Future of the Cee Bees?

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Updated: September 4, 2017

Rumours are rampant that the Harbour Grace Cee Bee Stars is headed to the Central West Senior Hockey League (CWSHL), joining the Clarenville Caribous, Gander Flyers and Grand Falls-Winsor Cataracts for the 2017-2018 season. However, team president Mark Reynolds has indicated that the overwhelming preference by the Cee Bee Stars is to remain in the Avalon East Senior Hockey League (AESHL).

The CWSHL desperately needs a fourth team, indicating that the 2017-18 season will only be a reality if there are four teams. Despite being booted from the AESHL, the Cee Bees organization want to stay and are exploring options, including appealing to Hockey Newfoundland and Labrador.

While the AESHL has indicated the decision was more about having four core teams in its league, all operating in within close proximity to one another, which apparently is not the whole store. There is an apparent “trust” issue with the Cee Bee Stars, with league executive and teams expressing there is high suspicion that the Harbour Grace squad paid its players – something that contravenes AESHL rules. There is also concerns over revenue streams from the Cee Bee Stars participation in last year’s Herder Memorial Championship.

The Cee Bee Stars denies paying its players and indicates that all revenue from the Herder were handled in accordance with written agreements.  There has been no proof presented by anyone involved with the AESHL to substantiate or validate the accusations being directed at the Cee Bee Stars.

The stance taken by the AESHL leaves the Cee Bee Stars with no apparent home unless they join the CWSHL. Even more interesting is the history the CWSHL has with the Cee Bees. Just two years ago that league indicated it did not want the Cee Bees in its league. However, for its survival, the league requires the Cee Bee Stars.

Fans are upset with these off-season developments. They have taken to social media to express their frustration with the AESHL, criticizing the leagues decision and what many say are unfounded accusations. Some are encouraging that their team to make the trek west and to setup in the CWSHL.

With the AESHL steadfast in its decision and a probably appeal to HNL (or other actions) in the near future, it looks like the Cee Bee Stars future in the 2017-18 hockey season is still unknown for now.

Let us know your thoughts on the current happenings by commenting below.

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