Kukla's Korner Hockey
Entries with the tag: chl
from Robert Cribb of the Toronto Star,
An unprecedented class action lawsuit striking at the economic foundations of junior hockey in Canada alleges the Canadian Hockey League and its teams “conspired” to force young players into signing contracts that breach minimum wage laws.
A statement of claim filed in a Toronto court Friday and obtained by the Star, seeks $180 million in outstanding wages, vacation, holiday and overtime pay and employer payroll contributions for thousands of young players given as little as $35 a week for practices, games, training and travelling that could add up to more than full-time hours.
The league and its teams “conspired and agreed together . . . to act in concert to demand or require that all players sign a contract which the defendants knew was unlawful,” the claim alleges. “Such conduct was high-handed, outrageous, reckless, wanton, deliberate, callous, disgraceful, wilful and in complete disregard for the rights of the (players).”
from Rick Westhead of TSN,
The Canadian Hockey League's top official is fighting back against Canada's largest private sector union, which says it wants to improve working conditions for the 1,300 mostly teenaged hockey players who compete in the country's three major junior leagues.
Unifor, which represents workers in industries such as the auto and media sectors, is trying to convince the Ontario government to organize a task force to examine the junior-hockey industry.
David Branch, president of the Ontario Hockey League, has sent a series of emails to OHL players and their parents over the past few weeks to thwart Unifor's efforts.
In three emails obtained by TSN, Branch advises players that they do not have to sign union cards, are not required to attend any non-team off-site meetings, and can refuse requests from third parties for their personal information.
from Rick Westhead of TSN,
Canada's largest private-sector union, which is trying to organize major junior hockey players across the country, is scheduled to meet on Monday with Ontario's minister of labour to discuss the working conditions faced in the Canadian Hockey League by its 1,700 mostly teenaged players.
Jerry Dias, Unifor's president, said he plans to ask Ontario Labour Minister Kevin Flynn to establish a task force charged with scrutinizing the business of junior hockey.
Dias told TSN that when he met with Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne three weeks ago at Queen's Park, Wynne brought up the issue of working conditions in junior hockey with him. Dias said Wynne told him she is interested in learning more about whether players get a fair share of the game's profits.
Flynn's spokesman Craig MacBride declined to comment.
Wynne's spokeswoman Zita Astravas said both the premier and Flynn have already met with Dias.
"Discussions covered a wide range of topics," she said. "Unifor is an important partner and our government looks forward to a positive relationship with labour."
from Damien Cox of The Spin at the Toronto Star,
The door is shutting to puckstoppers from Europe.
Within four years or less, there will be no more European goalies playing major junior hockey in Canada and the U.S. after the CHL officially moved to make goaltenders ineligible to be selected in the league's import draft starting next year.
As reported 10 days ago by The Star, the three junior leagues - OHL, QMJHL and WHL - agreed on the drastic move amidst concerns that Canadian goalies simply are being squeezed out of opportunities in major junior and the country is developing fewer and fewer elite netminders.
The change was officially announced Monday night at the OHL's "Protect the Net" symposium, a gathering designed to address the "crisis" in Canadian goaltending, specifically in Ontario.
from Neate Sager of Yahoo,
This is how you get Canadian goalies ready to be world-beaters, by fearing competition? That question mark was just typed as a reflex, honestly, eh.
Every so often, the Canadian Hockey League will offer a reminder that its teenage players have no monopoly on being juvenile. In what can only be called self-serving, scapegoating, shortsighted, protectionism-writ-large, wagon-circling overreaction to Team Canada's four-year gold-medal drought at the world junior championship, the CHL is phasing in a ban on European goalies in order to solve a problem that does not actually exist.
from Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun,
If the Canadian Hockey League bans European goalies, it will mark a reversal in its treatment of visiting talent.
A few years ago, James Wisniewski of the OHL’s Plymouth Whalers was suspended five games after he called Slovakian Stefan Ruzicka a “Euro” and received a gross misconduct penalty from a sharp-eared linesman.
Now comes talk that the CHL will look into banning Euro netminders to correct a perceived crisis in developing top Canadians at the position.
CHL commissioner Dave Branch has expressed concern at the lack of Canadians making their mark, be it the NHL where the Vezina Trophy finalists all are European, to the starters on three of the four Stanley Cup finalists to the CHL’s top goalie, Czech-born Patrik Bartosak of the WHL’s Red Deer Rebels.
from the CP at CTV,
The Canadian Hockey League Players' Association, which says it represents junior A players, has threatened to sue the Ontario Hockey League over what it says are violations of "minimum legislative employment standards."
The CHLPA charges that players aren't paid minimum wage, overtime, vacation or severance pay. The CHLPA has also made similar complaints in Nova Scotia in reference to the QMJHL's Halifax Mooseheads.
The Canadian Hockey League, the umbrella organization for the OHL, WHL and QMJHL, fired back Friday afternoon.
"We firmly believe that our teams have always acted in accordance with all applicable provincial and federal laws and will continue to do so," the CHL said in a statement.
Junior A players in Canada are currently paid a small weekly stipend.
The CHL said the estimated investment for each player is $35,000 to $40,000 annually, which includes an education program and other benefits.
From Craig Custance at Sporting News:
Considering its proximity to Canada, Michigan is the battleground for a fight that’s not new, but grows hotter each year. It’s one the NHL is also watching.
On one side is Berenson—an All-America player at Michigan—and his fellow college coaches, trying to convince North America’s best young players to commit to college hockey. On the other side is Canada’s major junior powerhouse, the Canadian Hockey League, where elite Canadians—and a growing number of Americans—parlay junior careers into NHL careers.
Berenson looked at the young players in front of him and offered a warning against choosing junior hockey.
Follow up of the preseason game between the Colorado Eagles and the Odessa Jackelopes.
From the Colorado Eagles home page:
Colorado forward Brad MacMillan has been suspended 22 games for his match penalty for attempting to injure a player.
Colorado defenseman George Bradley has been suspended five (5) games for his actions during an altercation and has been fined an undisclosed amount of money for the same infraction.
Colorado defenseman Mario Joly has been suspended four (4) games for leaving the players bench.
From Dan Barnes at Canwest News via the National Post,
But Medvedev is not Russian hockey, merely a player in it. For now. The fact that he is trying to convince Igor Larionov to put a familiar, moderate face on the CHL as its first commissioner is a signal of his savvy. He is not the NHL’s worst nightmare, just a friendly competitor. For now.
“Mr. Medvedev obviously has a strong interest in hockey and we thought it might make sense to sit down and get a better understanding of his interest and what he is trying to accomplish,” said Daly.
The answer to that question will be different in a year or two than it is today. The assumption that he wants to hurt the NHL is a pretty easy one to make, but he resents it.
“It’s a very stupid assumption,” said Medvedev. “We don’t want to weaken the NHL. We want to enrich European hockey and the NHL.”
From Jim Matheson at Canwest News via the National Post,
Jared Staal, a six-foot-three right-winger from Thunder Bay., Ont., is projected as a second-round pick in this April’s draft. That might be because it’s a very deep draft pool this year and because Staal’s skating needs some work.
“He certainly has skill, but there’s a lot of pressure on Jared following his three brothers. This is a big week for Jared,” said Kevin Prendergast, the Edmonton Oilers’ vice-president of hockey operations.
Staal is keeping the Top Prospects game in perspective.
“I’ve got to realize it’s just one game,” he said. “I don’t think it’ll make or break things for me ... I’m just trying to show I deserve to be here.”
more… on the next Staal heading towards the NHL
from the Montreal Gazette,
The Latendresse brothers, Guillaume and Olivier, remain an inseparable pair, even though they live 3,500 kilometres apart on opposite ends of the professional hockey spectrum….
Guillaume is living out a dream playing for his beloved Canadiens, a media darling who has been portrayed as a saviour to a public starving for a French-Canadian star to carry the Tricolore. Olivier, meanwhile, is toiling in the Central Hockey League with the Arizona Sundogs, unable to make any headway in the Phoenix Coyotes organization after signing a three-year contract in 2004 as an undrafted free agent.