Senior hockey hot topic
at HNL AGM
The future of a couple of former Newfoundland Senior Hockey League (NLSHL) teams, and an application to form a new four-team senior league highlight Hockey Newfoundland and Labrador’s annual general meeting in Gander this weekend.
The Conception Bay North Eastlink CeeBee Stars and Mount Pearl H.J. Bartlett Electric Blades are in limbo following the recent announcement that they have been left out of the new four-team Central-West Senior Hockey League planned for this coming season.
At an inaugural meeting held in Gander June 7, representatives from four NLSHL teams — Western Royals, Grand Fall-Windsor Cataracts, Gander Flyers and Clarenville Caribous — formed the new circuit. Executive members plan on making application and present a constitution, by-laws and regulations for HNL approval this weekend.
Western, Grand Falls-Windsor, Gander and Clarenville, along with Mount Pearl and C.B.N., played in the six-team Newfoundland Senior Hockey League the past couple of winters.
The teams forming the new Central-West league cited cost, travel and scheduling as reasons for the exodus.
Neil Norcott of Clarenville was elected president of the league. The other officers are Andy Brake of Deer Lake (vice-president), Bryan Blackmore of Grand Falls-Windsor (sectretary and communications director) and Jeff Gosse of Gander (treasurer).
For its part, Hockey Newfoundland and Labrador has said it won’t comment on the new league, or the fallout from the effective end of the former until this weekend’s meeting.
In the meantime, a possible destination for the CeeBees and Blades may be the Avalon East Senior Hockey League, a league they left behind to join the NSHL in 2011.
This AGM brings together its membership from across the province to report on the past season and make plans for the 2014-2015 hockey season.
The meeting featured opening resolutions and plenary sessions Friday. Each respective division of hockey (female, minor, junior and senior) will hold meeting sessions today.
Some of the other subjects on the 2014 AGM agenda are:
• The organization for the new provincial AAA peewee and bantam leagues in 2014-2015
• Tabling of 24 proposed constitutional resolutions
• The possibility of the removal of body checking in specific categories for players aged 13-17
• The dates for female provincial championships and the determination whether females should be allowed to participate with two teams in provincials
• Presentation from Kids Help Line.
• The appetite for junior hockey expansion into a new category
Jack Lee of Goulds is Hockey Newfoundland and Labrador’s president, and is completing his third year in the top position.
Meanwhile, there will be six new members inducted into the provincial Hockey Hall of Fame. Players Clobie Collins, J.C. Garneau and John Slaney, builders Marv Ryder and Glenn Stanford and official Leo Rose will be officially inducted during Saturday night’s banquet.
As well there will be presentations of several awards such as the President’s Award, Meritorious Awards, Female Promotional Award, Joe Byrne Development Honor Roll Award, Charlie McCarthy Memorial Award, Gold Stick and the Ron Healey Memorial Award.