Go Public inbox: Hockey fight sparks debate

The Go Public inbox has been flooded with emails from you about an attack on minor hockey player Nick Major, 16, after he "snowed the goalie" during a game in Woodstock, Ont.

Email from our readers

Parents of a minor hockey player are outraged that this hockey fight wasn't taken seriously enough by the police and hockey officials. (Julie Major)

The Go Public inbox has been flooded with emails from you about an attack on minor hockey player Nick Major, 16, after he "snowed the goalie" during a game in Woodstock, Ont.   Here are just a few.

From: Puck Stop [email withheld]

Date: Mon, Jun 17, 2013 at 10:11 AM

Subject: Hockey: Goaltender Safety and Vulnerability

To: gopublic@cbc.ca

Violence and disrespect for safety is escalating in hockey, at all levels. Even in non-competitive adult recreational hockey.

Please enhance player safety by making a news article about Goaltender Safety and Vulnerability.

Goaltenders, focussed on the puck in play and often with awkward body position (such as on their knees, laying down, etc.) while doing so are vulnerable to the lack of respect for their safety that is posed by the opposition players such as the "victim" (actual instigator) in the linked article.

These goaltenders REQUIRE the protection of the "instigator" (responsible teammate) and others like him to prevent them from being seriously injured by foolish decisions of the opposition while they are vulnerable.

Without protection, these foolish decisions escalate, goaltender injuries are seldom minor and are discouraged from being shared (thus, not properly treated).

This player is quite lucky it was a defenceman's bare hand "brutally beating" him instead of the goaltender's blocker, stick or pointed skate blade. Having zero respect for the goaltender's safety results in zero respect for his safety -- a natural and expected consequence of his actions in the game of hockey.

PLEASE help to regain a little respect for how vulnerable a goaltender is while playing hockey and prevent these incidents from happening in the first place.

Or send this kid an invitation to play against a goaltender who has broken his neck (and had to continue to play without proper medical treatment), let him see the consequence delivered by one who has had his safety sacrificed for the selfish actions players like him choose to take.

You have the power to educate parents, coaches and players of the unnecessary risks goaltenders currently have to face to play the game they love.

Please use that power.


From: [Name and email withheld]

Date: 17 June, 2013 8:51:02 AM PDT

To: gopublic@cbc.ca Subject: Hockey Fight

Hi Go Public,

Hearing that story brings up an incident two years ago with the minor hockey association our sons belong to. A coach grabbed, yelled, and man-handled my son on the ice.

He was holding the blue line with the puck and an opposing team player rushed him, hit him and fell backwards, knocking himself out.

Our son received a five-minute penalty for body contact. The coach stayed in the game with no recourse. Our son was 11, did not know why the coach would do that, why he got a penalty. He was shocked and extremely upset.  I went to the penalty box to calm him down. 

[Name withheld] blamed our son for the incident and the coach had done nothing wrong and since this was a rare thing the MHA tried to sweep it under the carpet. Chastised me for going to the box, due to the fact what would happen to the kids if parents went to the penalty box for every penalty to console them.

We stayed on the tail of the MHA and only had a meeting when we went to a lawyer.

It looks like these minor hockey associations make their own rules when needed to protect the association.

The coach was never suspended, or had any recourse other than our son was taken to a room before a game without us for an apology from the coach.

So many parents are challenged to be quiet or your child will be blacklisted and will never make it in hockey.

In hindsight, I would phone the police.

[Name withheld]

 From: [Name and email withheld]

Date: 17 June, 2013 6:42:01 AM PDT To: gopublic@cbc.ca

Subject: Go Public - Investigative Reporting

OMG....we went public with the constant emotional and mental abuse my son endured from his own coach and assistant coach and we....my husband and I, were the ones that were punished by our local hockey organization, I have documentation galore on this situation.  

We have people that backed us up on it. One parent had his son put a small tape recorder in his hockey bag to catch what he could on tape.  We went to our local executive for a hearing and we ended up being punished!  

My son returned to our local league from [name withheld] due to financial issues and the jealousy from the assistant coach was unbelievable.  But, in our small town, it is how much money you have that talks...

The executive also started lies about my husband being banned at [name withheld] so that he could not help with my son's team the next year.  This was eventually proven wrong.  

My husband is a long-time well respected ... referee and almost all of the other refs refused to do any games until the executive admitted they were wrong about the... issue.  

Now my son is a ... referee too and well respected with fantastic supervisions....one stating he’s  the best young official this supervisor had seen in a very long time.  

Our ongoing saga is a nightmare that has tainted my view of minor hockey, which I have been around since I was born. The good point...  we had my son play local house league his final couple years due to the crap that was going on.  His final year, my husband was the coach of the forwards, and I coached the defence.

We only won about two games all season as we believed that everyone, included the less-skilled and the girls, played equal time, unlike the other teams that were win, win at all cost.  The playoffs came and all our players played again, but had the skill and the stamina to play, and we won the championship.  

It was great for the kids, and for us to see the true meaning of minor hockey. I am not sure about a story on this, but just to show that the troubles in minor hockey are enormous.  I can also give you some horror stories about refereeing and about being a parent of a young official.  It goes on and on, but through it all, it helped my son learn the good and bad in life. Thanks for listening.