Lost in the controversy over where this year’s Herder Memorial Trophy series games will be played is the trophy itself.
What people forget is that this trophy does not belong to Hockey Newfoundland and Labrador. Nor does it belong to the Cataracts or the newly formed Newfoundland Senior Hockey League. It doesn’t belong to this paper, the title sponsor of the provincial senior championship series.
It’s still the rightful property of the Herder clan and knowing how dearly they regard the award — named in honour of their late loved ones — I would imagine this latest controversy has them wondering why they would continue to have their prestigious family name tarnished while half-truths are being thrown around by both sides of this contentious debate.
Were I part of the Herder clan, I would approach Hockey NL and the league executive and inform them that they can have their championship series, but the hardware hoisted when the buzzer sounds on the series clinching game won’t be the Herder Memorial Trophy.
Instead, the Herder family should take the trophy over to the Eddie Oates and the Avalon East senior league and allow them to play for it in their championship series. As an amateur league, they have more right to it than the semi-professional NSHL and it’s massive payrolls. After all, the award original purpose was an award for the top amateur senior men’s team in the province, not the ones who could spend the most money or put the most fans in the stands.
It won’t happen, not in a million years. But what is far more likely, from my perspective, is the Herder family taking their trophy and finding a new home for it within the confines of the provincial archives right next to the Boyle Trophy. At least there it — and their name — will be safe from being sullied by the shortsighted greed that encompasses most of senior hockey.