It looks like my plans to invade and conquer Fort Providence on the weekend of its rec hockey tournament have to be shelved.

When launching a war, it always helps to have an army to do your bidding, but to date I have had commitments from only four volunteers.

So I would like to thank them (all four of them) and the hamlet for their support. And to the WIMPS faithful and the wider pool of local hockey talent, let’s try again next year – hopefully with a broader base.

Luckily, we won’t have to wait that long in order to find a hockey tournament and the travel arrangements will be greatly simplified. Easter is approaching and veterans of the scene will know that the First Air Rec Hockey Tournament will keep things busy at all three rinks in town. WIMPS has typically entered two teams. Our rosters are not confined to our current members, although they will be typically placed at the top of the queue. If you want to play, try giving WIMPS a call.

Who you should call is a bit of an open question right now. The last person to herd the cats left town at around this time last year. The WIMPS human resources department has had some recent challenges in staffing its bureaucracy, so we don’t presently have a tournament governor. The WIMPS website currently lists a lone email address for contacting league officials, but I can assure you that it is a direct line to the President himself. So to those who want to compete in something a bit more challenging than an Easter egg hunt, here is your chance.

The Canadian North Balsillie Cup oldtimers tournament will be held the week after and will be of interest to players 35 and older. It has allowed females 19 years of age and older to participate. I don’t imagine that the recent change to a different insurer has altered the league’s policy on eligibility, but I am sure such details will be ironed out before the official announcement and invitations are sent.

WIMPS does not typically enter a team under the league banner for the oldtimers gig, as our older members are already moonlighting for one of the existing teams. In the recent past, the 45-and-older group has carved out its own niche, but it remains to be seen if enough of us are still alive to populate our own division.

If we are not, there will surely be an opportunity for us to cement our place in Balsillie Cup lore. As with the tournament itself, the details are still to be revealed.

In the meantime, WIMPS continues according to its usual schedule, minus the Friday night gig, which has been axed due to the feelings of loneliness it imparted to its participants. The 45-and-over group still has Wednesdays and alternating Mondays to keep them young at heart. Other evenings are not age restricted, and could use a few more players, so if you have been thinking about widening your circle of WIMPS friends, or even if you aren’t already a WIMPS member but are wondering what it’s all about, drop into the rink and check us out.

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