Three young players and coach booted from minor hockey team

By Blair Adams

“We're not going to be bullied into silence, it's about the kids, it's about the love of the game.” Chris Walsh said.

On Thursday, the Cambridge man found out via email he could no longer coach with the Hespeler Minor Hockey Association. 

It's because he and three players, including his six-year-old daughter, participated in a non-league sanctioned scrimmage game at The Hockey Loft.

That goes against a Hockey Canada policy, which is the national governing body of the sport.

His daughter and the two other players also can't play in the HMHA for the rest of the season.

“Personally, I think the way it was dealt with was unethical, unprofessional and very abrupt.” Walsh told The Mike Farwell Show on 570 NEWS.

Participating in the event in question means he can't coach his son's Novice A team for the rest of the season.

His daughter, who plays in the association's Senior Initiation Program, also has to hand in her Timbits jersey, which Walsh said “brought tears.”

Even though the email states “decisions are final,” Walsh and the parents of the other children affected can launch an appeal.

He said he has also spoken with the executive director of the Ontario Hockey Federation. 

“This was the first time he's ever seen or heard of this letter … Even speaking to him and letting him know OHF was mentioned on it, he strongly disagrees on how our association (Hespeler Minor Hockey Association) handled it.”

Hespeler Minor Hockey Association President, John Murray, told in a statement, they will support those who choose to initiate an appeal with Hockey Canada.

You can read the full statement from Murray below:

“Like all minor hockey associations sanctioned by Hockey Canada, the Hespeler Minor Hockey Association (“HMHA”) is mandated to follow the lead of the sport’s national governing body in all matters related to on and off-ice policies. One of these policies includes penalties for playing in, and supporting, non-sanctioned leagues and organizations; specifically, not being allowed to participate within their sanctioned league for the remainder of the season. It is important to understand that instances of this nature must be reported to both provincial and national partners, OMHA, OHF and Hockey Canada of which HMHA’s entire association programming is offered. While this is an established national policy that the HMHA must comply with to maintain its good standing, we have been advised that there is a Hockey Canada appeal process in place for the persons who have been affected.  Through the appeal process, players, and those who support non-sanctioned leagues in other ways, can apply for consideration for immediate reinstatement into their sanctioned league.  It is our understanding, that in order for reinstatement to be considered, the player, and those who support non-sanctioned leagues, must, at a minimum, agree to immediately cease all participation in any non-sanctioned league and acquire the support for reinstatement from their sanctioned league.  Given the nature of the circumstances surrounding the persons recently affected, HMHA will support those who choose to initiate this appeal process with Hockey Canada and will welcome back those who are successful in their appeal.”

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