HGOE CeeBee Stars
HARBOUR GRACE, NL — The immediate future of the Harbour Grace Ocean Enterprises CeeBee Stars hockey club is uncertain.
On Thursday, the CeeBees posted a message on Facebook stating the team recently received word it would no longer be welcome to play in the Avalon East Senior Hockey League.
According to an Aug. 28 letter signed by officials from the Conception Bay Blues, Southern Shore Breakers, Northeast Eagles and St. John's Capitals, those teams want to return to a four-team format for the upcoming season.
“Our four organizations have decided that it is in our best interest to proceed with the four metro teams in a league that excludes the CeeBee Stars,” the letter stated. “We are advising you now of our decision to allow your organization sufficient time to find another league for the upcoming season.”
Jack Casey, an official with the St. John's Capitals, suggested in a message to CeeBee Stars president Mark Reynolds the team should look at the Central West league as an option.
“It is obvious to us that the CeeBees are much better suited for that league,” he wrote.
In the post to its Facebook page, the CeeBees said the team was disappointed by the decision. It said officials with the Avalon East league would not address the concerns of other teams directly with the CeeBees.
“We have had thorough email communication with the league executive members, including Jack Casey, Joe Maynard (Eagles), Ian Sullivan (Breakers) and Pat Rose (Blues), as well as 100's of unanswered texts and phone calls in a plea to work together in a manner that's respectful and decent.”
The CeeBees are now reaching out to Hockey NL to see if that organization can intervene.
“We will keep you, our loyal fans and sponsors, informed as we consider the future of hockey for the HGOE CeeBee Stars.”
In an interview earlier this week with the Packet, Clarenville Caribous general manager Ivan Hapgood said the Central West league was looking for a fourth team in order to operate this season.
The CeeBee Stars last played in the same league as the Caribous and other Central West teams in 2014, having left the Avalon East league in 2011 to join the Newfoundland Senior Hockey League. At the end of the 2013-14 season, the other teams left the CeeBees behind to form the Central West league. The CeeBees returned to the Avalon East league a year later.