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Daily Dish: Did Owner Cross the Line? Canadian Junior Hockey News

Published: Monday, 10 Feb 2020  
By: Stephen Heisler,

Unfortunately, what I am about to tell you is a shame. We are not going to disclose the names of the team, league, player, or coach with hopes that the situation will correct itself and this article serves as a reminder of what an owner should never do.

A fringe player comes to town from across the country as a goaltender to play on a Tier III team. He just manages to make the cut as a #3 and elects to stay because it is a good group of players on the team and he really likes the coach who also serves as the GM.

The goalie pays the season fee and his billeting. As far as players go, this kid is a fantastic addition to the team's chemistry and has been content with the very minimal of playing time. The coach loves the kid's work ethic; he is great for practices, and the rest of the team likes having him around.

One member of the ownership group has minimally overstepped his authority earlier in the season while trying to get involved with roster management.  This past weekend, the owner jumped way over the line and made a mistake that may just cost him the rest of the season. Let me explain.

The coach set his dress-list for one of the games this past weekend with the #3 goaltender listed as the back-up. The owner took it upon his self to pull the player from the locker room to tell the him to undress because he was not going to be dressing for the game.  The owner then proceeded to the coach's office to inform the coach of what he had done. Let's just say that the coach, and his assistant, was less than happy with the situation.

The player, first excited about the opportunity, was left embarrassed. The rest of the team was left wondering what in the heck was going on, why was this owner stepping so far over the line?

What the heck was the owner thinking? We are talking about a play-off bound team guaranteed to finish the season with the best record in the team's history. The coach recruited the entire team and has done his job very well.

The coach is a friend and called me on Sunday about the situation. My position is not going be popular with owners. There needs to be a meeting with the offending owner and the rest of the ownership group. If the offending owner does not address the entire team with an apology, the coaches need to walk.

These are lines that should never be crossed. If an owner wants to get involved in game-time line-up changes, he needs to fire the coach.  Let the coaches do the job they were hired to do or remove them, but don't ever hinder their authority to do the job.

If the coach has to walk because of the bullheadedness of the owner, so be it. It would serve the owner right.

Author: Stephen Heisler from
Stephen Heisler has spent a lifetime in the game of hockey. Stephen is also working with individual teams, coaches, and players as a director with Victorious Hockey Company. Stephen, his wife Deysi, and four children reside in Orlando, Florida.

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