A New Reality in Newfoundland Senior HockeyBy
Approximately 14 months ago, Newfoundland Hockey Talk posted about a decision made by Hockey Newfoundland and Labrador (HNL) around the Herder Memorial Championship. We had received a series of email messages from a source, indicating there had been discussion and perhaps some decisions around declaring the Corner Brook’s Pepsi Centre and St. John’s Mile One Centre as the venues for all games for the Herder.
When we broke the story, we were criticized and people indicated this could never happen. It was up to the individual teams to decide where they would play the games.
Fast forward 14 months and we are here now in one of the biggest controversies of the season. Reality has sunk in and one team in particular, the Grand Falls-Windsor Cataracts are taking exception to HNL’s decision. The team sees this as a slap in the face to the team, its fans, the town and every sponsor/supporter that stepped up over the years to build the Cats into the great organization they have.
Why did HNL make this decision?
From what we have ascertained, this decision is meant to help spread the wealth, an attempt to introduce “revenue sharing” to assist struggling teams and perhaps “save” senior hockey in the province.
The Cats don’t see it that way and they see this as a money grab by HNL and they have been criticized the governing body for making the decision.
HNL has fired back indicating the decision is good for the senior hockey and it would not reverse its decision.
Newfoundland Hockey Talk can sympathize with the Cats position. We also understand where HNL is coming from with its stand.
However, what we do think, there’s something else happening behind the scenes that we are all not hearing.
If everyone thinks this is just about the Herder venue, they are truly mistaken. There are more things happening behind the scenes than HNL or NLSHL probably wants to even comment on.
The league has issues that include HNL’s Herder venue decision but ask why the other teams have been pretty much silent. One would think if this was such a major issue for the teams, their owners and representatives would be on this like white on rice.
Truly, this sucks for the Cats organization, its fan and the team supporters. Is this the signs the league is about to crumble?
If senior hockey is to survive here in Newfoundland, something has to change and there has to be a new approach taken to attract fans and change the impressions of the game. Teams must somehow make the game more entertaining off the ice and improve the product that’s on the ice.
Drop your thoughts about this on the Newfoundland Hockey Talk Discussion Forum.