Central & Eastern Leagues Still in Doubt

Updated: October 28, 2019
Hockey in Question?

Sources close to both the Central West Senior Hockey League and the East Coast Senior Hockey League have said nothing has been resolved with respect to allow these leagues to operate as of Sunday, October 27, 2019.

From what Newfoundland Hockey Talk is being told, the Central West league is in a holding pattern waiting for the results of the appeal that the ECSHL made to Hockey Canada after Hockey NL would not sanction the league when it refused to allow the CBN CeeBees entry into the league. The ECSHL appealed to Hockey Canada and an initial decision was expected more than a week ago. That decision was delayed with a decision expected sometime on Monday, October 28.

Hockey Canada was meeting in Calgary this past weekend and on the agenda was the situation here in Newfoundland. Sources are telling us that it is Hockey Canada’s intention to kick the decision back to the local governing body. If Hockey Canada does refuse to rule on this matter, there are some scenarios that have been discussed by the two leagues in question.

Our sources have told us that the CBN CeeBees have indicated they are not opposed to playing either interlocking games with the Gander & Grand Falls-Windsor teams. The CeeBees are apparently also not opposed to moving to the Central West league if it means playing hockey. The CWSHL has also expressed a desire to have the Clarenville Caribous back and with the addition of the CeeBees, that would make a four-team league.

That would put four teams in the CWSHL and four teams in the ECSHL with the possibility of interlocking play.

Now with the West Coast Senior Hockey League slated to start November 22 with 3 teams and this league expressing a desire to once again play for the Herder Memorial Championship, there is added pressure to get things moving in the other leagues.

The wildcard here according to our sources is Hockey Newfoundland and Labrador.  HNL has apparently expressed little desire to move the Caribous & the CeeBees to the Central league and have insisted that these teams play in the Eastern League.  This would mean the Central West League would operate with just the Gander Flyers and the Grand-Falls Windsor Cataracts.  There has been no apparent talks on interlocking play with the ECSHL at this juncture (other than the CBN CeeBees indicating they were open to doing this).

This situation has prevented teams from signing players, obtaining fundraising licenses and signing on sponsors, putting the operation of the league in jeopardy regardless of what happens with the Hockey Canada situation.

As we have seen with the WCSHL, it will take over 3 weeks to get things moving in that league. Would it be possible to get players signed, sponsors in place, arenas booked, tickets printed and a whole lot of other logistical items resolved to allow the CWSHL & ECSHL to operate in time?

Where does this leave provincial senior hockey? Your guess is as good as ours.  One thing is certain, the fans are the ones that are truly hurting in this situation.

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