CeeBees officially back
Team looking at potential players, finalizing schedule
The Conception Bay North CeeBee Stars were officially accepted to play in the Avalon East Senior Hockey League last week. According to the team, former CeeBee and Upper Island Cove native Robert Slaney has already confirmed he’s willing to return to the fold.
When last the CeeBee Stars team played in the Avalon East Senior Hockey League (AESHL) in 2011, it hoisted the league championship.
The following season, the club left the AESHL to join the provincial senior hockey league.
Now after four years away, the CeeBees will again attempt to capture the league’s crown, as they’ve been accepted into the league for the 2015-2016 hockey season.
“Adding the CeeBees to our league will improve the competitive balance and provide exciting action for hockey fans on the Avalon Peninsula,” AESHL president Kevin Dicks said in a release.
The CeeBees were unanimously voted into the AESHL last Tuesday and preparations are already underway to ensure the team fields a competitive roster ahead of opening night on the weekend of Oct. 23.
“We look forward to renewing our storied rivalries and bringing Saturday night hockey back to the S.W. Moores Memorial Arena,” said new CeeBees executive president Mark Reynolds.
Reynolds and members of the previous CeeBees organization filed an application with the Avalon East league in July. The return is good news for fans of senior hockey in the Conception Bay North region. It follows a period of disaster for the club, which was removed from the provincial ranks and denied a game of hockey last season. Last summer, Grand Falls-Windsor, Gander, Clarenville and Corner Brook formed the Central West Senior Hockey League. The CeeBee Stars and Mount Pearl Blade were not a part of those plans.
With the decision made, the real work begins for the CeeBees. The team will look to form a booster club, something that has been spoken about before, and get a game day crew in place. Fundraising efforts will also need to be addressed.
While Reynolds confirmed that Ian Moores will return behind the bench as the team’s coach, a roster of players is still in progress.
He did tell The Telegram last week that former Montreal Canadiens and Toronto Maple Leafs farmhand Robert Slaney, an Upper Island Cove native, has told the team he’s willing to play this season. Slaney spent the last two seasons playing hockey for St. Francis Xavier University in Nova Scotia. He is now studying medicine at Memorial University.
Former players like Fred Earle, Bronson Dawe, Steven Greeley, Tommy Snow and Daniel Sparkes are also reportedly in the mix, along with others either from teams already in the Avalon East league or players coming from the junior ranks. The league’s draft takes place Oct. 5.
“We’re pretty positive and excited about moving forward,” Reynolds told The Compass. “We’re looking to get a lot of the community involved.”
Although the schedule is still being finalized, the CeeBees will meet the other four teams — the Northeast Eagles, Bell Island Clues, St. John’s Caps and Southern Shore Breakers — a combined 24 times. One team CeeBees fans will no doubt look forward to seeing again is the Southern Shore Breakers. The two teams have a storied rivalry dating back to the last time both teams were in the East league together.
“Having the Shore back will be huge for the fans,” said Reynolds.
Reynolds made mention of the ease with which the CeeBees worked with members of the league’s executive committee.
“The Avalon East executive were all very good to us and fair to us,” he said. “We’re moving forward very positively with them.
“It is exciting times for sure.”
Upper Island Cove native Robert Slaney will reportedly return to the CeeBee Stars when they begin play in the Avalon East Senior Hockey League this fall. Slaney is shown here in action with the CeeBees during the 2012-2013 season in this file photo.