Wednesday, October 31, 2012

More like it

Shane McColgan (Saskatoon Blades)
Tuesday night prospect hockey was pretty quiet with just 3 games involving New York Ranger or New York Islander prospects. It was off-ice stuff that most of the attention at the junior hockey level.

In Regina, Shane McColgan (NYR 2011 5th) is starting to play like the Saskatoon Blades had hoped for when they traded for the Ranger prospect during the off-season. The Blade's start to the season has not been a very good one as the hosts of the 2013 Memorial Cup find themselves sitting in last place of the WHL's East Division, having the 3rd worst record in the WHL overall.

Against the Regina Pats, McColgan gave the Blades a bit of what they had hoped for when they traded for him during the off-season as McColgan's 3rd goal of the season turned out to be the game winner as his Blades came away with a 3-2 win.

It was McColgan's first power play goal and his first game winner as a member of the Blades as McColgan also had a secondary assist on Saskatoon's first goal as well. McColgan earned the game's 3rd star for his efforts as his play and production has started to improve over the last 9 games (3-7-10).

The goal was not anything fancy as it was really an attempted pass that hit a Pat defender and deflected into the net. It still counts and pretty sure McColgan is not complaining about it.

Brendan Kitchton (Spokane Chiefs)
In Spokane, Brendan Kichton's (NYI 2011 5th) 5th goal of the season was a double milestone goal for the captain of the Spokane Chiefs. The goal was part of Spokane's 8 goal outburst as they had little trouble defeating the Seattle Thunderbirds 8-2.

Spokane scored the game's first 6 goals before Seattle got on the scoreboard. Kichton scored Spokane's 7th goal of the game in the 3rd period off a shot from the blueline.

The goal was Kichton's 50th WHL goal and it was also his 200th WHL point. Overall Kichton is 5-12-17 which is 4th among WHL defensemen in scoring as Spokane improves to 7-0 on home ice and 11-5 on the season which leads the WHL's US Division.

Loic Leduc (Cape Breton Screaming Eagles)
In Sydney Nova Scotia, Loic Leduc (NYI 2012 4th) and his Cape Breton Screaming Eagles were hosting the Shawinigan Cataractes in really was a battle of the cellar dwellers in the QMJHL. Cape Breton shut out the Cataractes 1-0 to earn their 2nd straight win.

Leduc didn't score but he was a +1 with 3 hits and 1 shots. Leduc is not going to score a ton of points but if he can use his size (6'6 207) on the defensive end then one can see why the Islanders took a shot on him.

The real news out of Sydney was not the game but rather this statement issued by the Screaming Eagles regarding the CHLPA. Now I have really tried to avoid giving this questionable group any space because I question their real motives.

Others like Neate Sager, Guy Flaming of Coming Down the Pipe (1,2,3,4) and Chris Peters of the United States of Hockey are the best sources on this issue.

Here is the statement from the Screaming Eagles

Sydney, NS - Earlier this afternoon we received an application from the Canadian Hockey League Players’ Association (CHLPA) seeking to be certified as a bargaining agent for the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles. We do not believe that any third party can provide programs and support better than what the Screaming Eagles and other league teams currently voluntarily provide to our players.

The Screaming Eagles take our commitment to our players very seriously; that is why we will be actively arguing that the CHLPA is not a recognized union and therefore cannot legally apply for certification or represent our players. Furthermore, we also believe that all players who could be affected by this union drive should have their wishes count. We will say, among other things, that all of our players not just those on the active roster, be given the right to express their wishes on unionization. We believe this is only fair.

In terms of the certification application, we will follow the rules and guidelines for union certification as defined by the Nova Scotia Relations Board (NSLB). In the coming days, we will continue to speak with our players and their families and ask that before they agree to anything that they do their research into the CHLPA and who is behind it.

To me a former Teamster, there is only one question to be answered and I am kind of surprised that I haven't seen it asked (or I missed it). Who is bankrolling this CHLPA?

They have said that the lawyers have been working for free but there has to someone paying the bills and expenses. If I am David Branch the President of the CHL that is the question I would be asking when this CHLPA is threatening legal action or applying for union certification.

Maybe it is just my nature but I have a really hard time believing that those hidden folks bankrolling the CHLPA are doing this out of the generosity of their heart. And there is the biggest issue of them all; that the greater number of those playing in the CHL are under 18 so if it was my kid and someone was trying to get my son to sign something without showing it to me there would be a serious problem.

The CHLPA has not acted responsibly in how they have gone about doing things, they claim they are doing this for the kids but they have repeatedly shown a serious lack of knowledge (read Guy Flamings stuff) when it comes to what they are wishing to accomplish.

I also have a serious doubt that the leaders of the union will be the players themselves. In the end that they (the CHLPA) are asking minors to sign legal documents without getting their parent's approval is a crime of it's own. You would think the lawyers who are helping this "union" would have demanded parental involvement.

In the end I for one fear that instead of helping the CHL players these folks will screw things up royally and make any attempt at reform that much harder to accomplish.

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