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A Royal dilemma

<p>Hockey Newfoundland and Labrador inducted four members into its Hall of Fame over the weekend in Gander. The new inductees are, from left, Juan Strickland (player), Brian Rogers (media category) and Charlie Babstock (player). Seated is builder Wally Dalley.</p>
<p>Hockey Newfoundland and Labrador inducted four members into its Hall of Fame over the weekend in Gander. The new inductees are, from left, Juan Strickland (player), Brian Rogers (media category) and Charlie Babstock (player). Seated is builder Wally Dalley.</p>

It’s the proverbial Catch 22 situation — the Corner Brook Royals do not want to see the number of import players reduced by one this season; then again, the Royals acknowledge if the Central West Senior Hockey League is to survive, the four-team operation will require getting its costs in line.

At Hockey Newfoundland and Labrador’s annual general meeting over the weekend in Gander, the association’s Senior Council recommended reducing the number of imports on the Royals and Gander Flyers to two each.

Currently, Corner Brook and Gander are allowed three apiece, while the Clarenville Caribous and Grand Falls-Windsor Cataracts each get two.

The rationale behind this is, from a Corner Brook perspective, it’s cheaper to bring a player in from Halifax to Deer Lake than it is to fly him in from St. John’s. As for the Flyers, Gander is the league’s weak sister, thus the decision to allow the Airport Town club an additional import.

All four teams are permitted an import goalie.

Related story:

CWSHL teams divided on issue of imports

Ross Coates, the outgoing president of the Royals, isn’t happy with the idea of losing the extra import player, noting it makes it that much harder to compete.

And if you’re not competitive, fans don’t come out. And if fans don’t come out, you can’t pay the bills.

And the bills, Coates says, will be going up in 2016-17, following the price of gas.

“Travel,” he said, “will go up. The cost of flights will go up, as will the cost of busses, I suspect.”

The Royals spent in excess of $100,000 on travel last season, far and away the biggest expense in their budget.

Corner Brook averaged between 850-900 fans at the Civic Centre in 2015-16, Coates said, and the team needs 1,100 to break even.

And, he added, there’s only so much you can charge for tickets. Royals’ tickets last season were $12, plus a $1 surcharge.

“In my opinion,” he said, “we’ve probably overpriced tickets.”

Royals supporters, Coates said, are an aging population. Younger people, he noted, don’t seem to be hockey fans.

“I know hockey is in trouble when one of the first complaints I get at the rink is the music’s too loud,” he said.

Coates said one option the Central West circuit could consider is cutting out import players entirely, such as the senior hockey operation on the east coast of the province, the Avalon East Senior Hockey League.

“In the west, it’s about the entertainment factor, which is the reason for imports,” he said. “In the East, it’s about having a good, competitive game of hockey to play and that’s fine.

“I think we in the west have to learn to adjust that entertainment factor.”

It was a challenging 2015-16 season for the Royals, and the Clarenville Caribous also had a dip in their average attendance.

After seven years at the helm, Coates says it’s time to step aside. Several of the senior executive members of the Royals are following suit, meaning a new group will be running the team next season.

Who will comprise the management team is anyone’s guess.

“We’re working on getting a new executive in place, but that’s not an east task,” he said. “Not a lot of people are willing to put their credit card on the table each weekend.”

If no one steps forward, he said, the Royals may have to take a sabbatical next season.

 

rshort@thetelegram.com

 

 

HNL winds up annual meetings

Some notes from the Hockey Newfoundland and Labrador AGM held over the weekend in Gander:

 • Player registration has increased by over five per cent from the previous season, and there are now over 10,000 players registered in minor hockey in this province, with more than 1,800 being female players

• The Conception Bay Regional Minor Hockey Association will play host the 2017 Atlantic AAA peewee championship April 6-9 in the C.B.S.

• Speaking of AAA hockey, in an effort to cut down on amount of travel, more AAA games will be played between regional opponents next season. In other words, expect St. John’s to play more games against Tricom and Tri-Pen, while Western and Central will face off more often

• Female delegates supported the expansion of the current AAA bantam and female programs by establishing a provincial league this season

•••••

HNL EXECUTIVE

Hockey Newfoundland and Labrador officers who will be serving their second year of a two-year term:

Jack Lee (Goulds), President

Murray Roberts (Botwood), Vice President

Gerry Taylor (St. John’s), Chair — Junior

Gary Gale (Hampden), Chair — Senior

Arnold Kelly (Goose Bay), Chair — Minor

Carolyn Yates (Botwood), Female Hockey Chair

Ken Chafe (Goulds), Hockey Development Chair

Don Kelly (Mount Pearl), Referee-in-Chief

Gerry Evans (Mount Pearl), Past President

••••• 

2015-16 HNL AWARD WINNERS

Brian Wakelin Executive of the Year Award: Junior Humphries of Labrador West Minor Hockey Association

Minor Hockey Association of the Year Award: Bay Arena Minor Hockey Association

Minor Hockey Meritorious Awards: Robert Bouzane (Springdale), Stephanie Spencer (Conception Bay Regional) Shawn Brown (Goose Bay) Dennis March (Trinity Placentia) Brian Chaulk (Deer Lake)

Ray Bowe Award of Merit: Tony Cronin (Conception Bay Regional)

Junior Hockey Meritorious Award: Bill Hayes (Junior Celtics)

Hockey Canada Junior Hockey Recognition Award: David Murphy (Mount Pearl)

C.J. McCarthy Memorial Senior Award: Ross Coates  (Corner Brook Royals)

Female Hockey Promotion Award: Bonnie Evans, (Mount Pearl)

Joe Byrne Development Award: Trevor Murphy (Mount Pearl)

Ron Healey Memorial Award: Sean Lefresne (Paradise)

President Award: Dec Lacour (Harbour Main)

Annual scholarship recipients

Jim Sterling B. F. Lorenzetti & Associates: Becky Maher (Deer Lake)

Wayne Mercer Memorial Scholarship Recipient: Andrew Bailey (St. John’s)

Minor Hockey Scholarships: Matthew Fisher (Bonavista) and Christian Pelley (Springdale)

At Hockey Newfoundland and Labrador’s annual general meeting over the weekend in Gander, the association’s Senior Council recommended reducing the number of imports on the Royals and Gander Flyers to two each.

Currently, Corner Brook and Gander are allowed three apiece, while the Clarenville Caribous and Grand Falls-Windsor Cataracts each get two.

The rationale behind this is, from a Corner Brook perspective, it’s cheaper to bring a player in from Halifax to Deer Lake than it is to fly him in from St. John’s. As for the Flyers, Gander is the league’s weak sister, thus the decision to allow the Airport Town club an additional import.

All four teams are permitted an import goalie.

Related story:

CWSHL teams divided on issue of imports

Ross Coates, the outgoing president of the Royals, isn’t happy with the idea of losing the extra import player, noting it makes it that much harder to compete.

And if you’re not competitive, fans don’t come out. And if fans don’t come out, you can’t pay the bills.

And the bills, Coates says, will be going up in 2016-17, following the price of gas.

“Travel,” he said, “will go up. The cost of flights will go up, as will the cost of busses, I suspect.”

The Royals spent in excess of $100,000 on travel last season, far and away the biggest expense in their budget.

Corner Brook averaged between 850-900 fans at the Civic Centre in 2015-16, Coates said, and the team needs 1,100 to break even.

And, he added, there’s only so much you can charge for tickets. Royals’ tickets last season were $12, plus a $1 surcharge.

“In my opinion,” he said, “we’ve probably overpriced tickets.”

Royals supporters, Coates said, are an aging population. Younger people, he noted, don’t seem to be hockey fans.

“I know hockey is in trouble when one of the first complaints I get at the rink is the music’s too loud,” he said.

Coates said one option the Central West circuit could consider is cutting out import players entirely, such as the senior hockey operation on the east coast of the province, the Avalon East Senior Hockey League.

“In the west, it’s about the entertainment factor, which is the reason for imports,” he said. “In the East, it’s about having a good, competitive game of hockey to play and that’s fine.

“I think we in the west have to learn to adjust that entertainment factor.”

It was a challenging 2015-16 season for the Royals, and the Clarenville Caribous also had a dip in their average attendance.

After seven years at the helm, Coates says it’s time to step aside. Several of the senior executive members of the Royals are following suit, meaning a new group will be running the team next season.

Who will comprise the management team is anyone’s guess.

“We’re working on getting a new executive in place, but that’s not an east task,” he said. “Not a lot of people are willing to put their credit card on the table each weekend.”

If no one steps forward, he said, the Royals may have to take a sabbatical next season.

 

rshort@thetelegram.com

 

 

HNL winds up annual meetings

Some notes from the Hockey Newfoundland and Labrador AGM held over the weekend in Gander:

 • Player registration has increased by over five per cent from the previous season, and there are now over 10,000 players registered in minor hockey in this province, with more than 1,800 being female players

• The Conception Bay Regional Minor Hockey Association will play host the 2017 Atlantic AAA peewee championship April 6-9 in the C.B.S.

• Speaking of AAA hockey, in an effort to cut down on amount of travel, more AAA games will be played between regional opponents next season. In other words, expect St. John’s to play more games against Tricom and Tri-Pen, while Western and Central will face off more often

• Female delegates supported the expansion of the current AAA bantam and female programs by establishing a provincial league this season

•••••

HNL EXECUTIVE

Hockey Newfoundland and Labrador officers who will be serving their second year of a two-year term:

Jack Lee (Goulds), President

Murray Roberts (Botwood), Vice President

Gerry Taylor (St. John’s), Chair — Junior

Gary Gale (Hampden), Chair — Senior

Arnold Kelly (Goose Bay), Chair — Minor

Carolyn Yates (Botwood), Female Hockey Chair

Ken Chafe (Goulds), Hockey Development Chair

Don Kelly (Mount Pearl), Referee-in-Chief

Gerry Evans (Mount Pearl), Past President

••••• 

2015-16 HNL AWARD WINNERS

Brian Wakelin Executive of the Year Award: Junior Humphries of Labrador West Minor Hockey Association

Minor Hockey Association of the Year Award: Bay Arena Minor Hockey Association

Minor Hockey Meritorious Awards: Robert Bouzane (Springdale), Stephanie Spencer (Conception Bay Regional) Shawn Brown (Goose Bay) Dennis March (Trinity Placentia) Brian Chaulk (Deer Lake)

Ray Bowe Award of Merit: Tony Cronin (Conception Bay Regional)

Junior Hockey Meritorious Award: Bill Hayes (Junior Celtics)

Hockey Canada Junior Hockey Recognition Award: David Murphy (Mount Pearl)

C.J. McCarthy Memorial Senior Award: Ross Coates  (Corner Brook Royals)

Female Hockey Promotion Award: Bonnie Evans, (Mount Pearl)

Joe Byrne Development Award: Trevor Murphy (Mount Pearl)

Ron Healey Memorial Award: Sean Lefresne (Paradise)

President Award: Dec Lacour (Harbour Main)

Annual scholarship recipients

Jim Sterling B. F. Lorenzetti & Associates: Becky Maher (Deer Lake)

Wayne Mercer Memorial Scholarship Recipient: Andrew Bailey (St. John’s)

Minor Hockey Scholarships: Matthew Fisher (Bonavista) and Christian Pelley (Springdale)

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