Patrick Nogier knows hockey and he knows policing. Now he's combining both.
Nogier is the new head of the Western Hockey League's Player Advisory Council, which will offer WHL players and staff an independent channel for complaints.
Nogier has more than two decades experience investigating sex crimes and child exploitation with the Saskatoon Police Service.
Prior to that, he played goaltender for the Kamloops Blazers, Humboldt Broncos and Swift Current Broncos in the WHL, and the University of Saskatchewan Huskies.
The creation of the council comes as the hockey world is under scrutiny for how abuse allegations are handled. The WHL has a security network already, and Nogier said this is just another layer of oversight.
"What we're hoping is that players don't sit for fear of reprisal for fear of having something happen that may change the direction [of their] career in hockey," he said in an interview on Saskatoon Morning.
"I think we're just creating an environment that will help foster disclosures from individuals when they think something has gone off the rails. And if we've done that and if we get people coming forward and to talk, then I think that's the first step in acknowledging behaviours that we're trying to eradicate from hockey."
The council will review all concerns submitted through an independent complaint channel. It could consider complaints around bullying, harassment and hazing. Criminal matters will be forwarded directly to police.
The council will then make recommendations for appropriate action.