NPHL rejects re-entry bid from High Prairie Regals

Chris Clegg
South Peace News

The High Prairie Regals’ application to rejoin the North Peace Hockey League was rejected by the teams at the league’s annual meeting at Fairview Sept. 9.

The vote was not disclosed.

NPHL president Michael Mercredi says there were several reasons the bid was rejected but it does not mean the Regals cannot apply in the future.

“The bid was rejected by teams as the Regals did not attend the spring meeting with the intent to apply for the 2023-24 season as bylaws state,” says Mercredi.

The NPHL Constitution states teams must apply at the spring meeting for entry, but there are provisions to enter the league through other avenues. The Regals did not proceed through the other avenues.

Mercredi adds the Regals’ bid was also incomplete from what teams expected, including a list of coaches, financial statements and a letter from the Town of High Prairie regarding ice availability.

The bid was also hampered by the fact that the Spirit River Rangers and Valleyview Jets submitted very strong bids which complied with all league rules before being accepted back into the league for the 2022-23 season.

Jim McLean submitted the bid and attended the meeting on behalf of the team. It was less than three weeks ago (Aug. 24) the Regals met and decided to bid but it was not enough time to get everything together as required.

McLean is disappointed about the decision but “not surprised”.

The NPHL is willing to work with the Regals to submit a bid by the spring meeting in 2024.

“Jimmy heard from the teams and executive to come back with all documents at the spring meeting. All teams at the table want the Regals in, but they want them to be in for years to come,” says Mercredi.”

Mercredi and statistician Chris Clegg have agreed to work with the Regals to prepare a bid next spring.

“The league will work with the High Prairie Regals group and ensure everything is in place for the 2024-25 season,” says Mercredi.

“If that means coming over to meet with all the stakeholders and community groups I will,” says Mercredi.

“I know the town can rally behind the Regals and this time next year senior hockey will be on the air and ready for a successful season for years to come.”

Mercredi adds in addition to the requirement set out in the Constitution, he would like to see player intent forms signed, and an active presence on social media.

The Regals folded after one game at the start of the 2019-20 season due to lack of players. Players signing intent to play forms and submitted as part of the Regals’ bid would strengthen their application immensely.

“The Regals know what they need to be accepted and voted on by teams to join the league,” says Mercredi.

The Regals joined the NPHL in 1957-58 and are tied with the Grimshaw Huskies for most league titles at 13.

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