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MJAHL TEAM MOVE TO BRIDGEWATER APPROVED
NEW GLASGOW, N.S. April 26, 2008 -  The Halifax Wolverines are no more. The relocation of the franchise to Bridgewater N.S. was approved by the Board of Governors of the Maritime Junior A Hockey League at a meeting earlier today. The Governors rejected one bid to purchase the Antigonish franchise but left the door open to the other. 

A proposal to relocate the Antigonish franchise to New Richmond, QC was not considered to be in the best interests of the league and its members. The Goverors did leave the door open to the sale to a Halifax group and a move to Metro Halifax.

The move of the Halifax Wolverines to Bridgewater is conditional upon the Town of Bridgewater completing specified improvements to the existing Memorial Arena. A facebook site has been created to come up with a new name for the team. 

"The Bridgewater market is viewed by the Board of Governors as having many of the key success criteria needed for the long-term success of a junior A franchise", a release from the league read.

The Board reviewed the expressions of interest to purchase the Antigonish Bulldogs hockey club. A Halifax based bid to purchase the Bulldogs may be heard depending upon an agreement and consensus being reached as to the longer term strategic and operating value of having a member team of the MJAHL in the Halifax Regional Municipality. This matter is expected to be concluded by May 15th. 

According to League President Derryl Smith, there are three options on the table as far as the Antigonish franchise is concerned - sale of it to Halifax interests, grant the current owners a one year leave of absence or dissolve and liquidate the franchise.

A request by the Moncton Beavers for approval of a relocation was withdrawn after it was clarified that a move to another facility in the same general area did not need approval by the Governors but that the league must be notified in advance. The representatives of Moncton said a decision would be made within the week.

In other business, the Board received and tabled a report from its Vision Committee with respect to the long term mandate of the MJAHL and all of its stakeholders. It is expected that a final version of this report will be reviewed and approved by the Board at the MJAHL annual general meeting on June 20th. This meeting will be held in Amherst Nova Scotia in conjunction with the MJAHL entry draft which will be held on Saturday, June 21st. 

The report is intended to provide some guidelines for the future development of the league including number of teams, potential areas etc, to clarify the mandate of the league and the structure of the league operationally and administratively.

The Summerside Western Capitals received good news as the Board entered into an agreement with the City and hockey club to host the 2008, 2009 and 2010 MJAHL Prospects Weekend where all of the young talent will be showcased for scouts and recruiters of Major Junior, NCAA and CIS hockey programs.

Finally, a number of rule and policy amendments intended to tighten up the operation and improve the quality and competitive play in the league were adopted by the Board.