Brandon Hynes says he can't afford to play for Flyers for free

Published on January 31, 2017

Brandon Hynes competes against the Clarenville Caribous in a Central West Senior Hockey League game last winter at the Corner Brook Civic Centre.

©Geraldine Brophy

Brandon Hynes is still waiting for final confirmation on the future of the Gander Flyers, but as a full-time student he can’t afford to play hockey without compensation so his stint with the purple and gold could be over.

The bills don’t pay themselves so you have to find a way to do it Brandon Hynes

Hynes, who joined the Flyers in the Central West Senior Hockey League this winter after the Corner Brook Royals folded, spoke with management of the team on Monday night to see what’s up with the struggling franchise.

According to Hynes, the three teams in the league are on board to have the regular season cut short with the standings as they are and the playoffs starting Feb. 24-26 weekend with the Flyers travelling to Clarenville for a best-three semifinal series. The winner will take on the first-place Cataracts in the league final.

Hynes, as well as the other 20 carded players with Gander, were asked to commit to the team for the rest of the season but he would have to take a pay cut.

“They’re trying to get us to play for literally next to nothing,” Hynes, who wouldn't reveal how much he is paid,  said Monday during a break from class.

According to Hynes, the team only had 10 players, two of them goalies, who were willing to finish out the season with a pay cut. Basically, he said, players were asked to play for 30 per cent of what they were being paid before the team started experiencing financial woes.

He has no idea if the team can even consider forging ahead with such a short bench, but he’s willing to see what comes down the pipe as the Flyers appear to be watching the clock tick on its survival.

Hynes didn’t want to be the only one who said no and he’s not, but he insists it’s not feasible for him to travel to Clarenville on the weekend when he can be home focused on school or trying to find work.

“The bills don’t pay themselves so you have to find a way to do it,” he said. “It’s just the way it is. I can’t be travelling to Clarenville for a three-game set for zero dollars to me it’s just a waste of a weekend.”

He wishes the circumstances were different but he knows the hockey world can be pretty fickle so he will live with whatever the Flyers decide.

In the end, he wants to play hockey and if he’s going to play for free he would much prefer to do it on the west coast.

Fans of the new West Coast Senior Hockey League may just see the sniper playing in tiny rinks in familiar territory sooner rather than later.