I haven’t been a long time Hockey Canada fan, and the most recent revelation that members of the 2017-18 National Junior Team and other CHL players sexually assaulted a woman and Hockey Canada gave the The usual “Old Boys’ Club Pass” affair is outrageous and disgusting.
When Father Bauer formed the national team in the 1960s, his goal was to develop the whole person, not just the hockey skills of selected players, which he hoped would bring honor to society. The NHL money guys were quick to scrap Bauer’s national team concept in favor of a big-money game plan led by Alan Eagleson, best remembered for transforming the the game’s greatest player, Bobby Orr, into a poor one at the end of his playing days. The Soviets upset Team Canada in the 1972 series and, in the years that followed, European clubs who played tied with the Bauer clubs played tied with Hockey Canada. In the aftermath of this terrible scandal that has erupted over the past two weeks, Bauer’s model is a cause worth defending.
Of course, such behavior would never happen, nor would it be expected to happen with the national hockey team of the 1960s, but it happens frequently in hockey, in other Canadian sports and the Canadian Armed Forces. In the 2017-18 alleged sexual assault, Hockey Canada retained a company to conduct an “independent” investigation, but from what I can understand none of the hockey players, some of whom are in the NHL Today, never testified. Investigation !
The Canadian government has withdrawn its funding from Hockey Canada, which is around 10%, as have a number of other major sponsors. Is this a gesture to relieve Hockey Canada or is it a sign that significant changes need to be made at the top before funding returns? It could also mean a change of direction. When I see a small country like Finland, with a population of around six million people, winning the world junior hockey championships and the world championships in the same year, I suggest we look at its development model and see what we can learn from could be a good starting point.
It’s been a tough week for the golf community. Last week the sport lost Harry Simmonds and this week Jack Kane who has done so much for the development of golf in this province. Jack’s father, Jack “Hurricane”, was one of the best center ice players to come out of Ontario, according to King Clancy of the Toronto Maple Leafs, and was drafted here with the Charlottetown teams as a ‘import and remained. Jack Jr. was one of the best players with the Old Spain Penguins on teams that included Billy and Vince Mulligan, Stan Peardon and defenseman Jimmy Duffy. He also played with the senior Charlottetown Abbies baseball team along with Vern Handrahan, Buck Whitlock, Duck MacLeod, Forbie Kennedy and Bobby Lund. Jack was the coach of the St. Dunstan’s Saints team, champions of the University of the Maritimes in 1964, managed by Billy MacMillan, which stood out with St Michael’s Major, champion of the Memorial Cup in 1960, and guys like Vince Mulligan and Mike Kelly. Although he started golf late in his career, Jack earned his professional card and studied the game. His prize pupil was his daughter, Lorie, a multiple LPGA winner and the greatest golfer ever to develop at the PEI Fame, because they were lifelong friends.
Still on the sporting front, we regret to inform you of the passing of Jim “Flush” Rankin earlier this week in Summerside. Jim was part of the Columbus Blue Jackets team that arrived in the NHL City from Summerside and remained in his role as the Blue Jackets’ traveling secretary for over 10 years.
Governors Plate Trials took place last night in Summerside with 16 horses involved, eight in each race. The second $6,000 split was filled with talent and by far the more difficult of the two races with Linedrive Hanover, Bettim Again, Beachin Lindy, Rotten Ronnie, No Plan Intended, Blood Money, Merito Hanover and Island Beach Boy.
… The Meadowlands Pace eliminations take place tonight, and trainer Dr Ian Moore and driver Mark MacDonald are hoping to strike gold again with the Greatest Ending, owned by Reg Petitpas, who laid out the outside eight hole during his elimination. With NA Cup winner Pebbles Hanover not eligible, this race is wide open.
… Bulldog Hanover is set to enter the Graduate against a good field, including Linedrive Hanover, Charlie May and eight others.
… It was one hell of a 4th of July in the United States as The Stable flexed their trotting muscles with seven winners and three track records. Anthony MacDonald won the $150,000 two-year-old trotting final at Scioto with Singing Senorita in 1:56.1, Islander Johnny MacDonald won with The Stable’s Blue Bayou Deo in 1:53, a track for the three-year-old trotting colts in the $25,000 Oak Grove, Kentucky entry and Scott Zeron won with Crantini in the $35,000 PA All-Star entry at Pocono, the first start for International Moni’s son.
… Anthony’s brothers, Mark and James, also had stake victories on July 4. Mark won a $51,300 NY Sires at Saratoga with Hunting Season (1:55:1), while James won with $71,000 OSS Gold for two-year-old trotting colts in 1:57 at Mohawk.
… Wally Hennessey won New York Sire’s other $51,300 entry in Saratoga with Vivians Dream in 1:54:4. I’m sure the two PEI pals toasted after the races with Saratoga driver-coach Mark Beckwith coming here Old Home Week with Patrikthe Piranha of The Stable winning the July 4 Open at Plainridge in 1:51:1.
Fred MacDonald’s column appears every Saturday in The Guardian. He can be reached at [email protected].