It would be nice to see senior hockey league with more teams

Joe MacIntyre
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The Island Community Senior Hockey League operates with three teams – Kensington, Charlottetown and Montague.

A lot of good hockey players play in the league, including former major junior players Devan Praught, Bradley Gallant, Will Johnson and Chris Doyle to name a few.

Although a three-team league can work, it certainly would be a lot better with at least one or two more teams.

There is not much competitive hockey being played these days in the western end of the Island, so one would think there would be real good support for a team up there. There are a lot of good players playing recreation hockey and in the local industrial league in Summerside, which could make for a good team.

The old Island Senior Hockey League enjoyed some pretty good success back in the 1980s and 1990s. That league enjoyed real good support in its day, and I think that P.E.I. is again ready for a real good brand of senior hockey. 

Although Kensington, Charlottetown and Montague make for a pretty good league, teams in Summerside and O'Leary or Tignish would make it even better.

Capital comparison

The Summerside Western Capitals are having a great year on their way to hosting the RBC Cup next May.

The Caps are starting to pull away from the pack atop the Roger Meek Division standings. Going into Friday night's game in Bridgewater, the Caps had an impressive 18-4-2-0 (won-lost-overtime losses-shootout losses) record, good for an 11-point lead on second-place Miramachi. The Caps are only a point behind Truro for the overall league lead.

It is interesting to note that back 16 years ago at this time, the 1996-97 Caps were getting ready to host the 1997 Royal Bank Cup, and held a similar position in the league standings.

Back on Dec. 11, 1996, the Caps also led the Meek Division at 16-6-3-0, and held a seven-point cushion on second-place Moncton. The Charlottetown Abbies (11-14-0-1) were third, 12 points back of the Caps.

Mike White was the only Capital amongst the league scoring leaders, and Craig Hodge was the only Charlottetown player in the scoring race.

The Caps never had anyone in the top 10 in the goaltending department at that time. Of course we all know how that season ended, with the Caps winning the Royal Bank Cup in May.

This year's Caps’ team has their sights set on the same results, and their impressive record would indicate that they are well on their way. The Caps are in Yarmouth on Saturday to face the very strong Mariners. It should be a dandy.

Toronto Blue Jays

It was a bit of a surprise when the Toronto Blue Jays brought back former manager John Gibbons, who they fired back in 2008.

Most of us would like a second chance at something we have done before, and Gibbons is no different. We all learn from our mistakes, and that is why Gibbons may be a good choice to manage the Jays.

He knows the organization well, which will help the second time around. The 50-year-old Gibbons is a fiery manager with an aggressive approach, and you will know you are in a ball game with him there. He is another in a list of good moves by general manager Alex Anthopoulos this off-season.

The blockbuster trade the Jays made a couple of weeks ago makes them contenders in the tough American League East Division. Trading former manager John Farrell to the Boston Red Sox made the Jays stronger, and the rival Red Sox weaker as the jury is still out as to whether Farrell really knows what he is doing.

Anthopoulos deserves a medal for unloading the contract of the underachieving Vernon Wells two years ago. Wells has hit .218 and .231 in his two seasons with the Los Angeles Angels, and made almost $50 million in those two years. He still has another two years left at the same money. Overrated and overpaid would be a good way to describe Wells.

As far as this year's big trade with Miami, it is great to hear that the three centre pieces – Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle and Jose Reyes – are excited about coming to Toronto. They make the Jays a lot better, and it is great for Jays’ fans that this organization is pointed in the right direction. 

Hockey fans

Fans are sick of all the talk about the NHL lockout, and just want to see some hockey. The general feeling is that if something does not get done in the next couple of weeks, the whole season is in jeopardy.

Do you think the players are overpaid?

Defenceman Chris Pronger has career earnings of $93 million. Mind-boggling, isn't it?

Have a great week!

Joe MacIntyre is a Summerside resident. His column appears every Saturday. Comments and suggestions can be sent to j-mac@eastlink.ca.

Organizations: Island Senior Hockey League, RBC, Boston Red Sox Toronto Blue Jays American League East Division Los Angeles Angels NHL

Geographic location: Summerside, Charlottetown, Tignish Toronto Bridgewater Moncton Yarmouth Miami

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  • BigShow
    December 04, 2012 - 06:43

    I agree. it would be nice to have "Community" hockey back. That's what made it successful. People would love going to the rink and watching a bunch of local players (not necessarily former major junior players) play for their own communities. I know that O'Leary, Tignish and Evangeline for sure would all have teams if it were Community hockey. The Island can only have 3 teams at this Senior A level. What would be best is to have a Senior A team in Summerside and Charlottetown and have them compete in the NB Senior league. Then have 7 or 8 community teams across the Island who would be competitive with each other. No trades, only allowed 2-3 players from outside your community. Like they've been trying to do for the past 10 years.