No senior hockey this season - Jan. 09, 2013
The chances of seeing senior hockey in Charlotte County this winter are bad. Very bad.
“We haven’t given up, but I haven’t got anything to give us a sense of optimism,” said St. Stephen Seahawks general manager John Hyslop Monday. “We’re trying, but I’m a realist.”
At the beginning of autumn the St. Stephen and Blacks Harbour Silverkings squads, who played a well attended series last winter, were trying to organize a league to play in. That idea fell through, as various teams had problems getting ice, recruiting players, recruiting management types, or any combination of the above challenges.
After the league fell through, the Silverkings and Seahawks were planning to organize round two of the “Highway One Thunder Series.” That idea has not been well received by Hockey New Brunswick.
“We can’t get approval through Hockey New Brunswick. We’ve worked and worked, and probably can’t do it,” said Hyslop. “It’s not for lack of trying, that’s for sure.”
The approval they need would allow them to get insurance for their players. Although it is disappointing, Hyslop also said that, in fairness, “They did tell us last year it was a one-time deal.”
The alternative would be to play the series without insurance, something Hyslop is not prepared to do.
If the St. Stephen Seahawks do play next year, they’ll have a brand new building to do it in. Asked if the plan is to try and organize a league again next year, Hyslop said “Next year is a possibility, sure. I was talking to a guy in Woodstock last night and there’s still lots of interest there.”
Other squads, he added, are also hopeful they can add their rosters to the league. If a formal league exists, getting insurance becomes much easier for the individual teams.
With the demise of a not-yet-started league coming because of other team’s woes, there is one thing Hyslop remains convinced of: senior hockey is needed in Charlotte County.
“There’s a market for hockey in this area. Really I think there’s a need for it,” said Hyslop. “Hopefully we’ll get something going for next year. Stay tuned.”