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Toe to Toe

Two combatants from Cogeco’s Sports Firing line Frank “The Toe” Caruso (left), and Chris Dawson (right) now take their arguments to the web with a new BayToday.ca weekly sports opinion feature called, “Toe to Toe.” Photo by Lee Anne Dawson.



Two combatants from Cogeco’s Sports Firing line Frank “The Toe” Caruso (left), and Chris Dawson (right) now take their arguments to the web with a new BayToday.ca weekly sports opinion feature called, “Toe to Toe.” Photo by Lee Anne Dawson.

Sport North Bay will be hosting a third town hall meeting to discuss the future of hockey in North Bay on Monday, June 27th. Will these various groups including the Trappers, West Ferris Minor Hockey, the Skyhawks, and high school hockey come together to create one hockey body to oversee the game in North Bay?

Frank:

“There’s no possible way, and I’ll tell you why. How can you get a group of people that don’t even get along together and have the same objectives for hockey here in North Bay, get them together and all of a sudden fix hockey. I think the brain trust of those individuals have to come together before they can look at trying to save hockey in North Bay.

“The solution is to get common ground then come together and then try to come together and then try to express themselves for minor hockey here in North Bay, but until they do that Chris, it’s not going anywhere.”


Chris:

“Frank, surprisingly, you’ve got a point. I agree that the hockey big guns should gather in a room together for closed door meetings and force them to talk, because I don’t see much communication going on between guys like Guy Blanchard and Larry Keenan in a room filled with 50 to 60 people.

“I support what Sport North Bay is trying to do with this, however I think the different hockey organizations are as far apart now as the NHL and its players were back at Christmas. So what was originally planned to be about 2 or 3 meetings will probably turn into as many as 20 or 30 before anything is officially agreed upon.”


The North Bay Skyhawks received approval from both the NOJHL and the CJHL to play an interlocking schedule with the Ottawa area junior league which will now include 10 home and away games for the Skyhawks against teams from that league. Is this a good thing for the Skyhawks and their fans?


Chris:

“Certainly it’s great news for the fans and that’s why the city pressed for this deal as part of a lease agreement with the Skyhawks. However, I can’t believe that the NOJHL in the state its in right now allows the Skyhawks to make this move. The league, which lost the Rayside-Balfour Sabrecats is now down to seven teams, needs the Skyhawks more than ever, so to create the interlocking schedule this year is another crippling blow to the already struggling league and the timing is bad. The Skyhawks should have waited until next fall to do this once the Sabrecats get re-instated.
“As for the gamble of playing 10 games in the CJHL, I think this gamble will hurt the Skyhawks and may very well prevent them from winning their 4th straight NOJHL title.”


Frank:

“Chris again, you are wrong about this one, who cares what the league thinks, the fans of North Bay deserve better hockey, this will set up the Skyhawks for the Dudley Hewitt Cup, the last couple years they have gone down there and they haven’t done well, this is a great move by Guy Blanchard, I think it’s great for the fans of North Bay, I think it’s great for the Skyhawks, who cares about their regular season record because come playoff time they will be playoff ready and they’ll be ready to go to the Dudley Hewitt Cup.”

Toe to Toe can be seen every Friday on BayToday.ca.



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Chris Dawson

About the Author: Chris Dawson

Chris Dawson has been with BayToday.ca since 2004. He has provided up-to-the-minute sports coverage and has become a key member of the BayToday news team.
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