This is the 2016-17 North East Senior Hockey League season. This is the league's 6th season.
The league appears to have gone to a Senior AAA level league for the season. The Bouctouche JCs are hosting the 2017 Allan Cup. Them and the three remaining teams all elevated their status to Senior AAA and are thus eligible to compete for the Allan Cup. Traditionally, the league champion (or runner up if Bouctouche wins the league playoff) would qualify for the Allan Cup. This is due to there being no Senior AAA registered teams from the province of Quebec. Traditionally, the host branch is awarded the unused spot by Hockey Canada. This will also negate the need for a qualifying event for the Atlantic region's spot in the Allan Cup as the region's spot will go to the 2016 Herder Memorial Trophy winner (Newfoundland and Labrador Senior champion) the Grand Falls-Windsor Cataracts.
Allan Cup QualifyingEdit
The league held a seperate Allan Cup qualifying playoffs in December to determine the branches representative for the Allan Cup. Elsipogtog and Restigouche Nord met in a semifinal series with Elsipogtog winning and then meeting Lameque the following weekend in the final with Lameque winning the series and qualifying for the Allan Cup. In early January the two qualifiers held a draft involving the rest of the NESHL and the Roger Lizotte Senior Hockey League to allow each team to select 9 skaters and a goalie to strengthen the teams for the Allan Cup competition
- Amqui Hotel Gagnon and Memramcook Maison Levesque Acadiens do not return to the league after playing during the 2015-16 season. Neither team was registered at the Senior AAA level. Amqui is not listed on the league website as having a team contact and Memramcook is listed with a contact person but no contact information. Amqui was supposed to be replaced by a team from Causapscal, Quebec but the team did not come to fruition.
- La Vallée de la Matapédia who were added for the 2015-16 season but didn't play; do not return.
- The league added the Prince Edward Island based Montague Stallions as an expansion team. The team is not registered at the Senior AAA level.
|Bouctouche JCs||Bouctouche||JK Irving Centre|
|Elsipogtog Hawks||Elsipogtog First Nation||Chief Young Eagle Recreation Centre|
|Lameque Au Ptit Mousse||Lameque||l'Arena des Iles|
|Montague Stallions||Montague, PEI||Cavendish Farms Wellness Centre|
|Restigouche Nord Vikings||Dalhousie||Inch Arran Arena|
|Lameque Au Ptit Mousse||17||7||8||2||72||92||16|
|Restigouche Nord Vikings||17||5||10||2||60||87||12|
All teams qualify for the playoffs the first place team in the North Division earns a bye to the division final. The division semifinal series is best of three while the remaining series are best of seven. As the Allan Cup qualifying was held in December the champion does not qualify for the Allan Cup by winning the league championship.
Montague/Lameque semifinal fiascoEdit
The series between Montague and Lameque was filled with cancellations/rescheduled games due to lack of players, forcing a team to play with a partial line up due to a short notice rescheduling of a game, a forfeit, and a protest over an apparent ineligible player. On the evening of March 25, the Montague Stallions facebook page stated that Lameque had forfeited game six apparently giving the Stallions the series (as stated in the posting) but game five was protested due to the ineligible player. The player in question, Nick Parker, who is from Nova Scotia however has been going to school at UPEI for 4 years. League president Roger Brun apparently ruled that Parker was eligible over the weekend as the league website post game one of the finals series for March 29th.