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Kevin McCarthy encourages players to play with Kings regardless of where they call home

McCarthy
McCarthy

The future of the Western Kings has an air of controversy swirling about, but Kevin McCarthy hopes the major midget program continues to thrive in this province.

The general manager of the Kings was really impressed with the turnout for the Kings identification camp held this past weekend in Corner Brook.

There were 41 players, with about 75 per cent of the hopefuls hailing from Corner Brook, who attended the camp, which was the biggest numbers McCarthy has seen since he’s been involved with running the major midget franchise on the west coast.

Who will operate the Kings franchise for the 2017-2018 season remains to be seen with a decision on who will be the operators to be announced at Hockey Newfoundland and Labrador’s annual general meeting next month.

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The Town of Deer Lake was awarded the franchise rights earlier this year, but HNL has since rescinded that decision with the intention of addressing the issue around the table at the June meetings.

McCarthy said a number of key returnees from last year’s team expressed concern about the future of the team with a possible move to Deer Lake. They told him they don’t want to play out of Deer Lake and others said they won’t be moving to Deer Lake to play with the team if that’s the new home.

However, McCarthy said he encouraged them to pursue major midget hockey regardless of where the team operates out of next season because it’s important that competitive players with aspirations of a future in hockey get exposed to the highest level.

“We’re not trying to stop any kid from playing major midget hockey,” McCarthy said. “This is not about Corner Brook and Deer Lake. This is about something bigger. It’s about us trying to save our league,” McCarthy said.

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