Score Strip

  1. League: NHL
  2. Pittsburgh vs. Columbus
    7:00 PM
    1 PIT
    4 CLS
  3. Anaheim vs. Dallas
    8:00 PM
    1 ANH
    4 DAL
  4. St. Louis vs. Chicago
    9:30 PM
    2 STL
    3 CHI
  5. View All

Dysfunctional CHLPA preaches worthy cause

thehockeynews.com
Dysfunctional CHLPA preaches worthy cause
.

View photo

The CHLPA is working to improve the education packages for junior players. (OHL Images)

You can bet there are more than a few junior hockey executives running around high-fiving people this morning. When you dodge a bullet you’re always happy. And that’s exactly what junior hockey has done this morning with the implosion of the ill-fated Canadian Hockey League Players’ Association.

In the space of a couple of days in late October, the CHLPA was making headlines more for its bizarre nature than anything it was trying to do for the players. Stories emanating from the identity of its supposed spokesperson, Derek Clarke, were downright creepy. And then there was the even more surreal report by executive director Georges Laraque, who claimed that his hybrid car had been tampered with when someone loosened the bolts on his front tires. A message appeared on the CHLPA’s Facebook page that said Laraque wanted people to, “forget the tragic events of (Oct. 30) and have a happy Halloween.”

Not surprisingly, Laraque announced he is stepping down and those legitimate people who had associated themselves with the CHLPA began to distance themselves very quickly.

Yes, the CHLPA is a mess. It’s a joke as it’s currently constituted. But the fact is its objectives are not. After decades of being paid substandard wages while others make money off their talents and dreams, junior players are at least coming to realize there is a segment out there that feels they are being exploited. This corner has railed against the inequities in junior hockey for the past seven years and we must say, it’s nice to finally have some people in our corner.

What everyone has to remember is that this is just the beginning for the CHLPA, which Laraque says will be handed to someone more professional. (How about the NHL Players’ Association?) But what this union represents are things worth fighting for, and there are few noble causes that were without their initial growing pains. As haphazard and ham-handed as the CHLPA has been, there is no doubt it has a legitimate point when it says the CHL makes millions off the World Junior Championship when it comes to Canada, not a penny of which goes directly to the players.

And whether or not the CHLPA ever gets off the ground, people are starting to take notice. In late-October, former Quebec League player Joshua Desmond filed a complaint with the Nova Scotia Labour Standards Division claiming he was owed $12,000 because he was not paid minimum wage. CHL president David Branch countered by saying the CHL regards players as “student-athletes” the same insidious term the NCAA uses to describe the players that fill football stadiums and create billions of dollars in revenues and get nothing more than education and living expenses paid in return.

The CHL will argue that because it pays living expenses and has an education package, players actually make more than just $50 a week. And that’s true, if the player takes advantage of the education package. For a book I wrote that will be released in January, I crunched the numbers. A four-year player in the Ontario League, with room and board and education package (tuition plus books) included, receives an hourly stipend of about $12.69 per hour, which is three dollars more than the minimum wage in Ontario.

But what about those who don’t use the education, either because they’re not academically inclined or they turn pro and play a long career in the minor leagues? Their hourly wage works out to about $4.29 per hour, which is less than half the student minimum wage in Ontario.

No matter how you frame it, the optics are terrible. If a player takes advantage of the education package he makes a little more than minimum wage, but you can bet he has sacrificed a lot more to become a junior hockey player than his teenage peers have to flip burgers or sell sneakers. And that doesn’t even include the summer months, when most junior players have to put aside any prospect of a summer job because most of their time is spent working out and improving their skills.

There are those who contend that a good number of CHL teams wouldn’t be able to stay in business if they had to compensate their players equitably, but is that a valid reason for treating people unfairly? And how would we know? Who’s to say people who patronize junior hockey wouldn’t pay a few more bucks per ticket if they knew it was going to help the players? And why wouldn’t the rich CHL teams help out their smaller partners whose players people are paying to watch?

The CHLPA, as dysfunctional as it is, is at least trying to get some of these questions answered. It may be a total mess, but its objectives are worthy. If and when things get straightened out, perhaps we’ll get some answers.

Ken Campbell is the senior writer for The Hockey News and a regular contributor to THN.com with his column. To read more from Ken and THN's other stable of experts, subscribe to The Hockey News magazine.

View Comments
  • Sharks-Kings Preview

    Sharks-Kings Preview

    Joe Thornton and the Sharks have been in command of many playoff series over the past decade. That's why the Sharks are both comfortable and concerned with a chance to finish off the reeling Los Angeles Kings in Game 4 of the first round on Thursday … More »

    AP - Sports - 10 minutes ago
  • Knicks looking for hometown discount from Anthony

    Knicks looking for hometown discount from Anthony

    Potential free agent Carmelo Anthony will be asked to give the New York Knicks a discount on his next contract in order to help build a title contender, team president Phil Jackson said on Wednesday. Anthony, who finished the 2013-14 NBA season … More »

    Reuters - 14 minutes ago
  • NBA-Knicks looking for hometown discount from Anthony

    Potential free agent Carmelo Anthony will be asked to give the New York Knicks a discount on his next contract in order to help build a title contender, team president Phil Jackson said on Wednesday. Anthony, who finished the 2013-14 NBA season … More »

    Reuters - 17 minutes ago
  • Royals coach has surgery on broken left arm

    Kansas City Royals first base coach Rusty Kuntz had surgery on his broken left arm, an injury he sustained when he was hit by a line drive during pregame batting practice. Kuntz had a plate and eight screws inserted during the operation Wednesday at … More »

    AP - Sports - 19 minutes ago
  • Rangers' Perez gets second straight SHO

    Rangers' Perez gets second straight SHO

    Martin Perez pitched his second consecutive shutout to extend his scoreless innings streak to 26 and the Texas Rangers wrapped up a three-game sweep of the Oakland Athletics with a 3-0 victory Wednesday. Donnie Murphy homered and Michael Choice … More »

    AP - Sports - 22 minutes ago
  • Party a century in the making for Wrigley Field

    Party a century in the making for Wrigley Field

    ''Happy Birthday, Wrigley Field,'' it read. Exactly 100 years after the Chicago Federals pounded the Kansas City Packers in the first game at the famed ballpark, Wrigley was the scene of a joyous birthday bash on Wednesday afternoon. Banks and … More »

    AP - Sports - 22 minutes ago
  • Indians don't think Salazar is tipping pitches

    Indians don't think Salazar is tipping pitches

    The Indians believe the only tipping Danny Salazar is doing is to cab drivers and waitresses. One night after Cleveland's struggling right-hander said he might be tipping his pitches, Indians manager Terry Francona said Salazar is just leaving too … More »

    AP - Sports - 22 minutes ago
  • Joakim Noah is suing his former shoemaker, claiming they failed to pay him and contributed to his foot injuries

    Joakim Noah is suing his former shoemaker, claiming they failed to pay him and contributed to his foot injuries

    Joakim Noah work Le Coq Sportif from 2007 to 2013. … More »

    Ball Don't Lie - 25 minutes ago
  • Selanne’s son tweets disapproval, suggests roster move for Boudreau

    Selanne’s son tweets disapproval, suggests roster move for Boudreau

    Part of growing up is making mistakes and learning from them. Just ask Eemil Selanne, son of Ducks forward Teemu Selanne. He is learning a very important lesson today: whatever you say on the internet is here forever. Not only … Continue reading → … More »

    Puck Daddy - 26 minutes ago
  • Cubs lose on Wrigley's 100th birthday

    Cubs lose on Wrigley's 100th birthday

    CHICAGO (AP) -- Fittingly, the Chicago Cubs marked Wrigley Field's 100th birthday with a loss - a dramatic, error-filled one, at that. … More »

    AP - Sports - 26 minutes ago
  • Bobcats' Al Jefferson in starting lineup

    Bobcats' Al Jefferson in starting lineup

    MIAMI (AP) -- Al Jefferson is in Charlotte's starting lineup for Game 2 of the Bobcats' Eastern Conference first-round series against the Miami Heat. … More »

    AP - Sports - 26 minutes ago
  • Oldest ex-Major League Baseball player dies in Cuba at 102

    Oldest ex-Major League Baseball player dies in Cuba at 102

    By Daniel Trotta HAVANA (Reuters) - Conrado Marrero, at 102 the oldest former Major League Baseball player and a patriarch of Cuban baseball known for his quick wit and goofy pitching delivery, died on Wednesday at his home in Havana. Marrero, who … More »

    Reuters - 31 minutes ago
  • Bills to issue store credits to end text claim

    The Buffalo Bills are going to pay up for oversharing. The team has reached a settlement with fans who say the team sent them too many texts, agreeing to issue debit cards for the Bills store worth $58 to $75 each. Along with the $2.5 million … More »

    AP - Sports - 40 minutes ago
  • Criminal charges considered after peewee hockey brawl in Winnipeg

    WINNIPEG - Criminal charges have been recommended following a peewee hockey brawl in Winnipeg, but police say they haven't decided if there will be any arrests. Jason Michalyshen said Wednesday that Crown prosecutors reviewed the case and suggested … More »

    The Canadian Press - 42 minutes ago
  • Tampa's Johnson, Palat up for Calder

    Tampa's Johnson, Palat up for Calder

    Tampa Bay Lightning forwards Tyler Johnson and Ondrej Palat are finalists for the NHL's top rookie award. They're joined by Nathan MacKinnon of the Colorado Avalanche in the running for the Calder Trophy. Johnson had a rookie team-record 24 goals … More »

    AP - Sports - 42 minutes ago
  • Death of Australian player weighs heavy on team

    Death of Australian player weighs heavy on team

    The locker where Chris Lane once got ready to play now sits empty on the campus of East Central University in Ada. He died less than a day before he was scheduled to return to East Central to start his senior season. … More »

    AP - Sports - 46 minutes ago
  • Sherman addresses race issue at Harvard

    CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) -- Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman says he refuses to back down from his raging rant after the NFC championship game because he wants to ''educate the uneducated.'' … More »

    AP - Sports - 47 minutes ago
  • Mike Francesa may have just tipped the Giants' 2014 schedule

    Mike Francesa may have just tipped the Giants' 2014 schedule

    Did Mike Francesa just reveal the Giants' 2014 schedule? … More »

    Shutdown Corner - 49 minutes ago
  • Seahawks QB Wilson divorcing from wife

    Seahawks QB Wilson divorcing from wife

    Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson has announced that he and his wife Ashton are divorcing. Wilson made the announcement in a statement released by the Seahawks on Wednesday. He says decisions like this are not easy and respectfully asks … More »

    AP - Sports - 53 minutes ago
  • NCAA proposal for governance change

    Highlights from a proposal to change governance at the NCAA. The Division I Board of Directors is expected to discuss the plan Thursday: - The five biggest football conferences - the ACC, Big 12, Big Ten, Pac-12 and SEC - would gain more autonomy … More »

    AP - Sports - 55 minutes ago
  • Klinsmann close to finalizing pre-World Cup roster

    Just three weeks remain before the start of the United States' pre-World Cup training camp, and coach Jurgen Klinsmann is close to finalizing the players he'll invite. Preliminary 30-man rosters are due to FIFA by May 13, the day before the … More »

    AP - Sports - 56 minutes ago
  • Mayweather preaches patience ahead of Maidana bout

    Mayweather preaches patience ahead of Maidana bout

    (Reuters) - Five-division world champion Floyd Mayweather Jr. says he will take his time and "be smart" when he faces Marcos Maidana of Argentina for their welterweight title unification in Las Vegas next week. Mayweather, who has a 45-0 record … More »

    Reuters - 57 minutes ago
  • Freestyle skiing pioneer Burke among new Canada's Sports Hall of Fame members

    Freestyle skiing pioneer Burke among new Canada's Sports Hall of Fame members

    Now, Sarah Burke's legacy will live on in Canada's Sports Hall of Fame. Burke, who tragically died at age 29 from a training accident in 2012, headlined the 2014 class named for induction Wednesday. "I think she'd be pretty overwhelmed, she'd be … More »

    The Canadian Press - 57 minutes ago
  • Ishikawa refuses minors, now free agent

    PITTSBURGH (AP) -- Travis Ishikawa, the Pittsburgh Pirates' opening-day first baseman, refused an outright assignment to Triple-A Indianapolis and elected to become a free agent. … More »

    AP - Sports - 59 minutes ago
  • Phils activate P Hamels to face Dodgers

    LOS ANGELES (AP) -- The Philadelphia Phillies have activated Cole Hamels from the disabled list to make his season debut against the Los Angeles Dodgers. … More »

    AP - Sports - 1 hour 5 minutes ago
  • Russell Wilson, wife file for divorce after two years of marriage

    Russell Wilson, wife file for divorce after two years of marriage

    The Seattle quarterback has filed for divorce. … More »

    Shutdown Corner - 1 hour 5 minutes ago
  • The 10-man rotation, starring the Rockets' reserves and the potential folly of not using them

    The 10-man rotation, starring the Rockets' reserves and the potential folly of not using them

    A look around the league and the Web that covers it. It's also important to note that the rotation order and starting nods aren't always listed in order of importance. That's for you, dear reader, to figure out. … More »

    Ball Don't Lie - 1 hour 9 minutes ago
  • Oldest ex-MLB player Marrero dies at 102

    Oldest ex-MLB player Marrero dies at 102

    Conrado Marrero, the diminutive Cuban right-hander who pitched for the Washington Senators in the 1950s and in 2011 became the oldest living former Major League Baseball player, died in Havana on Wednesday. He wasn't reacting,'' Rogelio Marrero … More »

    AP - Sports - 1 hour 11 minutes ago
  • Country star McGraw loves life in GT fast lane

    Tim McGraw drives in the carpool lane most days instead of pushing 100 mph with the windows rolled down and hair pulled back. ''I drive the Griswold family cruiser,'' McGraw said, laughing. So McGraw, a noted car enthusiast, traded his cowboy hat … More »

    AP - Sports - 1 hour 11 minutes ago
  • Valcke 'happy' with Cuiaba stadium despite delays

    Valcke 'happy' with Cuiaba stadium despite delays

    FIFA's top World Cup official is satisfied with the pace of work at the stadium in the western Brazilian city of Cuiaba even though a delay in the delivery of seats prompted the venue's inauguration to be postponed this week. FIFA Secretary General … More »

    AP - Sports - 1 hour 13 minutes ago
  • Kidd not worried about Pierce for Game 3

    Kidd not worried about Pierce for Game 3

    Jason Kidd never appears worries about anything, certainly not about someone like Paul Pierce. Even if Pierce's matchup was completely one-sided in Toronto's favor in Game 2. He couldn't get his shot to fall, couldn't keep his man off the boards, … More »

    AP - Sports - 1 hour 15 minutes ago
  • Happy 100th, Wrigley Field! A few memories

    Happy 100th, Wrigley Field! A few memories

    Wrigley Field, the home of the Chicago Cubs, marks the 100th anniversary of its first game on Wednesday with a matchup against Arizona. Some stars who graced its friendly confines offer their memories: --- Mike Ditka has a question. Well, an … More »

    AP - Sports - 1 hour 17 minutes ago
  • Wizards back home leading Bulls 2-0

    Wizards back home leading Bulls 2-0

    The Chicago Bulls failed to score for more than seven minutes. This was the final 3:53 of regulation and the first 3:45 of overtime in Game 2 of a playoff series. Chicago got to the postseason by being stingy. Yet, so far at least, the Washington … More »

    AP - Sports - 1 hour 19 minutes ago
  • Bears, RB Draughn agree on 1-year deal

    LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) -- The Chicago Bears have agreed to a one-year contract with running back Shaun Draughn. … More »

    AP - Sports - 1 hour 19 minutes ago
  • Jackson reiterates he won't coach Knicks

    Jackson reiterates he won't coach Knicks

    The coaching search is on in New York, and the best possible candidate has already been eliminated. Phil Jackson won't be hiring himself to coach the Knicks. Two days after firing Mike Woodson, Jackson reiterated Wednesday that he won't be … More »

    AP - Sports - 1 hour 19 minutes ago
  • Johnson, Poythress returning to Kentucky

    Johnson, Poythress returning to Kentucky

    LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) -- Kentucky's frontcourt will bring back size and experience next season after freshman center Dakari Johnson and sophomore forward Alex Poythress announced they would return. … More »

    AP - Sports - 1 hour 22 minutes ago
  • Swan sells 2 cars, keeps Kligerman

    Troubled NASCAR team Swan Racing has found a home for driver Cole Whitt, while keeping Parker Kligerman under contract. Swan Racing minority owner Anthony Marlowe merged his ownership of the No. 26 team in BK Racing. Whitt will remain behind the … More »

    AP - Sports - 1 hour 23 minutes ago
  • WHL to vote on sale of Regina Pats, Prince George Cougars to new owners

    CALGARY - The Western Hockey League will vote next week on the sale of two franchises. The Prince George Cougars and Regina Pats have both entered agreements to transfer ownership, the WHL said Wednesday in a statement. Rick Brodsky, the Cougars' … More »

    The Canadian Press - 1 hour 24 minutes ago
  • Josh Johnson will have Tommy John surgery, won't pitch an inning for Padres in 2014

    Josh Johnson will have Tommy John surgery, won't pitch an inning for Padres in 2014

    Johnson, 30, will have his second Tommy John surgery and be out of action for about a year. … More »

    Big League Stew - 1 hour 24 minutes ago
  • Basketball-Maccabi join Barcelona in Euroleague Final Four

    Former Euroleague winners Maccabi Tel Aviv reached the competition's May 16-18 Final Four after a 86-66 home win over Emporio Armani Milan on Wednesday completed a 3-1 victory in their best-of-five quarter-final series. Maccabi, who have four … More »

    Reuters - 1 hour 25 minutes ago