Homegrown hockey options
When the calendar turns to September, that means its time to turn one’s attention to sports other than baseball, soccer and Canadian football.
That means sports like basketball, volleyball and hockey, the king of all sports in these parts, will start to draw the attention of the public. Well, in the school ranks. On the professional side, volleyball would be dropped in favour of the National Basketball Association and National Hockey League.
However, one of those two is in danger of forfeiting its season. That would be the NHL. Both sides are dealing with issues that were prevalent in 2005 when the professional hockey league became the first North American pro league to lose a full season to a work stoppage.
Things like revenue sharing and issues around guaranteed contracts are rearing their ugly heads once again. What does this mean? There is a good chance there may be another work stoppage and who knows for how long. Possibly another year will be lost.
You may ask why I am telling you something you may already know and is not exactly a local issue.
What I’m saying is forget the pros.
If those well-paid fellas — the league minimum is $525,000 — are going to squabble over the same garbage from six years ago, let them. There’s certainly enough good hockey in the Bay to keep any hockeystarved patron occupied. Most of it won’t break the bank, either.
For starters, there’s the Conception Bay North CeeBee Stars, one of the regions senior hockey teams.
After an inaugural season in the Newfoundland Senior Hockey League that saw the CeeBees scratch and claw its way to a playoff berth, the club is primed to return to prominence in the provincewide league.
This year the Gander Flyers are the new kids on the block and are just one more reason to come out to S.W. Moores Memorial Stadium in Harbour Grace and enjoy some senior hockey action.
Up the bay, Bay Roberts is getting ready to ice a senior team in the Avalon East Senior Hockey League.
Playing out of the Bay Arena, the as-yet-unnamed team is just another option for the hockey fan.
The team will be playing for both the AESHL title as well as the Herder Memorial Trophy as the province’s best senior team.
If that does not tickle your fancy, perhaps you’d be bothered to check out some of the best players outside of senior hockey.
The Bay Roberts over-19 recreational league plays out of the Bay Arena and features former senior hockey players, former major junior players and the best of the rest.
It is well worth your dime. Wait a minute, it’s free.
Don’t forget about junior hockey.
The area features two clubs, the CBN Junior Stars and the Whitbourne Junior Flyers. The Junior Stars are rebuilding and will push for a playoff spot, while the Flyers will be returning a strong club, minus Darrin Wilkins, who signed with the Gander Flyers two weeks ago. Another excellent option? Major midget also returns to the Bay Arena, as Rod Noseworthy brings the troops from Placentia, where they played their home games last season. Here’s hoping he gets enough players.
So, there are plenty of options for the hockey fan who is faced with the possibility of a work stoppage.
Of course, lockout or not, you SHOULD try to get out to as many local games as possible. It’s a good product and are made up of faces you see everyday in your community. Professionals are just faces on a television who play for themselves.
Our hockey heroes play for community and the fans in the stands. Support them.
A provincial mockery
team and by extension the association, would be granted access to the league.
Why the association? Well, the atom A team beat all comers for the atom A division crown. I think that garners at least another look at entry, but from what I’ve been told, it’s not even on the table.
The decision makers in St. John’s, who are no doubt perusing over their hockey landscape from an ivory tower with blinders on robbing them of vision outside of the overpass, are robbing these young athletes the right to test their skills against the best competition they can find in this province.
The fact that the team left the province and won one of the more prestigious peewee tournaments in the country, as well as dominated the St. John’s teams, should be enough to get the team in.
If you’ve proven yourself to be one of the top teams, if not the top team, then you get to play in the top league.
End of discussion.
Major midget also returns to the Bay Arena, as Rod Noseworthy brings the troops from Placentia, where they played their home games last season. Here’s hoping he gets enough
It’s a crime when the best peewee team in the province is unable to play in the supposed top league.
It happened last year when the Bay Arena peewee A team was denied access to the RBC League in St. John’s. Also, denied access were the atom and bantam teams.
What did that team do? Go out and capture the A division title, decimating all of those teams that participated in the RBC league.
You would think that with this level of success, the Nicholas Mercr is a reporter/photographer with The Compass. He resides in Bay Roberts and can be reached at the following email: