Corvairs starting over from scratch
The Caledonia Corvairs are returning to the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League after a one-year absence. Photo special to BPSN by GARY EVES.
The Caledonia Corvairs are busy rebuilding their franchise after a year on the sidelines.
The three-time Sutherland Cup champions will return to the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League this fall after taking a one-year leave of absence for the 2018/19 season.
The Corvairs came into the summer with only one player under contract, forward Marino Moro, who was lent to the Hamilton Kilty B’s this season where he scored 22 goals and 57 points in 37 games.
“It’s really tough because you don’t know what kind of identity your team is going to have,” Corvairs general manager Mike Bullard said. “You’re just signing anyone for your team. I’ve got to put 22 people together and that’s the problem. You have so many bodies to fill.”
Bullard admitted the opening roster is simply a place to start.
“The first couple of months you have young kids, middle-aged kids, older guys and you have to see how everybody fits,” said Bullard, who has relinquished head coaching duties to former National Hockey League defenceman Ric Nattress. “You have to get your feet wet again. It’s not like after a regular year where you might need six or eight guys, I have to get 22 and I never watched hockey much last year.
“I have people doing it, bringing me names. It’s pretty interesting.”
Bullard said he has 15 players under contract so far.
“There’s a couple more. I’m just waiting for their releases to come across,” he said. “No one is really in a rush in the summer to do it. You talk to people and they are on vacation and they say they will get back to when they get back from vacation.”
Like other Golden Horseshoe teams, Bullard is frustrated with the way releases are now being handled with teams from the Ontario Junior Hockey League.
“Our league didn’t help when they lost their agreement with the OJHL,” he said. “We, more or less, have to take guys from the Maritimes because the OJHL won’t give us any of their players for $1,500. They all laugh at us.
“The scary thing is they can come at take all our players for $1,500 each. It makes no sense.”
Among the players signed are local Caledonia products David Palmer and Christopher Goodwin. Goodwin was a ninth-round selection of the Peterborough Petes in 2017. The Corvairs have also signed Kessler Skye, a native of Six Nations.
“I’m trying to get a little mixture of everything,” Bullard said.
In addition, former OHL forwards Tyler Burnie and Zack Pilon have been added as have forwards Ryan Littlejohn, Zach Manazzone, Cooper Hood, Isaac Taylor, James Farmer-Valente and goaltender Nick Clay.
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