Self-serving agendas

October 30, 2014

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.

What you think about “Self-serving agendas”

  1. Could not have said it any better myself Randy. As a volunteer for minor hockey it is scary to see a group have that much control over a kids group. That being said there are people in the NOHA and Hockey Canada that truely do it for the kids but it seems that they are pushed to the side by the dictators. Like you said unless they are eilte level players at minor hockey level they are forgotten about. Who pays the bills? — it’s house league that pays the bills.
    I have heard about some extreme expense accounts in the NOJHL but that could be hearsay.

  2. Good piece Randy. To bad you couldn’t name names. Same old BS though. When they say it’s not about the money………it’s always about the money.

  3. Well said RR!!!!!!
    Is it me or is NOHA and Hockey Canada running a self serving dictatorship in a supposed free country? I think they should practice what they preach or get zero respect from myself and hopefully everyone else involved. It doesn’t have to be this way, the only ones that suffer are the kids and that is a travesty in my humble opinion!!!! Why can’t we all just work together for the betterment of all the young children just trying to achieve their dreams? This all makes me sick to my stomach!!

  4. Is this example true?
    A linesman who works under the umbrella of the Northern Ontario Hockey Association (Great North Midget League, Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League) has a nephew playing for the Batchewana Attack of the Canadian International Hockey League. This linesman cannot go to see his nephew play at the Rankin Arena for fear he will no longer be allowed to line games in the NOHA if it has been verified he attended a game.
    Please say it ain’t so!

    1. By the letter of the NOHA “law”, you are correct Toots. The uncle, by paying admission, would be supporting the CIHL and thus, subject to censorship by HC, or in this case, the NOHA. I’m not sure but the last time I checked, we live in a democratic, free society and it would appear with the fall of communist Russia, some of its leaders have emigrated to Canada and taken up shop in the NOHA and HC……….LOL.

  5. Randy, I am a hockey mom and I thank you for this article. My son is a House League player and it seems to my Husband and I that we are paying so the “Elite” players can be showcased by the NOHA and Sault Major. Sault Major is so self serving and they have their own “Bullies” that I can tell you. Thank You Randy for having the guts to rite this article. You are seen as the best Hockey Writer in the Soo who cares about the local kids and this is example of why you are such a respected Writer.

  6. Toots,
    If I was a betting person I would bet on the fact that there is probably a whole lot of truth in the scenario you just described. The strong arming that I have witnessed first hand over the past few months by both the NOHA and the NOJHL are incredible. I can’t for the life of me understand how these executive members can rationalize their behaviour to themselves when they go to sleep at night. Do they actually believe what they spew?? The only thing that gives me hope for this situation is that with every year that passes players and parents are becoming more and more aware of the hypocrisy of those that lead these organizations , what started as mumblings in arenas is slowly turning into roaring and at some point when there are enough fingers pointed at them, these folks will actually have to start being there for the right reasons. Sure would be nice to hear from the NOHA or the NOJHL on these stories that we are hearing about.

  7. Great column Randy. You know the situation as it has been for years with Hockey Canada and their affiliate organizations. They will not let off-ice officials work our games (timekeeper, scorekeepers etc.) and use the almighty umbrella of Hockey Canada & the NOHA to hide behind as justification. They are actually denying these people the ability to make a wage which I believe is illegal. We have a new league and our organization the Batchewana Attack is just one part of it. The parents, the players, the coaches, the volunteers and staff at the Rankin are all trying to build something here that will give parents and players options when choosing their futures but it is very frustrating to see others trying their very best to bring it down.
    Kudos to you for putting it in print not that it will make much of a difference to the arrogant upper decision makers but if it enlightens enough people to the actual situations and where their hard earned monies go, it was more than worth it.

  8. This hole drama tends to always be around the NOHA AND THE NOJHL it’s about time hockey canada dissolves both and has the OHA take over and then the NOJHL into a Jr B league, those burger world owners sure hate on the Maytawa situation based on my overhearings during bacon and eggs

  9. Its sad, but because of Canada’s recent struggles at the junior level in World Juniors, I think they feel Canadian kids aren’t getting a chance to shine in their own backyard.

    Sad thing is back when they won 5 in a row…twice…the CHL/CJHL was littered with Americans and Euros all over the place. Today they want to limit the amount because they feel the other countries are catching up with their talent levels.

    The fact is the junior hockey landscape is becoming watered down and not as competitive because of a lack of imports in the league. The CHL/CJHL is suffering and no one really is saying anything.

    When you lose at the National level it really makes you think stupidly. The fact is the majority of the country’s best junior players are in the NHL and the rest of the countries are sending their best is where Canada loses out. Some even have teams devoted to those championships like the USDTP and whatever.

    I’m hoping they come to their senses before some leagues/teams fold in the CJHL because they can’t field a competitive team.

  10. All in all there’s a reason why the gmhl and the cihl was formed call them whatever you please but the gmhl is 24 team loop and the cihl is off and running with a few hicups but they will get through it, mean well you have the nojha struggling like hell and hiding all the bullshit. I guess they are no longer the top dog. Just my opinion

  11. These so called “grown ups” who run the N.O.H.A. should be ashamed for the way they are holding Players, Coaches and even Timekeepers hostage not to mention the Players.
    Is it even legal what they are doing????
    I thought there were laws in Canada against “BULLYING”.

  12. Hello Randy. Well written and very much to the point. As a parent of a CIHL player, I very much support the league and it’s vision. However, as we tend to holf off naysayers coming from everywhere it has become harder and harder to ignore some of the issues they are pointing at such as the non availability of games streaming, up to date statistics and the overall web product. Paritiy between teams, especially in the south division is also an item hard to debate when we see posted that these teams will face each other 12 times. We realize that there is hiccups to be expected with any new league but to be able and support the statements posted by the league (cutting edge media, players promotion etc.) becomes very difficult when there is nothing of quality to present as rebutal. It would certainly help all causes should the league steps forward in setting it’s own house in order by presenting a higher quality media product such as those seen in any Junior / Minor hockey organizations in Canada. Again, we are still very much confident of the choice we have made in joining the CIHL and we wish the league would step it up to the next level quickly ensuring our kids are seen belonging to quality organizations.

  13. CIHL FAN:
    You make many good point’s and I have been told that the CIHL is working at re-solving the many issue’s that come with being a new League. Here in Collingwood we are very happy with the local CIHL Team the “Ice”. As for parity in the league if you look around any league has good teams and bad teams. Just look at the NOJHL where Mattawa and Blind River are bad teams in fact Blind River has played 17 Games and has 0 Wins.
    I think with the CIHL we just have to show patience being a new League.

    1. Thank you “oldshipbuilder”. Yes the ICE looks very good and we understand the parity issue with a new league. We are just wondering why teams have to play 12 times with each of their own division teams and only twice cross divisions. Money is of course a factor but fans would certainly enjoy and come in higher numbers when top teams play each others; which in turn would fill in the bank and making this more possible. However that is not a major issue and we understand the league will adjust as it grows. Basically, we would just enjoy it more if we could follow games and stats on the site, that would be a very good step. Good luck to Collingwood ICE this week end, can they make it 10-0 ? Would love to be able and watch these 2 games.

  14. Good job Randy I think for the N.O,H.A it is all about the kid unfortunately the kids all over 30 yrs old the ones u are referring to don’t matter their just kids. For the guy who cant buy a ticket to watch his nephew play cause he would be supporting the league get a hold of me I’ll give him my ticket cause that’s just not right on a human level. If any of this stuff happened at school or in the work place it would be a media nightmare. I find it funny that Soo Major and the N,O,H,A are doing a lot of talking but will not put it in writing or return calls when asked direct questions about this issue.

  15. If you feel you have been threatened/sanctioned or otherwise discriminated against by the NOHA, NOJHL or Hockey Canada, you should contact the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario to file a claim. I believe it is free and you do not need a lawyer.
    You will be heard.

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