They proclaim to be in it “for the kids” and the “love of the game.”
And while that may be true of some, there are those involved at the grassroots and junior hockey levels who have self-serving agendas.
Let’s use, as example, the Northern Ontario Hockey Association, a branch of powerful Hockey Canada, both of which have been known to exercise absolute authority without legal warrant.
As many may already know, the NOHA, under the umbrella of Hockey Canada, has taken it upon itself to direct coaches and referees to not have any association with the four northern Ontario-based teams of the new Canadian International Hockey League.
Why? Because the CIHL operates independent of the high and almighty Hockey Canada and as such, does not contribute to the financial empire of HC or the NOHA through player, team and league registration fees.
HC and the NOHA have also tried to threaten players who play in the CIHL with sanctions.
All the while, the NOHA is fond of painting itself as being in it “for the kids” and the “love of the game.”
What the NOHA does not want to make public is its healthy bank account and the hundreds of thousands of dollars that it collects from players, teams and leagues.
And what do the players, teams and leagues get in return from the NOHA?
Except for those who make it to the elite levels, not much.
We should also mention that the NOHA has reportedly paid high-ranking staff with sums of money in the area of $100,000 per year.
I guess making that kind of money falls under being involved in hockey “for the kids” and the “love of the game.”
It really riles me that those with self-serving agendas try to have the rest of us mere mortals believe that they really are involved in youth hockey “for the kids” and the “love of the game” when actually they are in it as part of agendas that include threats and bullying.
If hockey at the grassroots and junior levels really is about “the kids” and the “love of the game” then actions should speak louder than words.
Coaches and referees should be allowed to associate and be a part of Hockey Canada AND non-Hockey Canada programs.
Who the hell is Hockey Canada and the NOHA to threaten and bully coaches and referees from being associated with non-sanctioned teams and leagues? How is that being in it “for the kids” and the “love of the game?”
Hockey Canada and the NOHA both need to get off their self-serving pedestals, stop acting and behaving like dictators and adhere to the mission statements that they themselves authored.
What they are doing in terms of sanctions, threats and tactics that amount to bullying is just not right.
It’s also not right that monies collected from players, teams and leagues are not distributed equally. But that’s another story for another day.
Just my two cents worth, like it or not.