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The Carillon - ONLINE EDITION

CSHL enters into a new era

By: Terry Frey

Posted: 08/31/2018 9:19 AM

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The Ste. Anne Aces and Grunthal Red Wings, in action during the CSHL finals last spring.

TERRY FREY/ THE CARILLON Enlarge Image

The Ste. Anne Aces and Grunthal Red Wings, in action during the CSHL finals last spring.

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The Carillon Senior Hockey League will have new leadership this year.

Ray Laing, the president of the loop for the past several years, resigned during the off-season and his place will be taken by a longtime player in the league, Stacey Neufeld, who is now retired as a player.

Laing, who held a dual presidency for the past number of years, will remain as president of the Hanover Tache Junior Hockey League.

Laing’s departure from the CSHL executive came last spring following a disagreement among some teams about the league’s referee in chief.

After a decision was made at an executive meeting to replace Ernie Froese as referee-in-chief because of a dissatisfaction of at least two teams on the number of local referees doing the games, preferring outsiders to handle CSHL games, it subsequently prompted Laing’s resignation.

Although not wanting to "make a big deal out of it," Laing told The Carillon earlier this week he’s fine not being president of the league anymore after five years as president, "I just would have preferred to leave under different circumstances."

"There were a couple of teams that didn’t like the selection of refs by our referee-in-chief and I disagreed with that position and decided to step down."

The league has subsequently named Marc Levesque as their new referee-in-chief, a position he has held in the past.

Meanwhile, Neufeld, in his new role as president, sees no problem with the selection of referees used in the league and will encourage the continued use of local referees at league games. "Our local refs have down a great job, we will have a zero tolerance with any abuse of officials at our games."

Neufeld says the CSHL remains a strong league, "the calibre of hockey is exceptional."

It is expected the same five teams will be returning this year, including the Ste. Anne Aces, Grunthal Red Wings, Red River Wild, St. Malo Warriors and Lac du Bonnet Blues.

Neufeld says there has been an expression of interest from another team in joining the league this year, a team that currently plays in a different senior league. He says there also has been some discussion about Steinbach rejoining the league if there is enough interest from players.

The CSHL will have a league meeting on Sept. 12 at which time they will discuss the possibility of adding another team.

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