While I didnt attend the Hockey Newfoundland and Labrador AGM this past June in Gander, I will most certainly be there for the fall meeting this September. For those of you who think itll be a friendly affair, think again. The current issues, potent and heady as they are, will have just enough time to percolate over the summer months as the relationship between the East and West leagues continues to decline leading to what I perceive as an unavoidable maelstrom at the Albatross Hotels Salon D. In other words, send a memo to the housekeepers: Bring a bio-hazard suit to work because the ceiling fans will need some serious disinfecting. A quick update on where things stand. The West Coast Senior Hockey League (WCSHL) made an application, which was later denied by HNL, to form a new provincial six-team league with a western division and eastern divisions of three teams each where the winners from each would meet to play for the Herder. Three teams in the west would be Corner Brook, Deer Lake and Grand Falls-Windsor, while the east would be made up of the Clarenville Caribous and the C.B.N. CeeBee Stars and Mount Pearl Blades, both of which were part of the five-team Avalon East Senior Hockey League (AESHL) last season. HNL, in its denial, simply said that kind of reorganization would be far different from the way the association currently operates, but at the same time they arent ruling it out entirely. So come 2010-11, we could have a provincial senior league. The AESHL executive will hold a meeting Thursday (Jul. 2) for teams interested in playing in their league in the upcoming season. The question now is whether or not the CeeBees and Blades will show up as there is nothing keeping them from joining the WCSHL in time for next season. Rumour has it both teams have the bankroll to compete and neither is interested in losing players to the WCSHL teams. But my question in all this is how the Southern Shore Breakers can be left behind so easily. Torbay has had a rough go of it the last couple of years, and Bell Island are a green team that needs time and the right players to grow. But, and please correct me if Im wrong here, the Shore have been the second most competitive team in the East league for a number of years. Theyve been to, and won, a Herder, and came terribly close to getting back there this year. And in terms of crowds, they usually draw as well as any team in the East. Im willing to believe the Caribous, Red Wings or CeeBees could take it to the Breakers any day of the week and come out on top nine times out of 10. But I refuse to believe the Blades, Cataracts or the Royals would be tests the Breakers couldnt pass. Especially with Bird Dog behind the bench leading the charge. So if we are going to see a provincial league, the WCSHL executive should be forced, without question, to find themselves a fourth Western team so as to allow the Shore and its dedicated fan base to live on and not be relegated to a senior B league. Assuming the Shore can financially afford to get in on the action. I wonder, how deep are the pockets at the Shawmut Fisheries?
- July 27, 2010 - 13:55
the blogs on the senior hockey league are great but dude there are other leagues out there you could also cover. you cover 90% hockey!!