A waiting list for players
“When the intermediate league folded, the guys wanted to stay here and play, but they didn’t want contact, so they turned it into a recreation league,” said Shute.
There have been talks of dropping the word recreation from the name, because of the high level of competitiveness. But so far, it remains.
Rickey King has been the timekeeper with the league for the past three years. He has seen the league evolve to a point where there are “less penalties and more skill and style of play.”
Originally, the league had as many as eight teams vying for the right to hoist the Jason Harding Memorial Trophy as the league’s champion.
Now, there are five core teams with players ranging from the ages of 24-40.
A waiting list
Prior to the start of the 20112012 season, Shute said the league was approached by two teams who expressed interest of joining, and bringing the number of teams up to seven.
It is something the league is unable to accommodate at the moment, said Shute.
“That is something we’ve looked at, but we cannot get the ice time,” he said.
There has been talk of trying to get a third hour of ice time at 11 p.m. Tuesday and Saturday, which is when the league plays, but it is something the league ultimately decided against.
“On Tuesday night, there is a work thing, and Saturday night, people might have plans,” said Drover. “The 10 p.m. – 11 p.m. game is alright, but 11 p.m. is bad. By the time you get out of the room it’s 12:30.”
The group has tried to explore other avenues to try and capitalize on the outside interest by players.
Drover said they have tried to obtain a third night during the week for games but it did not pan out.
“The extra night just isn’t there,” said Shute.
Getting ice time at the S. W. Moores Memorial Stadium in Harbour Grace has been an option that has also not panned out.
“They don’t have any either,” said Shute.
The best hockey for the best price
Drover and Shute said the name of the league might be a bit misleading to people on the outside.
“I think people would be surprised if they came here and saw the calibre of the game,” said Shute.
Drover echoed the president’s words.
“When people come up they see a good, fast game of hockey without having to pay to get in,” he said.