CIHL suspends Kalkaska coach

February 8, 2015

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.

What you think about “CIHL suspends Kalkaska coach”

  1. well at leest we have 2 sides to the story here. sad that this parter-ship did not work out. talk here at the ‘Shamrock Showcase’ has the Fighting Irish going up to Canada next week-end to play ‘Espenola’ and ‘Batchawana’..

  2. Excited to see the Irish come to Espanola this Friday, and they are scheduled to stop in Batchewana on the way back. I like the idea of an interlocking schedule next season.

  3. (to Fighting Irish Fan:)
    Rivermen 5-4 over the Irish, Batchewana 4-0 over Monarchs, Batchewana 5-0 over Rivermen, Rivermen 5-3 over Monarchs, Batchewana 4-1 over Irish
    From the CIHL Facebook page, missing Kalkaska games scores vs. Irish, Monarchs, and ?

  4. How can you talk about an interlocking schedule brian. Are you kidding me. This experiment has been a total failure . Time to cut the losses and call it a day. Funny that Oliwa basically did the same thing that Clayden did when he did not like the way the nojhl was dealing with him. Except Clayden had enough respect and class to wait till the end of the season. Clayden is now seeing how difficult it is for a commissioner to deal with the owners of these franchises. Why did it take a over a week to hand down the punishment to Oliwa or was it only handed down once it was discovered that Oliwa was pulling out.

  5. Thanks RR for getting the Kalkaska story out. It’s another challenge to the CIHL, but the league and the Rhinos need to find the right partnerships and move forward.

  6. hockey critic:
    An investigation if it is thoro takes time does it not?
    why is an interlocking schedule such a joke to you? you must be one of the NOJHL “merry men” that Randy writes about.

  7. Let’s just play hockey !!! The MWJHL and the C-IHL are planning on an Interlocking Schedual for next season so what is wrong with that I ask ??? This is supposed to be “ABOUT THE KIDS” is it not ???

  8. Randy what is the future looking like for the CIHL can you give us a “vision” of what Tim and the CIHL are “hoping for next year” because let’s face it (in my opinion) the future looks bleak

  9. If Oliwa did what you have reported here he no question should of been suspended and fined by the league. I guess even though Oliwa has played 410 Games in the NHL, which has been highlighted numerous times on this site doesn’t guarantee that a guy is going to be a top end junior coach and example for young players on how to carry themselves

      1. No guarantee’s in life for sure Randy. I’m just pointing out the fact that it’s been stated numerous times on this site how great the CIHL is for having coaches that have 400 and 500 Games Played in the NHL and one of these coaches is acting completely unprofessional and putting players at risk according to this article. The CIHL has finished the season with only 2 of its original 8 teams. Both of those clubs appear to be strong organizations, while the other 6 teams have been a failure. Mr. Clayden has certainly done his best to make this league work, but I would say the 2014/15 CIHL Season has been a disaster.

  10. I was at the game when the kalkaska goalie got injured. It was quite obvious that the kid should have not been left in the game. From what I seen he was left in because oliwa had no trust in the back up. The kid pulled himself from the game and the back up was put in. When approached by medical staff about taking the goalie to the hospital oliwa said he just needed to rest and refused to take the kid to the hospital.
    Not long after the game oliwa texted a rivermen goalie without the teams permission and asked
    him to play for the rhinos against the attack on the Saturday, Oliwa had been texting the goalie for months saying he was getting him to play next year.
    Before you know it the kid is on the road to play for the rhinos without the rivermen knowing.
    Apparently oliwa plays by his own rules and should never be trusted.


  11. Only gates would try to pick that out. No
    matter what it was a league. Also no comment
    on the fact he put a kid in harms way

  12. Where do you get your info from Irish Whiskey? “The MWJHL and the C-IHL are planning on an Interlocking Schedule for next season so what is wrong with that I ask ??? ” Because 2 teams out of the 7 decided to play in this showcase does not mean they will have interlocking schedules in the future. I’ve talked to two owners from this league and they indicate in no way shape or form has interlocking schedules in the future been discussed as a league.

  13. In one of his articles Randy says that the Canadian League Commissioner has discussed this with Mr. Gardner of the MWJHL and Mr. Gardner him self say’s so in the article … … that’s where I am getting my information. Mr. Gardner say’s so in the RR Rumor Mill article …

  14. These comments are with two people that have no say other than suggesting that there could be interlocking schedules. I’m not sure, but I would guess neither one of them have a vote in the MWJHL boardroom when it comes to league or team scheduling. It’s not that I don’t think it would not be a good or bad thing to play each other, but to just to continue throwing logs on the fire to create smoke is BS. “Scott Gardiner, a former OHL scoring star with the Belleville Bulls, serves as commissioner of the MWJHL. The 50-year old Gardiner has confirmed that he has had “numerous informal talks with Clayden about an interlocking schedule with the CIHL in 2015-2016.”

  15. The following is an email from a first responder that worked the game between Espanola and kalkaska. Read this Joe K and see what you think:

    I feel I need to express my concern about an incident at the game in Espanola on Jan. 30.

    During the 3rd period, the Kalkaska goalie was hit by an Espanola player with the typical response by the players. Penalties were assessed 10 and 5. This is not my problem – this was just typical hockey.

    The Kalkaska goalie was knocked unconscious and remained so for some time. The coach did not remove him from the game but left him in. This young man was in obvious distress, seen by everyone in the arena and his own team mates. He was disoriented, had difficulty getting up, and was having trouble moving.

    He was finally removed when Espanola scored a goal several minutes later. He had to helped from the ice.

    We were asked to see him as Responders. He informed us that he had no recollection of the event and was blacking out while play was going on. One of the coaching staff said he had a concussion, an obvious conclusion. We removed him to a quiet area for more assessment, all the signs of concussion were there. We were assisted by a critical care Paramedic at this point and we all agreed that this young man needed to be seen by a doctor. The coach and his wife disagreed and were more concerned about having to leave him behind and the cost involved. They both said that sending him to hospital would be a waste of time, that all he needed was rest. They may be right but we cannot see inside someone’s head. We have no way of knowing what damage may have occurred. As I’m sure you know, swelling, bleeding, pressure inside the skull can have permanent adverse results, even death. We cannot ignore these types of injuries. This coach needs to be corrected in his attitude towards the well being of his players. He is responsible. Their health should be paramount, not inconvenience or costs.

    They finally agreed to stop at the hospital in Sault Ste. Marie. I can only hope they did. This young man was in serious trouble.

    Furthermore, when the game was over and we were in the adjoining room. We could hear the coach talking, no, screaming at his players. I am 63 years old and never in my life have I heard anyone abuse another human being as he was abusing these players. The swearing and name calling was absolutely unacceptable. Any one of these kids could lay charges of abuse and they would stick. They lost a game of hockey. That’s all.

    Surely, when teams travel they are aware that injuries may happen. Do they not make allowance for this? If not, they need to start. A situation such as this can be life-threatening and should never be taken lightly.

    First Responders

    1. My son played for this lunatic in New Jersey. He is not fit to be anywhere near anyone under the age of 21. He knows the game of hockey, but is a menace to the well being of minors. Sadly, he likely suffers from CTE, but his underlying character was in place long before the brain damage. Pray for him, and keep your child far away.

  16. If I played for the rhinos I would have took a stick to the coachs head that’s unacceptable in my opinion yelling and abusing your team I’m surprised there still is a rhinos team and none of the players walked out . What a joke

  17. Geez Randy when you bring out some truth with facts people just tend to button up don’t they?. Yep yet some of the untruths stay posted on a certain website.

  18. Have had comments blocked on here in the past about it, this one may be too, but just because you play games in the NHL doesn’t make you a good hockey coach. The ability to teach (how many games did Sheldon Keefe play in the NHL) and instill a system is way more important….

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