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The Central/West Senior Hockey League was a senior level hockey league based in the central and western parts of the island portion of Newfoundland and Labrador.

The league was formed in June of 2014 when four of the six members of the Newfoundland Senior Hockey League withdrew from the league on June 1st. The two teams that did not withdraw were from the eastern portion of the island and had previously joined from the Avalon East Senior Hockey League when the NSHL was formed.

The Clarenville Caribous hosted the 2015 Allan Cup and automatically qualified as host. The Grand Falls-Windsor Cataracts automatically qualified for the tournament as Quebec had no teams registered at the Senior AAA level and traditionally the open spot goes to a team from the host branch. This also eliminated the need for an Atlantic region playoff with the New Brunswick based Lameque Au Ptit Mousse for the region's birth in the Allan Cup tournament. With being deemed the Herder Memorial Trophy champions the Grand Falls-Windsor Cataracts will be the province's representative for the Atlantic regional championship (against the Lameque Au Ptit Mousse) for qualification for the 2016 Allan Cup being held in Steinbach, Manitoba.

The league was renamed to the Newfoundland & Labrador Senior A Hockey League from the Central/West Senior Hockey League on August 14, 2015.

On September 20, 2015 upon completion of their fall meeting Hockey Newfoundland and Labrador announced that two leagues had been approved for the 2015-16 playing season, Avalon East Senior Hockey League and the NLSAHL. The two league champions will complete for the Herder Memorial Trophy and a berth as the provinces representative for the Atlantic regional championship for qualification for the 2017 Allan Cup which was originally scheduled held in Kenora, Ontario and then later re-awarded to Bouctouche, New Brunswick and eventually negating the need for the qualifier. The tournament had the two league champions play a best-of-five series to determine the winner. The champion of the NLSAHL will host games one and two on March 19 and 20, 2016. The Avalon East League champion will game 3 on March 25th and if needed games 4 and 5 on March 26 and 27. The release announcing the playoff also stated that "The Avalon East winning team will be permitted six (6) strengthening players from their own league for Herder competition." The Grand Falls-Windsor Cataracts would go on to win the 2017 Allan Cup.

The Gander Flyers reportedly folded on January 28, 2017. However, the other members of the league managed to work out an agreement to cancel the balance of the regular season games and have them be forfeited to the Flyers opponents and the league moved on to the playoffs. The future of the league is and senior hockey in that region of the island is seriously in doubt as the 2016-17 season ends.

2017-18 and the formation of the NSHL[]

Bryan Blackmore , who represents the Cataracts on the League Executive, was the Tournament Co-Coordinator for this year's Cats Golf Event and during closing remarks at the golf event confirmed that there is still no fourth team in place to expand the make-up of the League. At its AGM in June, expanding to four teams was a stated objective by the League and its current three teams in order to be able to continue operation of the League for the 2017-2018 Season.

With the financial issues that occured last season in the operations of both the Caribous and Flyers, getting matters on a more stable footing in the League was a central point of discussion at the League AGM that was specifically tied in with the unanimous view of all that the three teams could not operate successfully with only three teams. Blackmore noted that the Cataracts have been fortunate to continue to have committed and regular large fan attendance at its games and to be the League's most stable team financially. But the same has not been true of the other various League teams over recent years. For continuance of the CWSHL every team in the League needs secure,adequate financial budgeting and a prudent operational plan.

In that context all teams agreed during the League AGM a few weeks ago to cut their hockey budgets significantly to ease the pressure on the two teams who last year experienced cash flow operational problems. All agreed such an adjustment would also give a new impetus - because of lower more manageable costs - to encourage League expansion into other hockey centres. Adding a fourth team to the three team set up that had to be put in place last season when Corner Brook Royals folded is seen by all current teams as essential if the League is to continue.

Expanding to at least four teams was also pressed as essential because of the scheduling problems that are bluntly inherent in the limited three team League configuration. Maintaining continuity of games to protect and keep fan interest was sorely taxed last season with one of the three teams having to be "off" every second weekend. There was also the complicating issue of having too long a time interruption between when teams had Home games. At least once during the schedule there was a gap of five weeks between Homes games for each of the three teams. This was not helpful at all to making sure there is "regular" entertainment for loyal fans. "Hockey for fans" who want good entertainment has been at the very centre of the version of Senior hockey "off the Avalon" in the CWSHL. The League has been committed first and foremost to providing entertainment for fans in the various communities served by the teams in the League. Providing a game for players flows from that goal.... not the other way around - which is famously what the primary purpose often publicly stated by "founding" individuals and team "operators" is in the other main senior hockey League in the province.

According to Blackmore,in his update, there is still plenty of time to pull it all together. There has been to this date one direct inquiry to the League for details on how to enter the League. Dealing with the many details at issue, including player availability, specific operational costs like player pay and travel and accomodation budgets and possible Draft factors have all been part of the initial inquiry and review process. But, time is running in the view of Blackmore and the many factors still very uncertain in getting a fourth team in place give signifiant urgency as to whether it can all be in place in order for the CWSHL to ice teams for 2017-2018.[1][2]

The Harbour Grace Cee Bee Stars were added to the league during the summer of 2018 returning them to play in a circumstance that wasn't what the team had wanted but it would serve two purposes, saving the CWSHL and giving the team a league to play in after being forced to sit out the 2017-18 season.  Some further steps were taken to try to make the situation more tollerable for all of the league teams with HNL working with the provinces three senior league's to have some sort of interlocking play with the ECSHL playing home and home games against the two eastern teams in the CWSHL and the two western teams playing double home and home series against the NWCSHL teams, to give each team more home dates.  Harbour Grace would then pull out of this agreement in late October and withdraw from the league.

Attempt to save Senior Hockey in Newfoundland and Labrador[]

On October 1, 2018 the Clarenville Caribous joined the East Coast Senior Hockey League.

The following day Hockey Newfoundland and Labrador announced that the Newfoundland Senior Hockey League would be formed out of the now five teams in the ECSHL and the two remaining members of the CWSHL.[3]

Despite a new name for the leagues they were operated seperately but with interlocking play.  Several of the ECSHL teams cancelled games scheduled against the CWSHL teams and were subsequently deemed ineligible to compete for the 2019 Herder Memorial Trophy.

The teams would remain together for another season with the winner of a playoff series advancing to the 2019 Herder Memorial Trophy. The ECSHL had already rejected the Conception Bay North CeeBee Stars for the 2019-20 season which had been the most likely team to form a three team CWSHL for the 2019-20 season rehashing past accusations of the team paying their players and citing monies owed to the league and that they be paid.[4] The league has appealed the decision to Hockey Canada. A decision was expected to be announced early in the week of October 21, 2019. The action has forced the league to hold off on its player draft. Some indications show that if the Stars are allowed into the league some other members may withdraw and not play this year. Hockey Canada announced its decision will not be made until at least October 25. [5] The Central/West Senior Hockey League would end up cancelling their season around November 20th when the Clarenville Caribous were accepted into the East Coast Senior Hockey League and that would leave two teams in the Central/West League and the teams in the East Coast League would not agree to play cross over games, This also lead to the Herder Memorial Trophy being announced as not being awarded for the 2019-20 season, which will be the first time since the 1990-91 season.[6]

In early December of 2019 the two teams stated a third team might be possible in the area for a season that would start in January of 2020. No word on where the team was to be based.[7] This event may end up saving both the CWSHL and the Herder for 2020.


Team Centre Arena Tenure
Gander Flyers Gander Steele Community Centre 2014-present
Grand Falls-Windsor Cataracts Grand Falls Joe Byrne Memorial Stadium 2014-present

Former Teams[]

Team Centre Arena Tenure Notes
Clarenville Caribous Clarenville Eastlink Events Centre 2014-20188 withdrew October 1, 2018 to join East Coast Senior Hockey League
Corner Brook Royals Corner Brook Corner Brook Civic Centre 2014-2016 Suspend operations after 2015-16 season and then fold
Harbour Grace Cee Bee Stars Harbour Grace Danny Cleary Community Centre 2017-2017 join league prior to 2017-18 season, withdrew prior to start of season


Season Champions Herder Result
2014-15 CWSHL Season Grand Falls-Windsor Cataracts Won Herder Memorial Trophy as league champoions
2015-16 NLSAHL Season Grand Falls-Windsor Cataracts Won 2016 Herder Memorial Trophy
2016-17 CWSHL Season Clarenville Caribous Lost 2018 Herder Memorial Trophy final
2017-18 CWSHL Season Clarenville Caribous Won 2018 Herder Memorial Trophy
2018-19 CWSHL Season Grand Falls-Windsor Cataracts Won 2019 Herder Memorial Trophy

Herder Results[]

For 2015 the final series was also deemed to be for the Herder Memorial Trophy championship and a spot in the 2016 Atlantic Canada Allan Cup Qualifier.

For 2016 the champion competed against and defeated the Avalon East Senior Hockey League champions (St. John's Capitals) for the Herder Memorial Trophy and a spot in the 2017 Atlantic Canada Allan Cup Qualifier which was not needed due to the 2017 Allan Cup being held in Bouctouche, New Brunswick. The Grand Falls-Windsor Cataracts would directly qualify for the tournament and go on to win the Allan Cup.

The 2017 champions lost in the 2017 Herder Memorial Trophy to the Harbour Grace Cee Bee Stars 3 games to 2 with the final game being determined on a controversial goal that led to the game being protested and the protest being denied. The Clarenville Caribous were to participate in the 2018 Atlantic Canada Allan Cup Qualifier as Harbour Grace has indicated they would not participate at the Senior AAA level for 2017-18. The team in consultation with Hockey Newfoundland and Labrador announced that no team would represent the province for the Allan Cup qualification.

The 2018 champions, the Clarenville Caribous won the 2018 Herder Memorial Trophy by defeating the St. John's Caps 4 games to none and would become the presumptive provincial representative for the 2019 Atlantic Region Allan Cup Qualifier as the decision has not been announced about the 2019 Allan Cup qualification as of when the league disbanded.


See Also[]


Canadian Senior Hockey (post-1971)
National/Regional Championships
Allan Cup (National AAA)
Patton Cup (Western Canada 71-91) - Bolton Cup (Eastern Canada 71-03)
McKenzie Cup (BC-AB) - Rathgaber Cup (SK-MB) - Atlantic Cup (2003-) (NB-NL-NS-PEI)
Provincial/Local Championships
Alberta - British Columbia - Manitoba - Newfoundland and Labrador - Northern Ontario - Ontario Hockey Association - Ottawa - Quebec (Also Eastern

Region Allan Cup Qualifier) - Saskatchewan - Thunder Bay/Gary Cook Cup

Current Leagues
Alberta: East Central Senior Hockey League (2012-) - North Central Hockey League (1995-) - North Peace Hockey League (also in BC, 1953-) - Ranchland Senior Hockey League (1974-) - Sask/Alta Senior Hockey League (also in SK, 1964-)

British Columbia: Central Interior Senior Hockey League (1997-) - North Peace Hockey League (also in Alberta, 1953-)

Manitoba: Carillon Senior Hockey League (2004-) - North Central Hockey League (1958-) - South Eastern Manitoba Hockey League (1952-) - Tiger Hills Hockey League (1983-)

New Brunswick: Beausejour Senior Hockey League (2019-) - Circuit de Hockey Senior Roger-Lizotte (1991-) - Ligue de Hockey Senior Acadie-Chaleur (2016-)

Newfoundland and Labrador: - Central Newfoundland Hockey League (Intermediate) (2009-) - Central/West Senior Hockey League (2014-) - East Coast Senior Hockey League (2017-) - Newfoundland West Coast Senior Hockey League (2001-11; 2016-)

Ontario: Allan Cup Hockey (1991-) - ACH Senior AA G-League (2021-) - Eastern Ontario Super Hockey League (2019-) WOAA Senior AA Hockey League (1942-) - Western Ontario Super Hockey League (2021-)

Quebec: Laval Senior A Hockey League (2013-) - Ligue de Hockey Cote-Sud (2012-) - Ligue Regionale de Hockey (2016-) - Ligue de Hockey Senior du Lac-au-Fleuve (2017-) - Ligue de Hockey Senior du Richelieu (2005-) - Ligue de Hockey Senior AAA du Quebec (2017-) - Outaouais Senior A Hockey League (2018-)

Saskatchewan: Big Six Senior Hockey League (1959-) - Highway Hockey League (1965-) - Long Lake Senior Hockey League (1978-) - Notekeu Senior Hockey League (1958-) - Qu'Appelle Valley Hockey League (1960-) - Sask/Alta Senior Hockey League (also in Alberta, 1964-) - Saskatchewan Prairie Senior Hockey League (2010-) - Sask East Hockey League (2020-) - Sask West Senior Hockey League (2000-) - Sask Valley Hockey League (1965-) - Saskatchewan Treaty Hockey League (2021-) - Twin Rivers Senior Hockey League (2016-) - Wheatland Senior Hockey League (2004-) - White Mud Senior Hockey League (1995-)

Nunavut: Iqaluit Senior Hockey League (2009-) - Rankin Inlet Senior Men's Hockey League (2008-)

Defunct Leagues
Alberta: Allan Cup Hockey West/Chinook Hockey League (1969-2020) -Battle River Hockey League (2002-2015) - Prairie Senior Hockey League (also in SK, 1971-1972)

British Columbia: British Columbia Senior Hockey League (1979-1981) - Western International Hockey League (1946-1988) - West Coast Senior AA Hockey League (2016-2018)

Manitoba: Canadian Central Hockey League (1972-1974) - Central Amateur Senior Hockey League (1975-1989) - Eastman Hockey League (1998-2000) - Hanover Tache Hockey League (1958-2005) - Manitoba Aboriginal Senior Hockey League - Manitoba Assiniboine Hockey League (1974-1983) - Manitoba Eastern Hockey League (1969-1977) - Manitoba Senior Hockey League (2008-2016) - North Interlake Hockey League (1987-1988) - Nor-West Hockey League (1996-1997) - North West Senior Hockey League (2017-) - South Interlake Hockey League (1987-2008) - SouthWest Hockey League (1956-2009) - Winnipeg Senior A Hockey League (mid-1990's)

Maritimes: Maritime Senior Hockey League (1991-1992) - Northumberland Dairy Senior AAA Hockey League (1995-1998)

New Brunswick: Miramichi Senior Hockey League (2000-2004) - Eastern Senior Hockey League (2001-2010) - New Brunswick Chaleur Hockey League (1991-1995) - New Brunswick Senior Hockey League (1968-1991) - North East Senior Hockey League (2011-2018) - North Shore Senior Hockey League (1939-1978) - North Shore Senior Hockey League (1996-2010) - Southern New Brunswick Senior Hockey League (1962-2010)

Newfoundland and Labrador: Avalon East Senior Hockey League (1992-2017) Newfoundland Senior Hockey League (2011-2014)

Nova Scotia: Nova Scotia Senior Hockey League (1982-1996)

Ontario: Eastern Ontario Senior Hockey League (2003-2008) - HNO Senior League (2009-2012) - North Oxford Men's Hockey League (1959-2012) - OHA Senior A Hockey League (1972-1987) - Ottawa District Senior Hockey League (1968-1978) - Ontario Senior AA Hockey League (1983-1988)

Quebec: Ligue Centrale de Hockey (LCH) (1978-2008) - Ligue de Hockey Beauce Bellechase Frontenac (1999-2017) - Ligue de Hockey Senior de la Mauricie (1992-1996) - Ligue de Hockey Senior Majeur du Quebec (1979-82; 1994-96) - Ligue de Hockey Senior de l'Est du Quebec (2005-2010) - Ligue de hockey Senior des Îles de la Madeleine (1991-2005) - Ligue de Hockey Senior A de la Mauricie (2001-2017) - Ligue de Hockey Senior A Inter-Rives (2006-2007) - Ligue de Hockey Senior AA de l'Estrie (2001-2004) - Ligue de Hockey Senior AA de la Cote-Nord (2007-2009) - Ligue de Hockey Senior AA du Saguenay-Lac-St-Jean (2002-2003) - Ligue de Hockey Senior Bas-Saint-Laurent (1994-2005) - Ligue de Hockey Senior des Cantons-de-L'Est (2011-2015) - Ligue de hockey les Cotiers de la Gaspesie (2002-2008) - Ligue de Hockey Senior des Deux Rives (2002-2003) - Ligue de Hockey Senior Provinciale AA (2004-2006) - Ligue de Hockey Senior AA L.D.B. du Quebec (1979-2000) - Ligue de hockey Budweiser de 'est du Quebec (2011-2013) - Outaouais Hockey League (1973-1975) - Promutuel Senior Hockey League (1999-2007) - Republican Hockey League (also in NB, 1976-1987) - Quebec Senior North-East Hockey League (2003-2007)

Prince Edward Island: Island Community Senior Hockey League (2010-2013) - Prince Edward Island Senior Hockey League (1990-1991) - Prince Edward Island Senior Hockey League (2010-2011)

Saskatchewan: Beaver Lakes Hockey League (2006-2018) - Fishing Lake Hockey League (1953-2015) - Fort Carlton Senior Hockey League (1971-2019) - Last Mountain Hockey League (1954-1978) - North Saskatchewan River Hockey League (1995-2015) - Pasquia Hockey League (1993-2009) - Three Rivers Hockey League (1980's) - Treaty Six Hockey League (2004-2007) - Triangle Hockey League (1965-2020) - Whiska Creek Hockey League (1980's-90's) - Wild Goose Hockey League (1954-2008) - Yellowhead Hockey League (1980-2000)