The SIJHL is excited about a team playing in Kenora.
The Kenora Islanders will start play this fall.
It brings the league up to eight teams and fills a hole the league has been working for some time to fill.
"It's probably the best market in Canada that doesn't have a junior A hockey team. And we're looking to put those days to an end, and great to get the announcement out today," says Darrin Nicholas.
Nicholas is also confident the ownership group, headed by broadcaster Jack Dawson, and the success it will have.
"When we evaluate opportunities for expansion, we need a team in the right place. Clearly, we didn't have to have much debate about whether Kenora was the right place or not. But we said we need the right people in the right place for the right reasons. And the group that came forward out of Kenora, headed by Jack Dawson, checked all those boxes."
"He's of no illusion that there's a whole pile of gold at the end of the rainbow for running a junior hockey program. He wants to do something meaningful and lasting for his community and bring junior A hockey into Kenora. That'll be his legacy for the town."
The Islanders do not have an agreement yet for ice time in Kenora.
Team officials are still discussing, with the city, about playing a few games at the Kenora Rec Centre.
The team is prepared to play most of its games this season out of Vermilion Bay, 90 kilometres to the east.
Nicholas says there was talk about delaying a year.
"We did talk about whether it would make sense to just hit the pause button and go on next year. I just deferred to Jack and his crew in Kenora.
They've been having the conversations that have been necessary to have been had, and they're optimistic that there's a solution there that's going to allow them at least to play a partial schedule in Kenora."
Nicholas was in the city on Wednesday to show support when team officials addressed Kenora City Council.
Council deferred making a decision to another meeting.