Fans of the Bud Light Avalon East Senior Hockey League will have to wait a little longer for the 2010-11 season to get underway.
After an announcement by the Southern Shore Breakers organization that it would not ice a senior team this season, the Avalon East league executive met Tuesday to discuss the situation and make plans for a dispersal draft Sunday.
The draft, from a pool which will include any player registered with the Southern Shore Amateur Hockey Association as of Feb. 10 of this year, pushes the league’s regular draft back a week to Oct. 24, thereby delaying the start of the season to Oct. 29.
Vice-president Eddie Oates is completing a new 24-game schedule for each team that should be ready by week’s end.
League president Kevin Dicks says delaying the regular draft was necessary to give “teams enough time to get out and see whether those Shore players are going to play for them.
“The impact of (the dispersal process) will have an impact on what happens in the other draft.”
While some players who suited up with Breakers last season have their releases and are committed to play elsewhere, be it the Avalon East or West Coast Senior Hockey League, they’ll still be entered into the dispersal draft.
That means even though Dan Curran, for example, will play for the WCSHL’s Deer Lake Red Wings this season, his rights in the Avalon East could transfer to any of the four remaining clubs.
“If the Shore doesn’t come back for another year and they wish to come back to the AESHL, their rights will be owned by another team,” Dicks explains.
“All of the players will be dispersed.”
The Bell Island Blues, who finished last in 2009-10, will pick first in the dispersal draft followed by the Northeast Eagles (formerly the Torbay Sharks), the Mount Pearl Blades and defending champion Conception Bay North CeeBee Stars.
The teams, except the Blades, will follow same order in the regular draft. The Blades took advantage of the league’s new strengthening player rule that allows a club to add up to two players to their roster without having to enter them in the draft. However, by doing so they become ineligible for the draft.
Mount Pearl added former Clarenville Caribous forward Andrew Pearcey and ex-QMJHLer Tyler Reid.
The remaining teams selected just one strengthening player and are still eligible for the regular draft. The CeeBees added former St. John’s Fog Devil Scott Brophy, while Northeast picked up Ryan O’Connor. The Breakers selected former Halifax Mooseheads goalie Mark Yetman, but he’ll now go into the dispersal draft.