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Paradise gained: St. John's Junior Hockey League adds ninth team

Former St. John's Maple Leafs star and NHLer Andrew McKim will coach the Paradise Warriors junior team. — Twitter/PMHA
Former St. John's Maple Leafs star and NHLer Andrew McKim will coach the Paradise Warriors junior team. — Twitter/PMHA

Former pro Andrew McKim to coach Warriors

PARADISE, N.L. —

The Mary Brown’s St. John’s Junior Hockey League will expand by one team next season with the addition of the Paradise Warriors, giving the league nine entries.

The decision was made at the league’s annual general meeting held over the weekend.

Former pro Andrew McKim, who is technical director of the Paradise Minor Hockey Association (PMHA)m will be the first new junior team’s coach, and Greg Barton is the general manager.

The PMHA is three-years-old, and junior league president George Bursell said a junior team in Paradise will give more players an opportunity of continuing to play competitive hockey after midget and high school.

“We’re offering another 20 kids a game of hockey,” Bursell said, “and at the end of the day, that’s what we’re here for.

“Will the league be watered down? I don’t know. I do know we’ll have more kids playing. And really, there’s nobody playing junior hockey beyond the Trinity-Placentia area. We have kids from across the island in here attending school and playing in our league.”

Paradise will join CBR, the 2018-19 league champs, Mount Pearl, St. John’s, Avalon, Northeast, Southern Shore, C.B.N. and Trinity-Placentia in the circuit.

It was also announced at the meeting players will be required to wear full facemasks beginning next season. Hockey Canada, Bursell said, has mandated that every level under major junior and junior ‘A’ will be required full facial protection starting next season.

“We’re offering another 20 kids a game of hockey, and at the end of the day, that’s what we’re here for.” — George Bursell

As a result, there will be lower insurance payments, working out to a saving of $30 per player.

“Not to mention cutting down on dental bills the players or their parents would have to play in the event of an injury,” Bursell said.

“And we won’t even get into an eye injury.”

Bursell, treasurer Colin Gosse and public relations director Bob Crocker are serving the second year of their terms. Elected to two-year terms are vice-president Jim Hare, secretary Cathy Doyle registrar Stephen Clarke and statistician Gerry Taylor.

The league kicks off Sept. 24 with a 28-game regular season per team. All nine teams will make the playoffs. The post season starts Feb. 4, 2020 and ends with the Don Johnson Cup Atlantic junior ‘B’ championship April 22-26 in New Brunswick.

The league will be planning celebrations for its 40th anniversary next season with a special night planned in September for all past players, coaches and executive members.

For more details, email gsb.sjjhl@gmail.com


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