Obviously Summerside would be a good choice for a team, but Kensington and communities in West Prince may also be good choices as well. A local team would be much better for players from Prince County, who have had to bear the brunt of travel since both Cornwall and Charlottetown joined the New Brunswick/P.E.I. Major Midget Hockey League back in 2002.
The Hockey P.E.I. website states: "As a result of changes with the Cornwall Thunder franchise, at this stage, Hockey P.E.I. is in the process of accepting bids for one franchise beginning in 2013-2014 season.”
The website goes on to say there will be no changes with the Charlottetown Islanders, and the franchise “will continue to operate under its current management.”
Obviously something is not quite right in Cornwall, and Hockey P.E.I. is taking steps to ensure there is plenty of time to get a team going to take the place of the Thunder.
The travel and costs have probably played a role in some Prince County players not being able to play with either Island team. It is a huge commitment to play at this level, but obviously a Prince County-based team would make that commitment a little bit easier, and give more players from this end of the Island a better chance to play.
Where’s the talent?
Since these major midget teams started back in 2002, there certainly is the question of where is all the graduating talent playing these days?
When these teams were formed, it certainly weakened a very good P.E.I. Midget AAA Hockey League, but was supposed to develop some elite talent along the way. There certainly has been some very good talent come through the league, but I thought that these two teams would create talent pools for both the Charlottetown Abbies and the Western Capitals’ junior A teams to draw from.
We all know the Abbies have since folded and the Capitals have eight Island-born players in their lineup.
Gardiner MacDougall has had some kind of career behind the bench of the University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds’ men’s hockey team. He recently won game No. 300, and considering the short seasons, where teams play only 28 regular-season and a handful of playoff games, it makes the feat all that much more impressive.
MacDougall began his UNB career in 2001, and to get 300 wins in that period of time is really something. Winning followed MacDougall to UNB as his previous coaching stint in Manitoba also produced some impressive numbers. In three seasons coaching the OCN Blizzard junior A team from 1997 to 1999, MacDougall compiled a compiled a 128-43 record, including a 53-7 record on his way to a league championship in 1999.
MacDougall has had a great coaching career, and deserves all the accolades that come his way.
Derek Clancy was a pretty good player for the Summerside Western Capitals in the 1989-90 season.
Former teammate Bobby Trainor tells me that Clancy has forged a pretty good career for himself. He is now director of scouting for the NHL's Pittsburgh Penguins.
The Penguins hired the 43-year-old Clancy as a pro scout in 2007 after he coached various teams in the East Coast Hockey League from 2003 to 2007. He played pro in the same league for eight years before joining the coaching ranks.
Clancy was one of the better Capitals to ever wear the uniform, and at that time was one of many Newfoundland-born players with the team.
Baseball is just around the corner with Major League Baseball teams set to open camps in less than two weeks, with pitchers and catchers due to report in a little over a week. It is exciting for Canadian fans with the Toronto Blue Jays, who are expected to be contenders this year.
Fans will get an early taste of America's favourite pastime with the World Baseball Classic set to open one month from today on March 2. It will serve as a great warmup to what will be great baseball season.
On Feb. 1, 1988, 25 years ago, the Alberton-based Western Regals beat the Summerside Kinsmen Midgets 8-4 in an Island Air Canada Cup Midget AAA Hockey League game in Alberton.
David Buote and Darryl Profit each had a pair of goals for the Regals. Keith Williams, Michael Jones, Cory MacLean and Jeff MacDonald rounded out the Regals’ scoring.
Jason Lyle, Robbie Peters, Jason Cameron and Stewart Newson had the Summerside goals.
Referee Bruce Murchison handed out 12 minor penalties to the Regals and 10 minors to the Kinsmen.
Have a great week!
Joe MacIntyre is a Summerside resident. His column appears every Saturday. Comments and suggestions can be sent to email@example.com.