The Newfoundland and Labrador Hockey Hall of Fame saw five new people inducted Saturday night during Hockey Newfoundland and Labrador’s annual general meeting in Gander. Those inducted were, from left, seated: Helen Slaney (representing her son, John Slaney, inducted as a player), Roseanne Ryder (representing her late husband, Marv Ryder, inducted as a builder); standing: J.C. Garneau (inducted as a player), Leo Rose (inducted as a builder), John Collins (representing his late father, Clobie Collins, inducted as a player), Glenn Stanford (inducted as a builder).
©— Submitted photo
The province’s best peewee (11-12 years) and bantam (13-14) hockey players will be facing off against each other over the course of a full season next year in a pair of newly-formed AAA hockey leagues.
The idea of provincial AAA peewee and bantam leagues was approved last year, but the format was rolled out this past weekend at Hockey Newfoundland and Labrador’s annual general meeting in Gander.
Each league will consist of five teams representing five zones within the province – St. John’s, Tri-Com (Mount Pearl, CBR, Northeast, Southern Shore, etc.), Tri-Pen, Central and Western. Labrador will not participate in the league, but will compete in the year-end provincials.
Each team in each league will play a 24-game schedule, and another 13 games over four tournaments.
Teams will make at least one visit to each other’s rink, not counting tournaments.
The format will be similar to the existing major midget league.
“There was an appetite to give the elite players more hockey at that level,” said provincial Minor Council chairman Arnold Kelly.
“There was also the thought process that it will help the grass roots players because you now won’t have AAA players at the house league level.”
Meantime, Hockey Newfoundland and Newfoundland floated the idea of banning checking at the non-competitive bantam and midget levels, but a motion was defeated in a relatively close vote.
Last year, Hockey Canada elected to ban checking at all levels in peewee hockey.
“The branch,” said Kelly, “just put it on the floor for discussion.
“I think there is a possibility of that happening (banning checking in non-competitive hockey for bantam and midgets), but I think it will be a very, very long time before it’s taken out of the competitive stream.”
As for senior hockey, it was a fait accompli as the new (new again, at least) Central West Senior Hockey League was given the official blessing from the governing body which oversees hockey in the province.
The new senior circuit will replace the Newfoundland Senior Hockey League which broke apart after only three seasons.
That provincial league formed when teams from the Avalon East league and an earlier West Coast operation banded together.
Western, Grand Falls-Windsor, Gander and Clarenville split from the provincial senior circuit just last month, citing mounting travel costs and scheduling problems as the primary reasons.
That leaves Mount Pearl and Conception Bay North out in the cold, although there is talk the Avalon East Senior Hockey League is strongly considering taking in the orphan teams, making for the possibility of a six- or even seven-team East circuit. Mount Pearl and C.B.N. would join existing teams St. John’s, Northeast, Bell Island, Southern Shore and possibility a new team in Trinity-Placentia.
If Mount Pearl and C.B.N. join the Avalon East league, those teams will not be permitting imports as the circuit is a strictly a locals-only operation.
And speaking of imports, there is chatter the new Central West league may be looking to increase the number of paid players per team, but one insider suggests HNL will only be willing to go so far as to allow each team the same number of imports.
Currently, Western is allowed four imports, Grand Falls-Windsor and Gander three each and Clarenville two.
Clarenville is playing host to the Allan Cup Canadian senior hockey championship next spring.
Brian Wakelin Executive of the Year Award:
Jack Brenton of Marystown
Minor Hockey Association of the Year Award:
Conception Bay Regional
Minor Hockey Meritorious Awards:
Levi Warren (Bonavista), Melvin Jacobs (Lewisporte),
Lisa Robinson (Rocky Harbour) Michelle Burt (Churchill Falls), Terry Clark (Labrador City)
Junior Hockey Meritorious Awards
Ed Clarke (Blaketown)
Hockey Canada Junior Hockey Recognition Award
Derrick Hutchens (St. John’s)
C.J. McCarthy Memorial Senior Award
Gerard Martin (Corner Brook)
Female Hockey Promotion Award
Wendy Penney, CeeBees Minor Hockey Association
Joe Byrne Development Award Honor Roll
Megan Frizzell (Burnt Cove)
Ron Healey Memorial Award
Colin Abbott (Portugal Cove)
Gold Stick Pins: Joe Maynard (Flatrock), Tamar Hobbs (Grand Falls-Windsor) and Craig Tulk (Grand Falls-Windsor)
Gerry Evans (Mount Pearl) and Ken Chafe (Goulds)
HNL annual scholarships
B. F. Lorenzetti & Associates: Amy Nemec (St.John’s)
Wayne Mercer Memorial Scholarship: David McCarthy (Corner Brook)
Minor Hockey Scholarships: Jeremy Billard (Lake Melville) and Devin Whelan (Placentia)
HNL officers for upcoming season:
Jack Lee (Goulds), president
Murray Roberts (Botwood), vice-president
Gerry Taylor (St. John’s), Junior Council chairman
Gary Gale (Hampden), Senior Council chairman
Arnold Kelly (Goose Bay), Minor Council chairman
Bonnie Evans (Mount Pearl), female hockey chair
Ken Chafe (Goulds), Hockey Development Chairman
Don Kelly (Mount Pearl), referee-in-chief
Gerry Evans (Mount Pearl), past president