The general manager of the Clarenville Ford Caribous says his team and the other two that competed in the CWSHL last season are convinced they require another dance partner in order for the league to survive.
Ivan Hapgood says the absolute need for a fourth entry was the topic of a recent meeting involving the Caribous, Gander Flyers and Grand Falls-Windsor Cataracts.
“Right now, the three teams have said they will play hockey (in 2017-18) provided we come up with a fourth team,” said Hapgood. “We’re actively seeking a fourth team, but nothing is confirmed as of yet.”
Hapgood said none of the current teams are interested in participating in a three-team league again, and that when asked by fans whether there will be a season this year, he answers that it all depends on the finalization of a four-team circuit.
“I want to assure the fans and the residents of Clarenville and the surrounding areas that every possible thing is being done right now … to ensure the Caribous will be back on the ice this winter,” he said.
Hapgood said earlier this summer the CWSHL believed it might add a team in Twillingate, but because of the closure of the local fish plant, that potential deal fell through.
“It’s a whole community thing,” he said.
Hapgood said the aim is to have a fourth team in place leading into Hockey Newfoundland and Labrador’s meetings next month. He describes it a “consolidated effort” involving the three teams, the league and Hockey NL
“If there’s a league and a place to play, the Caribous are ready to go,” he said.