Avalon East league won’t be adding any teams

John Browne
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CeeBees, Mount Pearl left without a league: 'They don't fit our game plan'

Avalon East Senior Hockey League vice-president Joe Maynard said a decision to turn down an application from the Conception Bay North CeeBees to join the circuit was simply a case of the league not being able to accommodate the team.
The decision was made at a recent meeting “after a lot of thought,” according to Maynard.

The league will continue with four teams, including the St. John's Toyota Plaza Caps, Northeast Eagles, Pugliesvich Southern Shore Breakers and Bell Island Family Drug Mart Blues.

Lack of available, quality players is one of the issues why the league won’t expand.

 “We had difficulty filling the four rosters of last year’s teams,”noted Maynard. “There were times last year when had only 15 or 16 players available for some teams.”

He said he’s hoping graduating junior players from the very successful St. John’s league will eventually broaden the base for the senior clubs to choose from.

“But right now, there’s not enough players out there to add another team to our league.”

He said CeeBees gave the Avalon league a list of nine players that might form the nucleus of a roster, but Maynard added that the rights of some of those players belonged to existing AESHL teams.

“Where do you suppose they will get the rest of their players?” asked Maynard.

The Conception Bay North Eastlink Stars and Mount Pearl H.J. Bartlett Electric Blades had once belonged to the Avalon East league, but left to become part of a six-team  Newfoundland Senior Hockey League the last three seasons.

However, they found themselves out in the cold when the provincial league’s four other teams left to form the Central/West Senior Hockey League, which was given the official go-ahead at Hockey Newfoundland and Labrador (HNL) annual general meeting in Gander in June.

Now, the Avalon East door has been shut on them. Also affected would be those who were interested in having a Whitbourne-based team in the AESHL.

Maynard said the way teams, such as those based in Mount Pearl and Harbour Grace, operate won’t work in the AESHL

“It didn’t work when they were in our league before and it’s not going to work now because we’ve tightened it up even moreso,” said Maynard. “You can’t even pay a coach in our league now. We have strict guidelines”

“They (CeeBees) shouldn’t be upset with us. The ones they should be upset with are the four teams that kicked them out. We didn’t kick them out. They left us,” added Maynard.

The bottom line, according to Maynard is, “They (CeeBees) don’t fit our game plan and we don’t fit their game plan.”



Organizations: Bell Island Family Drug Mart Blues.Lack, Hockey Newfoundland and Labrador, Newfoundland Senior Hockey League West Senior Hockey League

Geographic location: Avalon East, Mount Pearl, St. John's Northeast Eagles Gander

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Recent comments

  • Former Player AESHL
    August 28, 2014 - 10:41

    I assume "Hockey Fan" that you were at the meetings to hear Joe say this??? Either way, the Cee Bees and Mount Pearl never wanted to be part of the AESHL. Their management people do not agree with how the league operates, where profits made in the league go back equally to all teams, in order to keep the league viable. This is why the left in the first place and sued the league on the way out. Now that they find themselves without a home, they want back in but their feelings have not changed. People are going to trash the AESHL for making this decision but they are not saying anything about the West League for booting them out. If they really want to ice their teams this year, why didn't they created their own East Senior A league? and add 1-2 more teams? They could play the winner of the East for the Herder. Bottom line these two teams were hurting financially anyway and the writing was on the wall for them to both fold. The AESHL is back to being a Senior B league and a good place for young players out of junior to play, those that cannot make the Senior A teams. Keep the payrolls out of it and play for the love of the game.

  • Same Song and Dance
    August 28, 2014 - 09:15

    Smoke and mirrors straight from the same guy who has been part of the problem with growing SR hockey in NL for decades. I know and like Joe, but not as the AESHL president or as a hockey guy in general. They always play out the poor homegrown local league card that is focused on keeping a game of hockey available. Yet, every opportunity to grow has some "negative impact" on the league and its current/potential players/fans that makes it go against the AESHL's mandate. Or should I dare to say, Joe's mandate. After this many years I believe they are one it the same. Does anyone recall how long it took the AESHL (under pres Joe) to go to 20 min periods and stop playing all games at Feildian Gardens? Would anyone like to know why? I have played this game with this guy in charge before....I don't trust his word, ever. As for Shutey...you need to be on the inside to get a proper idea how foolish some of the east league decision making is and has always been.

  • Hockey Fan
    August 28, 2014 - 07:50

    Funny though...as Joe Maynard was quoted at the Gander meetings in June, "that over his dead body the Cee Bes would not be playing in the Avalon East league in the Fall". This is more of a sour grapes issue than providing hockey for everyone. Time for everyone to grow up. Where's the brass at HNL? Time for them to step up to the plate and have the balls to make a decision or two instead of passing the buck.

  • Shutey
    August 28, 2014 - 06:34

    I don't blame you. They left your league with 3 teams three years ago with no regrets. Now they are begging to get back and dont want to abide by the rules you have in place. Crying sour grapes about not getting a game. They left, sued the league, and now they want back in. Last year right up until the last week of the season the provincial league didn't know if they were in or out, in ir out, in or out. It was a farce, why because they didn't have enough players. Where are they gonna come from now? And Mt Pearl, well they've folded more than Harry Hibbs accordion. I don't think either league are sorry to be done with their board of directors. They were the laughing stock according to HNL meeting goers. From what I hear, the players aren't upset about that team going the way of a tent yet again. Joe may not be a respected man, but this decision helps the East leagues current teams get stronger. I'm out - Shutey