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Caribous players forego pay to help team’s financial woes

CLARENVILLE, N.L. — After reaching a self-described “crossroads” last week regarding their financial hardships, the Clarenville Ford Caribous players have made a decision to help combat the team’s money troubles.

In a press release issued by the team on Monday, Jan. 15, stated general manager Ivan Hapgood, chairman Derek MacPhee and captain Dustin Russell all had a meeting to discuss if they could continue operations, crediting much of financial problem to the “ongoing decline of fan support.”

“Things are extremely grim, and it was asked if anyone had any ideas on what could be done to cut additional operational costs,” said the statement.

They decided to explain the matter to the players and discuss possible options.

Russell spoke to the players, and after subsequent discussions with all players on the team, he returned with a team decision for players to continue the rest of this season without further pay or compensation.

“The Clarenville Ford Caribous Organization are extremely thankful that the players took the initiative to continue without compensation. This was a leadership team decision,” said the release.

“(The team is) a staple in the community and we are very grateful that hockey will continue for the remainder of the 2017-18 season at the Eastlink Events Centre (EEC).”

They went on to encourage fans to show their support by attending home games at the EEC — with two games this weekend against East Coast Senior Hockey League teams, one on Saturday night at 8 p.m. and one on Sunday at 1:30 p.m.

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