As the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League takes pride in its relationship with the Canadian Mental Health Association as a partner in the Talk Today program, the president of the reigning champion Powassan Voodoos has his own method of communication.
“No comment,” has been Jim Bruce’s standard reply in dealing with media requests from the North Bay Nugget and Hockey News North pertaining to the recent firing of first-place coach Beau Moyer.
Actually, Bruce has used two methods of response in dealing with the media seeking answers to questions regarding the circumstances and the time line that led to the dismissal of the popular, well-liked Moyer.
Bruce either hasn’t responded at all to requests for comment in the Moyer matter or when he has, “no comment” has been the reply.
The only comments attributed to Bruce have been via his own press release that was issued by the Voodoos team that he is part owner of as well as president.
And even at that, there are statements made by Bruce regarding the Moyer firing that simply do not add up, as noted by Nugget writer Jennifer Hamilton-McCharles in a story published on February 6.
On the other side, Moyer — the one who lost his job in all of this — has been forthcoming, made himself readily available to the media and has shown that he has nothing to hide.
Moyer has freely admitted responsibility for his actions that led the NOJHL to ultimately hand him a 15-game suspension for allegedly breaking a code of conduct rule in which the first-year coach sat at the same table with some of his legal-aged players while alcohol was being consumed.
After the NOJHL suspended him and after Moyer freely admitted to twice being in the presence of legal-aged players while beer was being drank, the Voodoos then chose to fire a reputable coach who had his team in first place with a league-best record of 30-5-3.
Saying he didn’t know it was against league rules to be in the presence of players — even ones of legal age — where alcohol was being consumed, Moyer nonetheless owned up to his actions and told both the Nugget and Hockey News North that he “should have shown better judgement.”
Indeed, NOJHL commissioner Robert Mazzuca told Hockey News North that Moyer “showed genuine remorse and apologized for not showing better judgement” before and after the 15-game suspension was handed down.
So, why the refusal of Bruce to respond to direct questions from the media and instead hide behind the cloak of his own issued press release?
As previously noted, the NOJHL proudly supports Talk Today.
Given his silence and refusal to answer questions, perhaps we can conclude that Bruce as an owner of an NOJHL team is instead all about “No Talk Today.”
After all, when pressed by Hamilton-McCharles for further comment after the issuing of his own team’s press release, Bruce replied: “With no disrespect to you or the media we will not be making any comments or be available for any questions.”
And now you know — or don’t know — the rest of the story.
A story that may well be called, to reprise an old phrase: “Ask me no questions and I tell you no lies.”