The Newfoundland Senior Hockey League has laid down its decision on the appeal by the CeeBee Stars, and its not what the team wanted to hear.
On Feb. 6, the NLSHL decided not to go back on its decision to strip the CeeBees of a point following an investigation into allegations that the club had anineligible player on its roster for games in Deer Lake on Jan. 26-27.
The CeeBees had gained a crucial after taking the Western Royals to a shootout in the second game of that weekend.
In a vote conducted by email with each voting member, the league executive saw no reason to give the point back, even though the CeeBees provided the proper documentation that proves the card was sent to Hockey NL on time.
CeeBees executive member Peter George said the team was “disappointed” by the decision of the league.
“It’s certainly frustrating,” he told The Compass.
It was a series of unfortunate events that led to the allegations and subsequent punishments.
According to George, the team was required to have Diamond’s card into Hockey NL by the close of its offices on Jan. 18, which is usually between 4:30 p.m. and 5 p.m.
An email with a scanned card was sent to league offices 4:05 on the afternoon of Jan. 18.
Normally, the league then sends out an official roster of players from each team playing that weekend. This would allow for teams to double-check and make sure their players are on the protected list.
The rosters did not come out on Jan. 18, nor did they send one out the following Friday.
“First, we said, ‘well, why didn’t you catch it after the first weekend?’ that was one of our biggest questions,” said George.
The league response was that the game sheet for the Jan. 20 game with Western was late getting to the league offices, something that George did not deny.
“With that said, the rosters should’ve have been sent out and we could’ve done our own check to see if Freddie Diamond was on the official roster,” he said.
George did not place all of the blame on the shoulders of the league, recognizing that there were mistakes made on both sides.
He said the team could’ve called to ensure that the email had been received, but it is not team protocol to do that with every card the team sends out.
“We wait for the official roster to come out from the league registrar,” said George.
Also, the league registrar could have checked the roster against the game sheet at some point prior to the weekend of Jan. 26-27.
George said the CeeBees were not going to appeal to Hockey NL to overturn the decision.
Regardless of the outcome, the CeeBees cannot dwell on the decision and must move on.
The team hosts a crucial weekend series with the Gander Flyers at the S.W. Moores Memorial Stadium in Harbour Grace on Feb. 9-10.
George said the team has a goal to accomplish, making the playoffs.
“We have to beat Gander once, and they have to beat us twice,” he said.