which has achieved parity over the past two seasons.

Seidel plans on talking with former OHL coach Paul Theriault, who is interested in reviving the 2006-07 champion Soo Indians for the 2008-09 season. Contrary to an earlier report that originated from the NOJHL office, Theriault and his group does not have a deal to purchase the Indians from in-limbo owner Charles Perdicaro of New York. In fact, a separate group has recently re-confirmed interest in potential ownership of the Indians.

In addition to a possible revival of the Indians for '08-09, three other northern Michigan towns have indicated interest in being part of NOJHL expansion, namely Escanaba, Gaylord and Kalkaska. Sources also say that Wawa has some interest in being part of the NOJHL for '08-09.

Closer to home, the Soo Thunderbirds begin training camp on Thursday at 3:30 p.m. at John Rhodes Community Centre. With only two returning defencemen signed, the Thunderbirds have inked three rookie blueliners from Michigan to NOJHL contracts -- Ian Cosgrove, Drew Otto and Warren Webster.

In another move, the Thunderbirds have acquired forward Trevor McNutt, a local product who played Junior B in Listowel last season. McNutt, a former member of the AAA midget Soo North Stars, will join a returning group of Thunderbird forwards that includes Tyler Gendron, Jake Reid, Nick Minardi and Zak McNally.

And Thunderbirds' general manager Al Jones hopes to work out a trade with Blind River that would have the Soo acquire 1987 birth year defenceman Shaun Siemers from the Beavers. Siemers, who has played parts of the last three seasons with Blind River, has requested the trade to the Soo for academic reasons.

No comments: