Ceebees have big gaps to fill

Coach, long­time ex­ec­u­tive mem­ber step­ping aside

The Compass - - EDITORIAL OPINION - BY TERRY ROBERTS

Two peo­ple who have been de­scribed as in­stru­men­tal in the suc­cess of the Con­cep­tion Bay North Cee­Bee Stars se­nior mens’ hockey team have stepped aside, leav­ing the team scram­bling to fill their shoes.

Ian Moores con­firmed re­cently he has re­signed as head coach, and his fa­ther, ex­ec­u­tive mem­ber Doug Moores, has said he will not be back for the 2011-12 sea­son.

“ They’re both a huge loss,” CeeBees’ man­ager Kenny Hunt toldThe Com­pass­last week.

Doug Moores played a ma­jor role in se­cur­ing spon­sor­ships for the team, Hunt ex­plained. Hard be­ing crit­i­cal Ian Moores said his de­ci­sion came down to the fact he was too close to many of the play­ers, and had dif­fi­culty sep­a­rat­ing his friend­ships from his du­ties as a coach.

“ I found it hard to be bru­tally hon­est with some guys,” Moores said.

“ It’s OK when things are go­ing great, but un­der ad­ver­sity things have to change. I just found it dif­fi­cult to call out a guy whom I con­sider a friend and was hav­ing a bad game.”

Moores turns 35 in Au­gust, and was a team­mate of many of the cur­rent CeeBees’ play­ers dur­ing his play­ing days. As a player, Moores was part of four Herder Me­mo­rial Tro­phy cham­pi­onship teams. Three of those came with the CeeBees, while a fourth was with the Fla­trock Fly­ers.

He said it would be more ap­pro­pri­ate to have an older coach, with fewer con­nec­tions to the play­ers.

“I might get crit­i­cized for walk­ing away, but it’s for the good,” added Moores, who was named coach-ofthe-year by the Avalon East league af­ter lead­ing his team to a 19-5-1 first place record dur­ing the reg­u­lar sea­son.

The CeeBees de­feated Mount Pearl in six games to win the league ti­tle, but fell in four straight to the Grand Falls Cataracts of the West Coast se­nior league in the 2011 Herder Me­mo­rial Tro­phy cham­pi­onship.

It was the sev­enth con­sec­u­tive year the CeeBees had ad­vanced to the Herder, but the team hasn’t won the pro­vin­cial cham­pi­onship since 2008.

Moores de­scribed the loss to the Cataracts as a “com­plete col­lapse.”

The Com­passhas learned that St. John’s res­i­dent Russ Adam, a for­mer pro player and coach, has been of­fered the coach­ing job.

Adam is ex­pected to in­form the team of his de­ci­sion this week.

New se­nior league on hold

Mean­whi le, Hunt is ea­gerly await­ing a de­ci­sion from a spe­cial sub-com­mit­tee of Hockey New­found­land and Labrador (HNL) on a pro­posal to es­tab­lish a third se­nior hockey league in the prov­ince

It would see the CeeBees and the Mount Pearl Blades break away from the Avalon East league and es­tab­lish a three-team cir­cuit with the Clarenville Cari­bous, which cur­rently plays in the West Coast league. The move would re­duce the Avalon East league to just two teams — Tor­bay and Bell Is­land.

The idea was given the cold shoul­der at HNL’s re­cent an­nual meet­ing, but a sub-com­mit­tee has been ap­pointed to ex­am­ine se­nior hockey in the prov­ince.

The sub-com­mit­tee is ex­pected to bring back a se­ries of rec­om­men­da­tions in the com­ing weeks.

“ We just feel the level of competition is not as good as in the west league,” Hunt stated, “and the gap seems to be widen­ing.”

Hunt said there’s a no­tice­able im­bal­ance in the Avalon East league, and teams are not happy about hav­ing to travel to Bell Is­land.

What’s more, he said the re­turn of the Amer­i­can Hockey League to St. John’s next sea­son brings added pres­sure to en­sure there is qual­ity se­nior hockey in the re­gion, at an affordable price.

“ It’s go­ing to be an up­hill battle to keep our fan base,” he said. “ That’s why we feels it’s nec­es­sary to form this new league. We feel it’s time to move to the next step with Clarenville.”

Ian Moores has stepped down as coach of the Con­cep­tion Bay North Cee­Bee Stars se­nior men’s hockey team.

Kenny Hunt is man­ager of the Con­cep­tion Bay North Cee­Bee Stars se­nior men’s hockey team.

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