Dissension amongst the ranks

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Possible provincial senior hockey shakeup on the way

St. John's -

George, from Bay Roberts, left this comment over the holiday long weekend:

The rumour about a Bay Roberts Team in the Senior Hockey League is a total bunch of crap. Bay Roberts can't even draw fan support to its junior games or its triple A team, plus the Bay Arena is too small to accommodate enough fans to pay for one road trip. So either you just needed something to talk about or somebody is pulling your leg. Maybe its just wishful thinking on the part of fans of the southern shore who hope to get a chance at winning by having to a play a diluted CBN Team. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, George, but a group interested in bringing senior hockey to the Bay Arena has contacted and made a formal application to Labatt Avalon East president Joe Maynard about joining the league next season. When probed for more, Maynard declined until such time the league executive can meet to discuss the issue further. However, after a little digging around with sources, I learned more about how this came about. Rumour has it the C.B.N. CeeBee Stars, the Mount Pearl H.J Bartlett Electric Blades and the Clarenville Caribous are looking at disbanding from their current leagues and forming their own. Each with their own reasons for doing so. Clarenville want out, its said, as a result of the West Coast league toying with the idea of giving them the boot and are looking for friendlier surroundings. The Blades meanwhile, want to escape the financial bindings of the Avalon East and spend a few bucks to lure home some former senior and junior players now toiling in the West Coast league. And the CeeBees, its rumoured, want out because they are tired of sharing revenue with other teams in the Avalon East and the league itself. Apparently, they see how it works in the West Coast league where gate revenues and the Herder pot belong to the individual team and want to get in on that lucrative action (Keep all that talent around surely doesnt come cheap.) You have to think, if Hockey Newfoundland and Labrador give this the greenlight, and depending on how this new league is set up, it almost certainly spells the demise of the Avalon East. Realistically, how can the Southern Shore Breakers, Bell Island Wave or Torbay Sharks hold on to players when a league, similar in operation to the West Coast league, opens up shop in their neighborhood? Whats going to keep Adam Gear on Bell Island or Berrick Loughlin on the Shore when they have a chance to play senior A hockey on the East Coast, regardless of their minor associations, and get a few dollars in their pocket? A whole heck of a lot more than community pride. So, George, a diluted C.B.N. team is the least of your worries. HNL have their Annual General Meeting on Saturday, June 6 in Gander, and this heady topic will surely dominate the discussions. Stay tuned...

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