Ceebees sign new coach

Gen­eral Man­ager hopes most play­ers will re­turn

The Compass - - P2011ORTHTE - BY BILL BOW­MAN

The Con­cep­tion Bay North CeeBee Stars have not yet ac­tu­ally signed up any play­ers for the 2011-12 hockey sea­son.

But gen­eral man­ager Kenny Hunt told The Com­pass last week they are “in dis­cus­sions with all play­ers, and we an­tic­i­pate a ma­jor­ity of the team from last year will re­turn.”

Hunt ac­knowl­edged some play­ers will move on, though he didn’t give any names.

“ That’s the na­ture of the beast,” Hunt stated.

But there’s one important piece of the puz­zle that has fallen into place.

Hunt said Steve Power will lead the Stars as the team’s new head coach this year. Power coached the North­east Ea­gles of Tor­bay to a third-place fin­ish in the four-team league last sea­son. He succeeds Ian Moores, who stepped down as Stars head coach ear­lier this year.

New league formed

The Stars and the Mount Pearl Blades have bro­ken away from the Avalon East Hockey League, while their old ri­val Clarenville Cari­bous have left the West Coast League to form a new East Coast Se­nior Hockey League.

The Stars won seven con­sec­u­tive Avalon East league ti­tles.

After ini­tially re­fus­ing to sanc­tion the pro­posal at its an­nual gen­eral meet­ing last spring, mem­bers of Hockey New­found­land and Labrador’s se­nior coun­cil dis­cussed the pro­posal again at a fol­low-up meet­ing in Gan-

Steve Power is the new head coach of the Con­cep­tion Bay North CeeBee Stars.

der June 29, and fi­nal ap­proval came in mid to late July, ac­cord­ing to Hunt.

The de­par­ture of the Stars and Blades from the Avalon East League leaves that league with only two teams — Tor­bay (North­east) and Bell Is­land. Three is the min­i­mum num­ber of teams re­quired to con­sti­tute a league, ac­cord­ing the HNL rules.

Re­fer­ring to the Avalon East League, Hunt said, “they need an­other team — their goal is to have a third team for this sea­son. I wish them the best of luck with that.”

As for the two other leagues, Hunt said, “we don’t even have a sched­ule yet.” The gen­eral man­ager said they “ hope to have an in­ter­lock­ing sched­ule with the west coast, which would al­low se­nior hockey fans in Har­bour Grace to see their home team play Cor­ner Brook, Deer Lake and Grand Fall­sWind­sor of the West Coast League at least once on home ice this sea­son.”

With the un­cer­tainty swirling around the fu­ture of the Avalon East Se­nior Hockey League, Hunt sug­gested se­nior hockey this coming sea­son could be made up of two or three leagues, or even one province-wide league with two di­vi­sions.

“ Where Avalon East would fall into that is un­clear at this point in time,” Hunt said.

How­ever, the Stars gen­eral man­ager is look­ing for­ward to the fall meet­ing of HNL, where the fate of the Avalon East League and all other out­stand­ing is­sues sur­round­ing se­nior hockey will, hope­fully, be clar­i­fied. Hunt will be at­tend­ing that meet­ing set for Sept. 9-10 in Gan­der.

Mean­while, Hunt men­tioned the Boston Bru­ins Alumni will be at the S. W. Moores Me­mo­rial Sta­dium in Har­bour Grace Sunday, Oct. 16 for a match with the CeeBees.

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