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Stephenville minor hockey will use independent evaluators to help form representative teams

Stephenville tangles with Gander during a provincial atom hockey tournament at the Stephenville Dome in this file photo. Stephenville is following other minor hockey associations who have opted to use independent evaluators for selection of representative teams in all divisions beginning this season.
Stephenville tangles with Gander during a provincial atom hockey tournament at the Stephenville Dome in this file photo. Stephenville is following other minor hockey associations who have opted to use independent evaluators for selection of representative teams in all divisions beginning this season.

A parent gets upset because she feels her son never made the team because so and so was the coach.

A parent is angry her daughter never made the team and accuses the coach of putting another child on the team because that girl was a friend of the coach’s daughter.

Genny Duffenais believes it’s a situation that pops up in a lot of minor hockey associations across the province and Stephenville is no different.

That’s why change is in the air.

Stephenville has decided to follow other minor hockey associations who have changed the way representative teams are selected.

Duffenais, president of the Stephenville association, said her group will be using independent evaluators with hockey backgrounds to help form the rosters for representative teams in all divisions beginning this season.

It’s a process that some minor hockey associations on the east coast have been following for a number of years and Corner Brook has been doing so for a handful of years in an effort to make things fair for all hands concerned.

“We wanted a process that was clear, concise and transparent,” Duffenais said earlier this week.

In the past, coaches in the Stephenville minor hockey association used the first four weeks of the season to evaluate potential prospects before the tryouts were held and had the final say in who made the cut.

Tryouts for all representative teams in the Stephenville system will take place over the Nov. 3-5 weekend at the Stephenville Dome. The team of evaluators will provide the coaching staff with a list of all players who tried out and have them ranked in order of ability.

Corner Brook has been using independent evaluators in the team selection process for a number of seasons, but there has been some tweaking this winter in an effort to improve the process.

Last season, according to Corner Brook minor hockey technical director Rob French, the top 13 players according to the ranking of the evaluators were given to the coaching staff that was named after the list was finalized. The next four players in the depth chart was given to the coach and the coach had the final say in the last two players named to the team, but those two spots were for one forward and one defenceman.

This year, however, the independent evaluators give the coach the list of the 12 top players and a list of the next five skaters in the depth chart according to their observations and the coach picks three out of the five skaters and can pick forwards or defence or all of one depending on what he needs.

Meanwhile, Deer Lake minor hockey president Darren Fitzgerald wrote the following in an email to The Western Star on Wednesday.

“As you're probably aware the representative team selection process is a very difficult and delicate process. At this time, we wish to provide no comments regarding our selection process.” he wrote.

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