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Jack Lee returning as Hockey NL president

['Jack Lee']
Jack Lee

Sustainability of provincial senior hockey, as now constituted, among the issues at association’s AGM

Jack Lee of Goulds was elected to his fifth term as president of Hockey Newfoundland and Labrador during the association’s annual general meeting held over the weekend in Gander.

Lee, the 10th president of Newfoundland and Labrador’s largest sports governing body, will serve another two-year term at the helm. He was first elected in 2011.

Lee defeated long-time Hockey NL vice-president Murray Roberts of Botwood in a vote. Jared Butler of Grand Falls-Windsor, who was the Central director on HNL’s Senior Council, replaces Roberts as vice-president.

Incumbent Ed Flood is back as referee-in-chief after defeating Kevin Heffernan of the Goulds in a vote for the top official’s position.

Minor Council chairman Arnold Kelly of Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Junior Council chair Charlie Kearsey of St. John’s, Senior Council chair Gary Gale of Hampton and Hockey Development chair Ken Chafe of the Goulds are all back.

During the Senior Council meetings, concern has been expressed over the long-term sustainability of the West Coast senior circuit and two existing senior teams in central Newfoundland.

Only Port aux Basques and Corner Brook have expressed an interest in icing teams out west next season. There is no such commitment from Stephenville and Deer Lake.

In central Newfoundland, the Grand Falls-Windsor Cataracts and Gander Flyers formed the Central Division of the East Coast Senior Hockey League. The teams played each other 10 times during the regular season last year, and again in the playoffs.

While the Cats and Flyers also played interlocking games with other ECSHL teams, there is a hope a third team can be added to the Central Division.

If not, the Cataracts and Flyers may not be playing next year.

On the east coast, the Conception Bay CeeBees and Mount Pearl have submitted applications to join the ECSHL, with Conception Bay Blues, Southern Shore, St. John’s, Clarenville and Northeast in the Eastern Division.

‘The question is,” said Joe Maynard, the Senior Council’s Eastern director, “are there enough players around?

“The number of players coming out of junior and putting their name in the (senior) draft is only about a half-dozen. A lot will depend on what happens to the west coast league and with Grand Falls-Windsor and Gander. We might at least add one team to bring the total number up to six.

“But we don’t want to jump ahead of ourselves until things are sorted out in the west and central.”

The weekend also saw the addition of five new members of the Newfoundland and Labrador Hockey Hall of Fame.

Inducted into the player category were senior hockey stars Sheldon Currie, Pat Dempsey, Harold Druken and Bob O’Neill, and builder Declan ‘Dec’ Lacour.


AWARD WINNERS

Hockey NL 2018-19 awards presented over the weekend n Gander:

  • Brian Wakelin Executive of the Year Award — Tracey Coady (Southern Shore Minor Hockey Association)
  • Minor Hockey Association of the Year Award — Avalon-Celtics Minor Hockey Association
  • Ray Bowe Award of Merit — Iain Hollett (C.B.S.)
  • C.J. McCarthy Memorial Senior Award — Pat Rose (Conception Bay Blues)
  • Female Hockey Promotion Award — Denise Fagan (Mount Pearl)
  • Joe Byrne Development Award — Debbie Bouzane (Gander)
  • Ron Healey Memorial Award — Kevin Barrett (Gander)
  • Minor Hockey Scholarship — Josh Griffin (CeeBees Minor Hockey Association) and Mark Fowlow (Bay D’Espoir Minor Hockey Association)
  • Jim Stirling/B.F. Lorenzetti Scholarship — Emily Parsons (St. John’s)
  • Junior Hockey Meritorious Award — Brian Ryan (Conception Bay North)

Minor Hockey Meritorious Awards:

  • Western — Brian Roberts (Stephenville Minor Hockey Association)
  • Tri Pen — Leigh Ann Ryder (Bonavista Trinity Minor Hockey Association)
  • Northern — Paul Hope (Labrador West Minor Hockey Association)
  • Eastern — Donnie Power (Northeast Minor Hockey Association)
  • Central — Ann Sheppard (Bay D’Espoir Minor Hockey Association)

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