This one reeks of vindictiveness.
If I am Espanola Rivermen owner-governor Tim Clayden, I am consulting with a lawyer on this one.
Two days after giving written notice to fellow Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League governors that his Rivermen would be looking to play in a new league come the 2014-2015 season, Clayden has been fined $5,000 and suspended indefinitely by commissioner Robert Mazzuca.
In an e-mail to Clayden and NOJHL governors on Wednesday night, Mazzuca announced the fine and suspension to the Espanola owner “for comments made in the media that are prejudicial to the league, that are detrimental to the best interests of the NOJHL and that are in violation of Section 2.2, 2.3, 2.4, 12.1 and By-law 7.”
Clayden, in a candid, lengthy interview, had made his feelings known on a number of issues in a column that was first posted on HockeyNewsNorth.com on Wednesday.
The timing of the suspension is both curious and suspicious, if you ask me.
Clayden informs fellow NOJHL governors and commissioner Mazzuca that he is looking to be a part of a proposed, new International Jr. Hockey League under the umbrella of the American-based, Amateur Athletic Union, speaks his mind on a number of issues via the media and is then quickly and abruptly fined and suspended indefinitely — and without so much as a hearing.
It seems to me that Mazzuca acted in astonishing haste in dishing out a fine and indefinite suspension to Clayden less than 24 hours after the Espanola owner made comments in the media — and less than two days after Clayden advised Mazzuca and fellow governors that he was moving his team out of the NOJHL after this season.
This just doesn’t seem right.