Dreger: Scott Smith’s position will likely be a topic at upcoming Hockey Canada meetings
TSN Hockey insiders Darren Dreger and Pierre LeBrun share the latest on how Hockey Canada is responding to widespread criticism, and now sponsorship fallout. They also explain how the NHL and IIHF view the situation.
Will the meeting scheduled for today, by conference call, be a step towards a resolution of this matter?
Darren Dreger: It might be. A meeting involving the Hockey Canada Board of Directors and the responsible for each membership, at the provincial level. You talk about the federations across Canada that make up a good part of Hockey Canada, the leaders of each.
It appears from the timing and the questioning, an open questioning, of Scott Smith’s future at the helm of Hockey Canada that this will be discussed among other issues that concern the Hockey Canada Board of Directors.
This is a scheduled conference call, there will be another conference call scheduled next week. And then they plan to have an in-person meeting on October 15th. What we don’t know is if Scott Smith, head of Hockey Canada, will go that far.
To what extent are other governing bodies like the CHL, IIHF and NHL monitoring this situation?
Drager: They are certainly watching, there is no doubt. The National Hockey League, with some involvement from the NHL Players Association, is nearing the end of its investigation into the 2018 sexual abuse allegations. That is the NHL’s primary focus.
Could there be discipline for those potentially involved? Yes, there could be, and that too would include the NHLPA.
As for the IIHF, they are deeply concerned about what is happening around Hockey Canada, but they are also closely monitoring the investigation that the NHL is carrying out in 2018 and if there is any wrongdoing that is proven here, you could also see the IIHF open its own disciplinary hearings, possibly, for the actors involved.
As Canadian Tire announced it was withdrawing its sponsorship of Hockey Canada, they said they would direct a portion of those funds to Sheldon Kennedy and his Respect Group. Pierre, have you spoken to Sheldon today?
Pierre LeBrun: Yes. You can imagine how much all of this weighs on Sheldon Kennedy. When you consider the kind of work he has done over the last 20 years at the grassroots level of sport in this country, especially hockey of course. Particularly through the Respect Group by Hockey Canada. All of this is very difficult. There is no doubt, Sheldon Kennedy told me that there has to be a leadership change at the highest level of Hockey Canada for Hockey Canada to move forward. There must be a good start here, according to Sheldon Kennedy.
He added, in quotes: “It’s about the children. It’s about making the game the best it can be. We have to get out of it better. »
I think there are a lot of volunteers, stakeholders and minor hockey arenas across the country who agree with Sheldon Kennedy.