CATS CWSHL EXECUTIVE REPRESENTATIVE GIVES LEAGUE AFFAIRS UPDATE DURING ANNUAL GOLF EVENT ON THURSDAY,JUNE 22ND.
During the Cataracts Canadian Tire 14TH Annual Golf Event held on Thursday,June 22nd, the team's League Executive representative took some time at the end of the day's event to not only thank all the sponsors and supporters who made the Tournament a big success again this year, but he also gave a brief update of current League affairs as to how things stand at present and whether the League will be able to operate this coming season.
Bryan Blackmore , who represents the Cataracts on the League Executive, was the Tournament Co-Ordinator for this year's Cats Golf Event and during closing remarks at the golf event confirmed that there is still no fourth team in place to expand the make-up of the League. At its AGM in June, expanding to four teams was a stated objective by the League and its current three teams in order to be able to contine operation of the League for the 2017-2018 Season.
With the financial issues that occured last season in the operations of both the Caribous and Flyers, getting matters on a more stable footing in the League was a central point of discussion at the League AGM that was specifically tied in with the unanimous view of all that the three teams could not operate successfully with only three teams. Blackmore noted that the Cataracts have been fortunate to continue to have committed and regular large fan attendance at its games and to be the League's most stable team financially. But the same has not been true of the other various League teams over recent years.
For continuance of the CWSHL every team in the League needs secure,adequate financial budgeting and a prudent operational plan.
In that context all teams agreed during the League AGM a few weeks ago to cut their hockey budgets significantly to ease the pressure on the two teams who last year experienced cash flow operational problems. All agreed such an adjustment would also give a new impetus - because of lower more manageable costs - to encourage League expansion into other hockey centres. Adding a fourth team to the three team set up that had to be put in place last season when Corner Brook Royals folded is seen by all current teams as essential if the League is to continue.
Expanding to at least four teams was also pressed as essential because of the scheduling problems that are bluntly inherent in the limited three team League configuration. Maintaining continuity of games to protect and keep fan interest was sorely taxed last season with one of the three teams having to be "off" every second weekend.
There was also the complicating issue of having too long a time interruption between when teams had Home games. At least once during the schedule there was a gap of five weeks between Homes games for each of the three teams. This was not helpful at all to making sure there is "regular" entertainment for loyal fans.
"Hockey for fans" who want good entertainment has been at the very centre of the version of Senior hockey "off the Avalon" in the CWSHL. The League has been committed first and foremost to providing entertainment for fans in the various communities served by the teams in the League. Providing a game for players flows from that goal.... not the other way around - which is famously what the primary purpose often publicly stated by "founding" individuals and team "operators" is in the other main senior hockey League in the province.
According to Blackmore,in his update, there is still plenty of time to pull it all together. There has been to this date one direct inquiry to the League for details on how to enter the League. Dealing with the many details at issue, including player availability, specific operational costs like player pay and travel and accomodation budgets and possible Draft factors have all been part of the initial inquiry and review process.
But, time is running in the view of Blackmore and the many factors still very uncertain in getting a fourth team in place give signifiant urgency as to whether it can all be in place in order for the CWSHL to ice teams for 2017-2018.