CIHL says yes to Quesnel Kangaroos

So far so good.

Curtis Gassoff’s plan to revive the defunct Quesnel Kangaroos senior hockey franchise got the go ahead from the Central Interior Hockey League at their annual general meeting in Smithers.

“It feels good,” Gassoff said of the league’s decision to approve the ‘Roos application.

“It was a no-brainer for us,” CIHL president J.C. Brown said.

“They are one of the most decorated senior men’s hockey teams in B.C.”

In fact, Gassoff said, the league seemed pretty excited to welcome the Kangaroos back into the fold, with just one condition.

“The only condition is to show up for every game with enough players,” Gassoff said.

Finding players to fill the roster is now the center of Gassoff’s attention.  During the regular season, CIHL teams can have up to 20 players, including two goaltenders on the bench.

However, the CIHL regulations also require a team to dress no less than 10 skaters and a goaltender for regular season games.  

Failing to do so results in a $500 fine.  Should the game be rescheduled, the fine is returned to the offending team.

Given the potential for being fined puts a premium on finding enough players willing to commit to the Kangaroos.

“The interest is there,” Gassoff said of his early attempts to round up some players.

“But a lot of guys aren’t sure with their work schedules.”

Some of the potential players Gassoff hopes to convince to suit up for the Kangaroos include Jeff Gagnon and Paul Jirodet, who played for the Stampeders last year, the Tomassetti brothers Nick and Alessio, as well as former Quesnel Millionaires player David Gordon.

“There’s a large group of very skilled players in Quesnel capable of competing and winning, Gassoff said confidently.

Also on Gassoff’s to-do list is finding staff, especially a coach and general manager.

Rounding out the to-do list is the need to show CIHL representatives there is sufficient support in Quesnel for the Kangaroos, including fans and sponsorships.

The list, Gassoff said, had to be completed by August 1.

In addition to the Quesnel Kangaroos, the CIHL also approved the application of the Lac La Hache Tomahawks for the 2011/2012 season.

However, the league lost the Burns Lake Braves franchise.

The CIHL now has 10 franchises and each team will play 18 games, nine at home and nine on the road.

With the addition of the new franchises, the league also moved to three divisions, a western division, central division and eastern division.

The Kangaroos are in the eastern division along with the Omenica Ice, Stampeders and Tomahawks.

The western division includes Prince Rupert Rampage, Kitimat Ice Demons and Terrace River Kings.

 

The central division includes the Hazelton Wolverines, Smithers Steelheads and Houston Luckies.

The top two teams in each division will make the playoffs as will two wild card teams, the two teams with the highest points among the four remaining teams.