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Pinksen confident bid process will lead Kings to Deer Lake

Angus Head.
Angus Head.

Junior Pinksen felt a sense of disappointment when he found out Hockey Newfoundland and Labrador had rescinded the decision to move the Western Kings franchise to Deer Lake.

He knows how great it would be for the community.

The decision was brought down by Hockey NL’s minor council after discussions with the Newfoundland and Labrador Major Midget Hockey League executive determined there were inconsistencies in the league’s bylaws with regards to voting on franchise bids.

Pinksen wasn’t happy to see the momentum they had been building, an identification camp planned for next week at the Hodder Memorial Recreation Centre and coaching staff ready to work on forming the next edition of the Kings, being stalled by the latest development, but he understands why the executive made its decision and is willing to follow the process that will be followed to address the issue at the annual general meeting of HNL in June.

“There’s a loophole that some people found in the constitution that had to be rectified and we understand they have to go through that process and we’ll go through the process,” said Pinksen. “But, at the end of the day, we were told our proposal was an excellent proposal and that the bid process isn’t going to change.

“So if our proposal came out on top a couple of weeks ago then in June at the AGM it doesn’t matter who is sitting at the table if the process remains the same where people accept the best proposal then our proposal should come out on top again.”

Nothing has changed in Pinksen’s mind.

He was excited when he found out the Town of Deer Lake was awarded the franchise because he felt it would be great for the community. He isn’t going to lose that excitement with the latest twist in a decision that has been met with a fair amount of controversy.

“We felt it would be a great opportunity for our community, so for me to cry foul over the process or to throw a temper tantrum on social media like other individuals (have) done, we felt it would be inappropriate and our offer is on the table and our bid is there,” he said. “We welcome the process before and we welcome the same process in June.”

The team will remain in the hands of the previous owners — a group led by governor and general manager Kevin McCarthy and long-time coach Angus Head — until a decision is made on who will be the new owners.

Head is looking forward to holding an identification camp in Corner Brook, but he still has a lot of questions about how everything has unfolded since the bidding war began.

“I’m happy for the fact that somebody has recognized that there were mistakes made, but I’m still not happy with the overall outcome,” Head said. “Nobody has still given us an answer as to why anybody originally would have made the decision to take it away from us,” Head said.

Potential owners agree with rescinding move of Kings to Deer Lake

Colleen Costello has taken herself out of the bidding war for the Western Kings major midget hockey franchise.

The Pasadena woman, who was has a son playing in the Deer Lake minor hockey system, sent an email to provincial major midget hockey league administrator Jerry Wicks this week informing the league that she wanted her bid proposal taken off the table.

Costello wasn’t surpised to hear the decision to award the franchise to Deer Lake because she thought there were flaws in the process, but she only had the best interest of the players in mind when she wanted to see the franchise stay in Corner Brook where she thought the proper facilities and ice-time slots were guaranteed if she was successful in the bid process.

She also thought about the impact the awarding of the franchise would have on other user groups because she has seen a lot of issues with getting ice-time at the Hodder since she became involved in minor hockey back in 2004.

“Every year there has been an issue with ice-time and it’s usually the Deer Lake kids who have been told they have to travel to Rocky Harbour or travel wherever to get ice-times to be able to host a game or host a tournament and it’s been like that for years,” Costello said. “So, my question for Junior Pinksen in Deer Lake would be if this was an issue in the past what has changed now where ice-time is not an issue?”

Costello said she has no issue with any person or group involved in wanting to be the new owner or the existing owners forging ahead, but she still believes the best scenario is keeping the Kings in Corner Brook where there is already a solid foundation and guaranteed ice-time to meet the needs of the players.

Craig Simms of Corner Brook and Jason Oake of Deer Lake were the driving forces behind a proposal to keep the team in Corner Brook and their proposal is staying on the table.

“They had no choice but to rescind the motion because there was a problem with the constitution and who was allowed to vote on it and that’s fact. So they had no alternative,” Simms said. “They admitted that there’s a flaw in the constitution so, based on that alone, that requires it to be rescinded, to fix the constitution and have a new vote.”

Junior Pinksen.

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