With the Exploits Valley seemingly right in the midst of the dog days of summer, enjoying soaring temperatures and long days, it's hard to believe that fall is right around the corner.
While that might disappoint some, with fall comes hockey season, and there's no doubt fans in the region can't wait for their favourite team – the Grand Falls-Windsor Cataracts – to get back on the ice.
And just because it's off-season doesn't mean the people involved in running the team aren't hard at working making sure everything is in place when the season kicks off.
This year, fans can expect to see some new faces behind the bench, earlier this summer the Cataracts organization elected a new executive to aid in running the teams affairs.
Heading the organization and taking over from Paul Glavine as president is long time Cataracts fan and volunteer within the organization Bryan Blackmore.
Blackmore, a retired lawyer, told the Advertiser he's been involved with the team over the last number of years as a member of various committees dealing with fundraising, and now, he'll be taking the reigns in his new role.
"I'm very pleased (with the position)," he said. "I'm keen about going feet first into helping out wherever I can in terms of senior hockey here."
Blackmore said he feels prepared for his role, and has actually been in the president role with both the Exploits Minor Hockey and Minor Baseball associations in the past.
Hard at work
With his new title, Blackmore and the rest of the executive have their work cut out for them for the rest of the summer.
First on the list of tasks for the Cataracts is finding a new coaching staff. The organization announced in a press release in late July that the previous coaching staff of Brian Casey and his assistants Paul Glavine and Brian Tremblett, would not be returning this year in their coaching roles.
According to Blackmore, Glavine is now helping in his new role as head of player recruitment to select coaching staff.
"There are a number of individuals that have been named as possible coaching staff and they've been in contact (with us)," said Blackmore.
Blackmore added a decision will be made on who will be the head coach and who will be assistants fairly soon, as the coach will be involved in helping connect with players during the recruitment process.
Blackmore said the hope of the executive is that many of the former players will be returning for the 2012/13 season, but there will be some changes.
"This year there's a new rule you can only have three import players, last year we had four...so one of the four will not be back," he said.
He said three of the four might return, or a new player might be picked up for the team.
"Some of those decisions aren't made yet, but they'll be made soon."
Blackmore said the executive has been in contact with many of the players over the summer.
"Generally they've all, with some exception, expressed interest about coming back," he said.
The organization has also been busy fundraising for the upcoming season over the summer. Blackmore said they've hosted several bingo events, were responsible for selling water and pop at the Salmon Festival, which raised a significant amount, and are planning a golf tournament for August.
"The quality of hockey now is a high level of hockey, and what's required to get a higher level of hockey," said Blackmore, adding he enjoys being involved with fundraising as part of his role because it draws him into the community.
With changes to the staff, player regulations, Herder play, and drafting system announced by HNL earlier this summer, Blackmore said there's still many details to be ironed out, but expects a great season for the Cataracts.
For updates on the Cataracts, check out their official webpage at www.gfwcataracts.com.
Some old faces have switched roles and new ones have joined the ranks with the Cataracts for the upcoming season, below is a list of the new members executive and other important roles within the organization.
President: Bryan Blackmore
Vice President: Jared Butler
Finance Chair: Stan Coffin
Marketing Chair: Mark Whiffen
Game day operations: Benny Farr
Communications Director: George Scott
Director: David Brown
Director: Bob Hedges
Director: Rodney Mercer
Former president Paul Glavine will be stepping into a new role as head of player recruitment. George Scott will remain in his role with the Cataracts audiocast as host and play-by-play announcer, and former co-host Barry Manuel will be replaced by Robert Goulding.