The Soo Eagles Organization is one of the most dedicated and committed organizations in all of Junior Hockey. This starts with Ownership setting the tone.
Lavin committed to the Soo area five years ago, and that commitment remains just as strong today as it did five years go. While change is always expected, some things simply can not be anticipated.
In the last five or six years, the NAHL has failed franchises in, Detroit (twice), Port Huron, Flint, Kalamazoo, Alpena, Traverse City and Marquette.
It now adds Soo Michigan to that list, though that failure can not be attributed to lack of effort, or financial commitment.The Soo Eagles NAHL franchise will be relocating to Middletown New Jersey.
The Soo Eagles as an organization will remain in the Soo and seek to re-enter the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League pending formal application to USA Hockey.
The NAHL’s Wenatchee Wild were put in a similar situation and have left for the BCHL starting with the 2015-2016 season.
Ron Lavin is committed to the to Soo, and the entire Northern Michigan Region. He is not about to abandon his second home, or the people who have been so loyal to him.Its unfortunate, but the NAHL franchise move was completely unavoidable.
With no other teams in the State of Michigan, without having a travel partner, the challenges to operate effectively would have simply been insurmountable.
The closest road trip would have been nine hours away, and other teams within the NAHL didn’t want to make that trip on a regular basis. Lavin was simply left with no choice.
But his commitment to the Soo rises to a level that he is willing to invest even more in the community to keep Tier II hockey in the Soo by purchasing another franchise to replace the NAHL franchise and keep the Pullar Center full.
While some may complain about the NAHL leaving, none should ever contend that Lavin and the rest of the organization have not done their best for the Soo.
In business you can not control what the rest of the market will do. You can only control how you anticipate market changes and adapt to those changes if you wish to survive and continue to grow.
The Soo Eagles are doing just that, anticipate, adapt, and continue moving forward.Good people, and good hockey people find ways to make a difficult situation into a challenge to be overcome by setting new goals, looking for a positive result.
The Soo Eagles will do just that as they continue to develop players at all levels in Northern Michigan.
Joseph Kolodziej – Publisher