Berkley Bruins; Multiple sources are reporting that the Bruins, under the guidance of Head Coach Bobby Clouston, have a roster of approximately 18 players leading into next weeks season start.
Bloomington Jr. Blaze; Sources in Bloomington are reporting that Head Coach Zac Pearson has also assembled a roster of 18 players to start the season.
Detroit Fighting Irish; While reports are somewhat conflicting, most reports have the Fighting Irish getting close or already having a roster that will be ready to go.
The Michigan Ice Dogs; Like the Fighting Irish, reports are conflicting, but one reliable source out of Farmington Hills that is actively involved with the hockey community has said the Ice Dogs should be good to go.
Soo Firehawks; They have had a roster ready to go for well over a month.
Traverse City Hounds; While the Hounds are actually playing in Kalkaska nearly as much as they are in Traverse City due to team scheduling issues, all reports have the Hounds ready to play.
That leaves us with the Alpena Street Cats; Multiple sources are reporting that the Street Cats still do not have enough players to start the season. While sources within the league are saying they have received assurances from the Street Cats that they will be ready to play, people on the ground in Alpena are reporting an equal amount of goalies and skaters. TJHN is attempting to gain photographs at upcoming practices to confirm this.
With a week to go before the start of the season it looks as though the MWJHL will get off the ground for its second season. It remains to be seen if they will play with six or seven teams. The problem with the question of just how many teams will compete this season causes other teams concern for travel expenses and potential for additional rescheduling.
With less than 20 man rosters for these teams one would also have to wonder if teams can meet budget. A few injuries to one team, or a few defections to USA Hockey Sanctioned teams could decimate some of these organizations.
With less than a week to go, what happens if Alpena is not in the fold? Rescheduling at the last minute? Loss of some dates in multiple arenas? Loss of money given for travel deposits? The ripple effect so close to the start of the regular season could have dire consequences.
Stay tuned as TJHN investigates further.