While we’re all enjoying the summer heat, preparations are well underway for the Saugeen Shores Winterhawks 2019/20 season.
Internally, few changes are expected, as Matt Turcotte and his coaching staff will return for their second season behind the bench.
Off the ice, Don “Cass” Cumming has stepped down from the treasurer role after several seasons and will remain with the team as a director.
Effective July 1st, Dalton Reany assumed the treasurer’s position.
Changes Coming to WOAA Sr. Hockey League
The clubs of the WOAA Sr. Hockey League recently approved a major overhaul to the way rosters are constructed.
Previously, rosters were constructed with teams required to sign talent from within a specified geographic radius, but with the ability to dress up to five import players from outside their geographic area.
A one-year trial has been implemented that will see players ranked based on their previous hockey experience, with caps on the number of players a team can sign at each level.
“We are fully supportive of this new way of constructing rosters within our league,” said Winterhawks President Gord Lamont. “Hopefully this will eliminate controversies going forward.”
For example, a team can now sign two players considered to be “Level 1”, which is any player who has previous professional experience, including any level of European pro hockey.
A “Level 2” player is considered any player who played major junior (OHL, WHL, QMJHL) or NCAA Division I or Division II hockey. A team may sign up to four “Level 2” players.
“Level 3” is considered any player who played no higher than Jr. A, including Jr. B, Canadian university (USports) or NCAA Division III. Teams may sign up 12 “Level 3” players.
“Level 4” is any player who played no higher than Jr. C, and there are no limits on the number of players eligible to be signed at this level.
In order to maintain rosters, only players who have played fewer than three consecutive seasons with their current team will be classified under the new system. All other veteran players will be grandfathered.
Efforts are getting underway to craft the 2019/20 schedule, which we anticipate will be a 22-game schedule once again.
We will pass along schedule and season ticket details in the coming weeks.