The waters might well still be somewhat murky, but for the inaugural board of the Nickel City Hockey Association, things are beginning slowly to clear themselves up.
The organization, which represents the merger of all of rep hockey within NOHA District # 2 (Valley East, Walden, Nickel Centre, Rayside-Balfour, Onaping Falls, Capreol, Coniston, etc...) hosted an information session at the first Annual General Meeting earlier this week.
The template for team structure in 2011-2012, which involves icing "A", "AA" and "AAA" squads in various divisions, ranging from Novice to Midget, will remain something of "a work in progress", according to interim president Gus Lescault.
The NCHA is using a basic East/West concept to try and marry the geographic realities of the large area they cover with the need to distribute talent more effectively. At the root of some of these changes lies the fact that incredible disparity in talent has existed, especially in the lower-aged divisions, in recent years.
As well, while some of the previous rep organizations were incredibly competitive on a provincial scale, many others struggled to find suitable tournaments to enter.
The new association has received NOHA approval on a one-year trial basis, with the option open to simply re-instating all of the previous groups that were previously in place come this time next year.
Following is a listing of the nine members who will comprise the inaugural Board of Directors of the Nickel City Hockey Association:Rick Clouthier - Capreol Minor Hockey
Gilles Levesque< - Coniston Minor Hockey
Mitch Loiselle - Nickel Centre Minor Hockey
Jack MacLellan - Nickel City Sons Hockey Club
Emile Lavoie - Onaping Falls Hockey Association
Réné Beaudry - Rayside-Balfour Minor Hockey Association
Gus Lescault - Valley East Progressive Hockey Association
Yves Laliberté - Walden Minor Hockey Association
Jim McLaughlin - Valley East Minor Hockey Association
In other local minor hockey news, Denis Michel has been re-instated as President of the SMHA (Sudbury Minor Hockey Association), with Bruce Killah and Tammy Simpson serving as Vice-Presidents, while Bruce Shaw (Treasurer) and Ben Benson (Secretary) round out the Executive.