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Grande Prairie Athletics back in the NPHL

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The Grande Prairie Athletics are back in the North Peace Hockey League. The team took a year off after losing several players, but had their bid to rejoin approved at the league’s spring meeting last weekend. Goalie Darren Walker says they were confident heading in.

“I think they just wanted to see that we had every intention of coming back and things were going good. They really didn’t ask for much; I think they fully expected us to be back. We’re 100 per cent full steam ahead from here on out now that we’ve got confirmation from the league.”

Walker says they’ve got a roster of about 25 but are always looking for more players and volunteers. They’ll start looking for a head coach in the next couple months and he doesn’t expect any issues getting back into things.

“We just want to be a little more organized. Taking a year off we want to come into the league and be as strong as we possibly can; the team has traditionally been one of the better teams in the league and we hope to continue doing that. A lot of the stuff moving forward is going to be getting things together off-ice.”

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The Valleyview Jets are also hoping to return this season. NPHL teams will vote on whether or not to allow them this Sunday.

Also at the league’s spring meeting was a discussion on whether or not it should go back to an east versus west format for the regular season and playoffs. It’s believed it would build rivalries and have the best teams competing. A decision has been tabled until the fall.

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