January 31, 2013 | 794 views
Valley Stream seeks new life for hockey rink
The National Hockey League began its season two weeks ago, which was better late than never for its fan base after a long work stoppage. Hockey may be returning to Valley Stream as well, as the village is in negotiations to bring an adult roller hockey league to its currently dormant rink.
Village Clerk Bob Barra said the board will discuss the proposal at an upcoming work session, but could not divulge any information about the discussions which are still ongoing. “We are looking at giving it one last shot with a hockey league,” he said.
Barra added that if an agreement is reached, it is possible for the league to begin over the summer, but the rink surface would have to be inspected first. He said there cannot be any jagged edges around the boards or uneven areas on the surface which could cause injuries or bad bounces. Barra, who has a hockey background, plans on lacing up his skates to check the surface in the near future.
However, Barra noted, village officials don’t want to invest money in a rink that no one uses. “We have to see how far the board wants to go with it,” he said. “You’re not going to want to spend a lot of money if you’ve got a fledgling league that’s not going to make it or just last one year and that’s it.”
Mayor Ed Fare compared the hockey rink to other village entities like the dog park, basketball courts and bocce courts: they may not appeal to everyone, but there are groups of people who enjoy them which make it worthwhile.
Residents have asked questions, Fare said, about the village running a hockey league at the rink, but he said the rink needs a community member or group to take the lead for it to be successful, much like the Friends of Valley Stream Dogs oversees the dog park.
Fare added that the village does not run any baseball, football, basketball or other sports organizations, yet those leagues have flourished in Valley Stream.
“I’d love to see a hockey league because that’s what’s it’s there for,” he said of the rink. “I would love to reinvest money in the hockey rink for hockey, but if that’s not to be, then it’s not to be.”