CeeBee Stars Going Nowhere

Updated: January 9, 2014
Eastlink CeeBee Stars | Newfoundland Hockey Talk

Listen to the fans around any of the arenas at a Newfoundland Senior Hockey League game or browse through the discussion on our Newfoundland Hockey Talk Forum and it won’t take you long to discover this season’s most popular rumour: The EastLink CeeBee Stars are going to fold.

During the Christmas break for the NLSHL the rumour mill heated up even more. Here at NL Hockey Talk we received emails from individuals who had a reputation of delivering solid information and facts about happenings in the various teams. They had indicated that the rumours swirling around the CeeBees were in fact more than rumours. Apparently the team were on the brink of folding.

In an effort to make some sense to this, Newfoundland Hockey Talk reached out to the CeeBees organization. The first question asked the CeeBees was to the point. Is there any truth to the rumours that the CeeBees are in a dire financial position and in danger of folding this year. Ian Moores, the team’s coach and general manager replied with an emphatic “No, definitely not.” Moores went on to indicate that in order for the team to turn things around, need to dress a full lineup consistently throughout the remainder of the season

Several of the games that the CeeBees have lost in the first half of the season have been by 1 or 2 goals when they were short on the bench. As Moores indicated, having a full bench is the key given the nature of today’s NLSHL teams. Teams are much faster and playing with a short bench as the CeeBees have done in the first half of the season plays a toll.

With the CeeBees sitting in last place in the league, there is no denying that this has impacted fan turnout. Moores indicates that with a full lineup, he’s confident the team can win more games and that would in turn put more fans in the seats. “In my opinion, it’s the main reason fans haven’t been out. Teams can’t survive without solid consistent fan support”, he says.

One of the surprises coming out of the CeeBees this season is the performance of Jordan Escott, the team’s leading scorer. With the team struggling, rumours have circulated that Escott was looking for a trade. Some in the know in the senior hockey circles had indicated that Escott had asked to be traded to one of the contending teams. The consistent rumour we were hearing here at Newfoundland Hockey Talk is that Escott wanted to go to the Caribous in hopes of playing in the Allan Cup in 2015. Moores put this rumour to rest immediately indicating that “Jordan has not asked for a trade.”

Another member of the CeeBees organization that had been the subject of many rumours has been that of Donnie Gosse. Gosse is one of the premier defensemen in the league but he has been noticeably absent from the lineup up until the week before the Christmas break. Gosse was also rumoured to be looking at the Caribous with his eyes set on the 2015 Allan Cup. However, Moores indicated “Donnie hasn’t requested a trade.” For the CeeBees fans, this is great news because not only does Gosse bring leadership and experience he has a way of stepping up to play a major role within any organization he is part of.

When asked about the biggest challenges facing the defending Herder Champions this season, Moores outlined a few things that the team has faced thus far. He listed consistently icing a full team as perhaps the major challenge. Another challenge Moores indicates is not being allowed to sign an import goalie separate from regular player imports. Finally, Moore points to the low fan support.

However, the CeeBees are not alone in that challenge. All teams are seeing their revenues down at the gates. This is definitely something that has to change in the league if it has to continue to be viable into the future.

With the CeeBees not going anywhere, the other teams in the league should stand up and take note. This is an organization that should never be counted out regardless of where they sit in the standings. They have either won or placed second in the Herder Memorial Championship for 8 out of the last 9 seasons. As they showed last season, this team always finds a way to turn adversity into opportunity and they are never to be taken lightly.

The Eastlink Conception Bay North CeeBees Stars are here to stay in the Newfoundland Senior Hockey League this season. That should make some of the other teams a little nervous.

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