New senior league official, but will it last?

Robin Short
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Back at Tely Central after a few weeks respite where it’s actually summer. I’m freezin’, a few pounds heavier, the lawn needs mowing and the desk is piled up whilst I pine for beaches and swimming pools again.

Alas, welcome back to Newfoundland.

So, nobody asked me, but ...

Hockey Newfoundland and Labrador made it official Friday, announcing a new East Coast Senior Hockey League that will include Mount Pearl, Clarenville and Harbour Grace The new league will play interlocking games with Grand Falls-Windsor, Deer Lake and Corner Brook of the West Coast senior circuit.

According to a HNL release, quoting president Jack Lee, “There are many challenges facing senior hockey today and we feel that the sanctioning of this new league will improve hockey in the province. The implementation of this league is an innovated (we assume they mean ‘innovative’), proactive and responsible approach to addressing the needs of all stakeholders in the province.”

One question: how is reducing one league — which had four teams — to three teams, and killing off another (the Avalon East circuit, which was around for eons) enhancing senior hockey?

Bottom line is the two league will allow imports, so look out. The bucks will be flying now. Of course, teams contend there will be an agreement on the amount of money they can spend, but we’ve been down that road before.

Teams from outside ‘town’ should be okay, but will be interested to see how the AHL in St. John’s will impact attendance in Mount Pearl. The Blades and CeeBees at the frigid Glacier, or St. John’s and Providence at Mile One. Hmmm. Let’s see.

Speaking of the AHL, ten bucks says the only hockey in these parts five years from now will be the pro game and St. John’s junior league ...

See where Tiger Woods announced on his website caddy Steve Williams is history. Williams responded with a statement on his one site. What’s surprising in all this isn’t that Woods sacked Williams, but that a caddy has a website. Who would visit said site? And why? ... Some misguided souls have Derek Jeter the greatest Yankee ever. Jeter is No. 5, maybe, behind The Babe, Gehrig, DiMaggio and Mantle, just ahead of Whitey Ford, Mariano Rivera and Don Mattingly ... I just hope the Newfoundlanders who have signed multi-million dollar NHL contracts don’t start taking things for granted ... If the Tely 10 maintains its steady growth, how long will it be before the race attracts more outsiders, bringing the numbers to 5,000 or 10,000 even? ...

Not fussy on IceCaps for the AHL team’s nickname, and I’m not the only one. Why not go simply with Caps, or Capitals, if so inclined to remember the St. John’s senior hockey team of yesteryear? Or call it after the parent club, the Jets? Know one thing: there’s far too much chatter over the name ... For someone who’s followed baseball a lifetime, and has seen some 20 or 30 major league games, encountered a first at a recent Rays-Red Sox game. Sitting in the very first row, in front of the Red Sox bullpen, watched as Boston’s Jarrod Saltalamacchia warmed up and switched from his usual catcher’s mitt to a mini mitt, something you’d see on a Little League ball field. Saltalamacchia then took about a falf-dozen or 10 tosses from a Red Sox coach about two feet away, just off to his left and right. Can’t figure out why ...

For a municipality that prides itself on recreation and its sense of community, why are the eight- and nine-year-old baseball players in Mount Pearl forced to play on a ball field that has no fences, no dugouts and no seats, adjacent to a small swamp? And did I forget to mention the infield is akin to something found in an underprivileged Havana ghetto? The Mount Pearl minor association was scrambling for field time this year, but received little help from Mount Pearl ‘city’ council, which refused to take even an hour from the boys at St. David’s Ball Field, and the skillful Mount Pearl slo-pitch league. Most ‘cities’, I’m certain, could do better. Mount Pearl whiffed ... We’ve said this before — lots of times, actually — it’s a different AHL game today than 1991-92 when the St. John’s Maple Leafs arrived. A glance through what’s shaping up to be the St. John’s IceCaps’ roster leaves most hockey fans going, ‘Huh? Whaa?’. No NHL vets like Joel Quenneville or Kevin McClelland around anymore ... Until you travel for work or pleasure, you forget: outside Mile One and King George V, most high school facilities on the mainland or stateside are better than anything we have here. Our ball fields, especially, are pitiful ...


Robin Short is The Tedlegram’s Sports Editor. He can be reached by email

Organizations: East Coast Senior Hockey League, NHL, Red Sox Jets Rays-Red Sox Little League Mount Pearl minor association Maple Leafs

Geographic location: Mount Pearl, Deer Lake, Corner Brook West Coast Avalon East Boston Havana

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Recent comments

  • wicked NL senior hockey back
    July 27, 2011 - 08:54

    i think its wicked good that inter locking games are back; especially on west coast; may save west coast league; which was dying from same teams game after game; interest waning.... i wished teams were run more like perfect world Danny W would be league commissioner or President of NL provinical senior hockey league with money from inter provincial cross over semi final and HERDER final going in big pot; to share between teams to help keep small town teams like Deer Lake in; and even bring in teams again from Sville and PortauxBasques; would be awesome; run it like a business; employee local Nfld and Labs hockey players and support staff; with best of the league getting a shot with Dannys AHL team; call ups; like good ol'days with Sullivan and other players from east coast who used to get game with Leafs when great for sports in nl and lab.....just thinking/hoping/wishing

  • David
    July 24, 2011 - 13:30

    Hey Robin...why didn't you write an article with the exact same headline about the AHL team? Because you can't see very well from that dark place where your head is these days?

    • Old Softball guy
      July 25, 2011 - 11:13

      Hey Robin, it is funny how in your article you mentioned that the "boys at St. David’s Ball Field, and the skillful Mount Pearl slo-pitch league" didn't give up even an hour, but doesn't mention why this situation occurred. Because of hurricane Igor, the Squires ball field off Park Ave was damaged to the point that major repairs were needed, which effectively ended the use of one of the city's 4 ball fields for 3 months. The mens league DID indeed give up one of the nights they have played ball on for over 30 years, to allow the ladies to get in as much of their schedule as they could. The mens league also gave up all but a couple of Sunday afternoons to allow minor baseball use, not to mention that the field is used Monday to Thursday afternoon for minor baseball and all day Friday. Also, when mentioning that the "boys at St. David’s Ball Field, and the skillful Mount Pearl slo-pitch league" didn't give up an hour, you failed to mention that as a league of 240 ball players, we also donates over $5000 a year to charities, minor sports, schools and food banks. Before belittling a town and a sport organization, try gathering some facts. Or maybe your just mad because you live outside Mount Pearls boundaries and therefore cannot apply to play in out league, which I would consider to be one of the best softball leagues in Canada.