Deal needs league approval first
The Alvinston Flyers are moving to Petrolia.
Over the past month there has been plenty of speculation the Great Lakes Junior C Hockey club was considering a move to Petrolia for the 2016-17 season. Flyers President and General Manager Dennis Meston told The Independent exclusively the paperwork was sent to the Ontario Hockey Association offices Tuesday. “I sent the application in the mail today to the OHA offices,” he said. “And if it’s approved, we’ll be moving.”
Meston didn’t want to make the announcement until after the season was over out of respect to the loyal fan base in Alvinston, but the persistent rumours just wouldn’t die, he said.
“If and when a request is received, obviously there is a process that would need to be followed,” says Karen Phibbs, president of the OHA.
Petrolia Mayor John McCharles says it might take some work to fit the team into an already tight arena schedule “although, we did have a Junior B team, so it can be done.”
The Petrolia Jets played out of the Greenwood Rec Centre until 2008 when the team moved to Lambton Shores and became the Predators.
McCharles says a move to Petrolia would be good for the club and good for local hockey. “I think it is very positive – it is the type of thing that people here would support,” he says. “Petrolia would have a bigger (player) catchment area than Alvinston would have,” McCharles says.
“Petrolia has a fairly large hockey system; there would be good rivalry between Mooretown, Dresden and Wallaceburg. That’s an advantage in a way.”
And the mayor says it would give minor hockey players a home team to aspire too. “The kids that are playing bantam, PeeWee and Midget hockey, they would like to move up the ladder a bit but going to a Junior B team is a bit of a stretch…Junior C would be an easier step.
“It would be a great thing for the community…we don’t like to steal anything from Alvinston; but that’s not our decision – that’s the hockey gods.”
If the club makes the move to the Greenwood Recreation Centre, home games would likely be Thursday night according to sources.