The Sudbury Cubs will take to the ice this season with a new look and a new name.
The local NOJHL squad will now be known as the Sudbury Nickel Barons after being purchased by local businessman, Mike Mooney.
Mooney said he's been involved in hockey his whole life and purchasing junior teams "is kind of a tradition" in his family.
"I grew up in the Rayside-Balfour area and played for the Rayside-Balfour Canadiens (in the 1980s)," he said. "While I was playing there, my father bought the team, and in the final year he owned the team, I coached them."
When the opportunity arose to purchase the Sudbury Cubs, Mooney jumped on it. He said his purpose for buying the team is to "provide a place for graduating midget players in the Sudbury area to play."
"If there's no junior team, then you see a lot of kids having to move out of town to play junior hockey. If that happens, then minor hockey suffers as a result.
"We're going to build our team from local talent and fill in some spots with some players that have moved into town to go to Cambrian, Boreal or Laurentian," Mooney added.
As for the name change, Mooney said it draws on Sudbury's rich mining heritage.
Some changes have also been made to the coaching staff. Dave Clancy will be back behind the bench as the team's head coach, a position he filled through the 2007 to 2010 seasons.
In the 2007-2008 season, Clancy led the squad to a NOJHL championship. He stepped down as head coach in 2010 and was replaced by Bryan Verreault, who was later replaced by Rod MacKenzie. Clancy has also been an OHL scout for more than 10 years.
"Dave is a veteran coach who knows the game and has had past success in this league," Mooney said. "We were very fortunate that he was available and said yes."
Oscar Clouthier, the former assistant general manager of the Sudbury Wolves, has been named as the team's general manager.
"We've got a great coaching staff, that, as far as I can see, is second to none in the north," Mooney said. "We're hoping to build and move forward.
"I'm excited for the new season and I'm hoping a lot of local boys come try out."
The Nickel Barons will continue to play their home games out of the McClelland Arena in Copper Cliff.
This is the latest in a string of changes to the team in the past few years.
In October 2010, Bill Scott acquired ownership, changing the team's name from the Sudbury Jr. Wolves to the Sudbury Cubs the following spring.
Prior to Scott, the team was owned by the Burgess family, owners of the OHL's Sudbury Wolves. The family purchased the Jr. Wolves from the Sudbury Minor Hockey Association in 2005, at which time, the franchise was on the verge of folding, due to financial strain on the local minor hockey organization.
An open skate for players will be held Friday at Countryside Arena at 7:15 p.m. An information session for parents and potential players, and to introduce the coaching staff, will be held at 5:30 p.m. For more information, visit nickelbaronshockey.com.
Posted by Laurel Myers