The Saskatchewan Hockey Association announced on Nov. 12 the new alignment for the Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey League after it told teams back in May that minor hockey associations would have to rebid for franchises in the elite-level league.
Key movements in the league were the moves of the Norte Dame Argos to Estevan and the Beardys Blackhawks to Warman
General Manager for the SHA, Kelly McClintock, spoke to the process that the organization put forward to MHAs across the province.
“As a board,” said McClintock, “we basically told the league that for the 2020-21 season ‘there are no teams that are guaranteed a spot in the league’ – as of Oct. 1, 2019 – and that ‘all minor hockey associations in the province had the ability to apply for a team”.
McClintock also spoke on the criteria the league and the board was looking for when reviewing applications.
“[SHA] laid out in January 2019 what the criteria was that we had were in terms of having a strong minor hockey system, providing billeting options and a billeting coordinator, educational options and coordinator and local coaching options.
“[SHA] has a board of 24 so you don’t want 24 people looking through applications,” said McClintock. “We had a subcommittee that reviewed all the applications; they evaluated them based on the criteria and made the recommendations to the board”.
Players currently playing for Beardys and for the Argos who still have midget eligibility will not be subject to move with the teams at the end of the season and will be allowed to try out for any team at the start of next season.