SPORTS – NPHL meeting notebook

Chris Clegg
South Peace News

Teams denies release of list
The NPHL will not be releasing its list of fighting majors accumulated by players to teams next season.
When a player is involved in his third fight of the season, he is automatically suspended. The league keeps track of the fights and releases the list to each team separately. However, teams are not allowed to see other teams’ lists.
Spirit River manager Mel Vollman said it was up to each team to keep track, and that the league released the list to each team only as a courtesy to help them keep track.
Concern was also expressed that teams would “target” a player with two fights in order to get him suspended.
The league did release the list to all teams the first year the rule was implemented, but the subsequent years.
Officials’ Fees for Playoffs
It was discussed if all teams would share the cost of paying referees and officials during the playoff games. Currently, each home team pays all fees including base fees and mileage.
Fort St. John president Paul van Nostrand said the current system is not fair to teams in the outlying regions [Fort St. John, Manning and High Prairie] because they pay higher fees because most referees and based in the Grande Prairie and Peace River areas.
Spirit River and Grimshaw said they were not opposed to the idea while High Prairie was against.
The matter was tabled to the fall meeting.
25-Man Roster for Playoffs
The 25-man limit for playoffs was discussed.
NPHL President Jack McAvoy said each team will have to submit their 25-man roster to the opposing team before each playoff series in 2016-17.
Last season, Fort St. John exceeded the limit by one player and was forced to forfeit the seventh game of their NPHL semi-final series against the Grimshaw Huskies.
The new rule will be ratified at the fall meeting.
Future of NPHL playoffs
A lengthy discussion ensured over the future playoff format.
NPHL president Jack McAvoy thought it was best for the entire league if they had an East champion and West champion play in the NPHL Final.
Currently, with the West’s dominance, interest is being lost in the East at a time interest should be highest, he added.
Manning delegate Davin May said they did not want to cross over before the final, which was a stark change given their new executive.
Grimshaw coach Sheldon Szmata agreed, saying an interlock during the regular season was good because it provided an opportunity for their players to see what caliber West teams were.
However, Szmata added playoff games involving West teams did produce smaller gates and less revenue.
Grande Prairie delegate Darren Walker disagreed, saying they wanted the two best teams in the final. GP also favoured a full interlock during the regular season.
Falher president Gilbert Desjarnais and High Prairie coach Jim McLean agreed with Manning, each wanting an East champion and West champion.
Spirit River’s Mel Vollman and Dawson Creek’s Jason Gies said they were OK either way with the playoff format but Fort St. John president Paul van Nostrand sided with Grande Prairie.
The matter was tabled to the fall meeting

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