Ceebees have big gaps to fill
Coach, longtime executive member stepping aside
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.