Following an investigation into alleged actions involving the Kalkaska Rhinos in road games against the Espanola Rivermen (January 30) and the Batchewana Attack (February 1), the Canadian International Hockey League has announced via press release that it has indefinitely suspended coach-general manager Krzysztof Oliwa.
“Mr. Oliwa was assessed gross misconduct and travesty of the game penalties after walking out on the ice to the other end of the rink with five seconds left in the third period to yell obscenities and physically threaten the officials,” CIHL president Tim Clayden said of the Rhinos game in Espanola.
Clayden noted that “the decision to leave (Rhinos) injured goalie Bryan Canter in net before the player pulled himself and had his teammates help him off the ice also factored in the decision” to suspend Oliwa.
“In our investigation, we have determined that Mr. Oliwa refused to allow emergency medical services to further assess the injured goalie after the game,” Clayden continued.
“We have emergency medical services personnel on hand at all of our games in Espanola,” noted Clayden. “EMS provides a service to all teams and most importantly the players.”
Clayden said that two days after the Rhinos game in Espanola, Oliwa allegedly got into verbal altercations with a Batchewana volunteer and a CIHL official before, during and after the February 1 match at Rankin Arena, just outside Sault Ste. Marie.
From his end, Oliwa had announced prior to being suspended by the CIHL that the Rhinos were leaving the league and would continue to operate as an independent team.
“While we have made some new friends, and renewed some old relationships playing against CIHL teams this season, we feel it is in our best interest to withdraw from any more (regular-season) games this season,” Oliwa said in a statement released by the Kalkaska team. “We wish the CIHL the best in the future and thank them for the competition this season.”
Ironically, as an independent team, Kalkaska participated in a showcase tournament this weekend that also included Batchewana and Espanola of the CIHL the Motor City Monarchs of the Midwest Jr. Hockey League and the host Detroit Fighting Irish. The Fighting Irish is also a member of the MWJHL.