As winter approaches, so does another draft

Kenn Oliver
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Fifteen players available for selection tonight, a number of trades rumoured

Grant Kenny

Teams in the Newfoundland Senior Hockey League (NLSHL) teams will have fifteen players to choose from in tonight’s third draft.

As in the two previous drafts, the league has decided not to release the list of entrants, however president Neil Norcott says “there are a few quality players among the group.”

As of press time Tuesday, the last-place Gander Flyers had the first pick, followed by, the C.B.N. Eastlink CeeBee Stars, Clarenville Caribous, Western Royals and Grand Falls-Windsor Cataracts.

“The rumour mill says there are a number of trades in the works, so it should be an interesting night,” says Norcott.

One of those trades could involve  holdout defenceman Grant Kenny.

The CeeBees’ own Kenny’s rights as the result of a dispersal draft of Mount Pearl Blades players prior to the season. But despite repeated overtures from C.B.N. brass, including coach Corey Crocker, the rearguard has yet to report to the team. In fact, last weekend, he hit the ice for the Mount Pearl Freshwater Suzuki Samurai in two Avalon East Senior Hockey League games.

“He just doesn’t want to play for our team. I have no idea why (since)  a lot of his buddies play on the team,” says Crocker, who confirms Kenny is on the trading block, but only if the CeeBees can get something they need in return.

After operating under the old system in the first season, where free-agent local players could essentially shop themselves around to the highest bidder, the league instituted a draft system for its sophomore season in an effort to create more parity by giving all teams a fair shot at any players who wanted to join the league.

Unfortunately, the trade-off of taking the power away from the players was that it gave more to the teams.

“That’s not what the intention was,” insists Norcott. “Although there may not be a whole lot we can do about it on the fly (during) the season, it’ll certainly be a (topic for) discussion among general managers at the annual general meeting.”

Tonight’s draft, like the dispersal draft, will take place via a teleconference. The league has not ruled out a third draft later in the season.

“If the GMs want to let the dice roll and if there’s enough bodies to show up after Christmas, then we’ll have another one,” says Norcott.


It won’t have any effect on tonight’s draft, but on Tuesday afternoon the CeeBees announced they have released import forward Mike Thomas. In eight games, the former Saint John Sea Dogs captain and 2011 Memorial Cup winner had one goal and two assists, and compiled four penalty minutes. Should Thomas want to join another team in the NLSHL, he will not have to enter the draft by virtue of being an import player.


Organizations: NLSHL, Newfoundland Senior Hockey League

Geographic location: Mount Pearl, Saint John

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Recent comments

  • A Wadden we will go
    November 15, 2012 - 11:58

    Picture in the paper = $20; Trip to the draft = $25 in gas; Not getting traded and ending up in the East League = Priceless.

  • Jer Bear Countdown
    November 14, 2012 - 15:00

    fans outside the overpass are not as privy to AHL hockey and feel that their local players are the next coming of Bobby Hull. I'm not saying in this in a derogatory manner, but its taken seriously out here, for those who don't understand inside the overpass. I know down at mile one this year, it's possible that Sean Couturier, Brayden Schenn, Jeff Skinner, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Jordan Eberle, Taylor Hall etc. might possibly be seen carrying their hockey bag in through the back door, but to us outside, we don't have that. So let us be happy to spend $12-14/game to go and cheer on an out of shape Wes Welcher, a money hungry Don Gosse, it's all we have. Leave us be.

  • beddy
    November 14, 2012 - 14:33

    Grant Kenny is holding out for CBN? I guess after 2 stellar season in the MJAHL with the Yarmouth Mariners he deserves to, what a clown. Unless you have a serious personal issue with the coaching staff, go play. It's the best hockey you're going to get at this point Iverson- I mean Kenny

  • santa
    November 14, 2012 - 14:13

    i watched a few games of senior hockey this year and this league sure has alot of good and great players.i think this league is just as entertaining as the ahl. they will fill every rink every night.

  • fan
    November 14, 2012 - 13:06

    this league has two years left. it will be gone after the allan cup. BUSH LEAGUE HOCKEY AT ITS BEST. LONG LIVE THE AHL

  • Big Poppa
    November 14, 2012 - 12:58

    mike thomas wasn't worth the money. now they'll try another feller I'm sure. they thinks money grows on trees in harbour grace. stadium will be empty next time they plays home. and whats the big secret about the names in the draft, i'm sure there's neither randy sellers in the mix.

  • Quck Draw Mcgraw
    November 14, 2012 - 10:10

    Is this story newsworthy? Would Grant Kenny make a team in that league? He has cement feet. Samurai? Who runs that team? I though Mt. Pearl folded? Sounds like the management promote the team well. Do the Cee b's really fly a coach in? Those figures in the paper a couple weeks ago, are they legit? $325/game per player? Sure thats a second job and more. Two games a week and you earn more than a person on minimum wage does. And this is amateur hockey in NL. Where have you gone Hubert Hutton? whistle whistle

  • Cherry Hill
    November 14, 2012 - 08:44

    Peter George!!!! Hahahahahahahahaha

  • hockeyfan
    November 14, 2012 - 07:41

    The Samurai? Ok, last I heard Mt. Pearl couldn't ice a team this year because low attendance. I, a resident of Mt. Pearl and a person who plays hockey at the Glacier didn't know Mt. Pearl had a Sr. hockey team. You would think Freshwater Suzuki would at least advertise this team to draw fans.

    • carogers
      November 14, 2012 - 08:32

      Communication is always an issue in the city. Organizers often complain it is difficult to get the general public out to events. But if you speak to the ordinary public,not members of boards or committees who travel in small circles, the average Joe never hears about events untill the day after when it is carried by the Telegram or news broadcast. The proof is right here with "Hockey Fan" if a person involved in the hockey community didn't know Mt. Pearl even had a senior hockey team then they need to plan their strategy for communication like they plan their hockey games.

    • Mike Scott
      November 14, 2012 - 13:08

      Hockeyfan, thanks for the concern. We are trying to advertise to the best of our budget. The game are announced on the radio, in the paper, and on various sites online, but it is hard to reach everyone within out means. If you have any ideas, please forward them. Fans can follow us on Twitter @MPseniorhockey or on facebook, Thanks, Mike Scott

  • Steve
    November 14, 2012 - 07:38

    Why can't the players just chose to play with whoever they want whenever they want? Even within the same game!

  • Political Watcher
    November 14, 2012 - 06:19

    Considering the heavy hand that HNL has taken on lesser issues I can't understand why they don't act on the Grant Kenny situation. They regularly say that this is not pro league; if it not then Mr. Kenny should be barred from playing on an other teams if he doesn't want to play for the team tat obtains his rights then he doesn't play.

    • Sonny's Dream
      November 14, 2012 - 07:21

      Well where do you draw the line then? You can't have a player sook and bawl that he doesn't want to play for you, and give in. In this situation, Kenny's rights are to the team that is closest to his living quarters. Now he's whining that he doesn't want to play there. That's his choice, I would do the same. Terry Ryan did the same thing this summer, saying he was being held hostage by mt. pearl. But as Crocker said, if the right offer doesn't come, he'll keep him. Why not? If Kenny wants to play in the league bad enough, he will, for CBN. If not, he can toil in the Avalon East Rec League with Mt. Pearl and sleep in his own bed every night. The $$$$$ that is being paid to these players is borderline pro money, yet political watcher, you determined it isn't a pro league. So what you are saying is, they aren't pro's, get paid like pro's, yet should be treated as amateurs. Seems like an amateur opinion. And what happened to Mike Thomas, there was an article printed last week that he was going to be the be all end all in the league. Eight games in, he's gone back home. Has the well run dry in CBN? Perhaps the money being spent on flying in a coach should be questioned. Perhaps it would've been, but assistant coach Peter George is rumored to be entering the draft to help with their defensive woes. Without Gander being in the league the CeeBees would be basement dwellers again this year. And Neil, your words are really taken with a grain of salt. After you ruled that any non-import would have to enter the draft at the beginning of the year, you ruled that an import-turned non-import did not have to re-enter the draft in Berube's case with the Royals. Seems like you roll the dice on a lot of your own decisions with the league, or flip a coin. The league is great, but the governing bodies need to go, it's Yuk Yuk's comedy hour when reading some of the rulings that happen within this league.