Brad Penney grabbed the bull by the horns when he wanted to see the Western Kings back in the fold of the provincial AAA bantam hockey league after a one-year hiatus.
He took over the coaching duties for the Western entry in the four-team setup that kicked off last weekend with a tournament where the Kings had four losses in as many games.
He believes Western has a good crop of players available to play at the AAA level this year so he made it his mission to put a good product on the ice with hopes of keeping the team alive for years to come.
Opening weekend was tough on the ice, but it was also tough away from the play as the Central IcePak have opted to fold for the 2018-2019 season after a handful of games, leaving the league with one less franchise.
Penney said there were a number of factors that played into the demise of the IcePak. He said the biggest challenges that faced management was the lack of interest shown from players in the central Newfoundland region and also the difficult challenge of securing a coaching staff to commit for the long haul.
It’s not the ideal situation for the league, but Penney believes the folding of the IcePak has a bigger impact on the players from central who won’t be able to embrace the same opportunities as other players across the province.
For parents and players in the fold with his Kings, he wants them to be reassured that the Kings program will forge ahead as planned and the team is excited about hitting the ice for its opening weekend Oct. 13-15 in a three-game series against the TriPen Ice.
“We have zero interest in folding. We are full steam ahead with the league. That’s not even an option,” Penney said. “It may mean more travelling trips but it’s not something that is by any means going to deter us from competing in the league,” he said.