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LETTER: Taking aim at Robin Short’s ‘rant’ on senior hockey

Hockey stick and puck.
- Contributed

The Robin Short “Rant” (The Telegram, Oct. 26) on Senior Hockey is downright disgusting.

As to the “Cee Bees wanting to call the shots” — Probably true. Disappointing though, as after months of work a deal was reached which included them. Unfortunately, one week after, they pulled out citing “a player shortage in particular at the A level.”

Shortly after it came to the attention of senior council, the Cee Bees were trying to renew the Avalon East League which would include: the Cee Bees, Eagles and Blades. There were also allegations the Cee Bees were trying to recruit players from other teams (tampering). So in a nutshell they could not get their way in the agreed-to set-up so they tried to form their own league.

As to his statement, “The West Coast League was not good enough to play for the Herder.” —  they were invited by Hockey NL, but declined. They did so because it was their view the focus had to be on re-building their League. We respect their decision.

As to Short’s claim the Cee Bees and Blades want back in the East but the league doesn’t want them. — In my opinion true in terms of the Cee Bees, not true for the Blades.

For the Cee Bees there is a history not forgotten. A few years ago they jumped ship to join the NLSHL. After two years they were essentially given the boots. Senior council lobbied to get them back in the East. Two years in, once again, they were given the boots. So their lifespan in leagues is two years. Little wonder they want to set up their own league. As for the Blades, they simply need to file an application with a player roster to the ECSHL.

As to the Short claim “the Herder was a complete disaster.” — an Insult. Over 4,000 fans attended four Herder Games and thousands viewed online. The comparison of Herder attendance to the number of dart players at a Legion game is inappropriate. I remind him the Legion is a respected and honorable institution, our top Award is the Herder Memorial and at this time of remembrance there’s no need for such a comparison.

As to his statement “if he was a business owner and someone from Senior Hockey came looking for a partnership, he would kick him out on the curb.” — Once again an insult, in particular, to all our volunteers.

In summary, as volunteers we do the best we can to keep Senior Hockey going in the province. From a governance point of view, we had no control over the Cee Bees pulling out of a set-up they agreed to. I do find it rather odd however that an internal administrative memo sent to Hockey NL by the Cee Bees was copied to Short. He has no administrative function within our ranks in this regard, as far as I know. In terms of renewing the Avalon East and possible player tampering by the Cee Bees, I can assure Short, we are not prepared to sanction a league built on the backs of teams and players from an existing league. We also respect the decision of the West not to compete for the Herder this year.

If this is bad governance, well so be it.

As to his claims the Herder was a disaster, tell this to all the volunteers that work 24/7 to keep Senior Hockey going and the players that compete for this prestigious award.

The comparison of Herder attendance to the numbers at a Legion’s dart game crosses the line and warrants an apology to this highly regarded institution. His encouragement of business owners not to support Senior Hockey is repugnant.

Furthermore, his lack of good investigative journalism here makes one wonder who actually is the amateur, clown and buffoon.

Gary Gale,

Hockey NL Senior Council Chair

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ROBIN SHORT: Senior hockey ABCs

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