Nfld. & Labrador

Roger Grimes barred from hockey rink after comments about Ken Marshall

Former premier Roger Grimes says he's been told he can no longer take part in a St. John's recreational hockey league because of what he had to say about the former chair of Nalcor Energy.

Email from brother of ex-Nalcor chair tells former premier to find another rink to skate in

Some people have compared Steve Marshall's feelings on Roger Grimes to something a child would say. CBC's On The Go got an eight-year-old to read Marshall's letter to media. 0:29

Former Newfoundland and Labrador premier Roger Grimes says he's been told he can no longer take part in a St. John's recreational hockey league, because of comments he made on CBC on Thursday about former Nalcor chair Ken Marshall. 

In an interview with Here and Now, Grimes made comments about how current Premier Dwight Ball is playing "too nice" compared to people like Ken Marshall and others that have been publicly taking shots at the the premier. 

Roger Grimes, seen here lacing up his skates, has been banned from playing in a recreational hockey league at The Capital Hyundai Arena, because of comments he made about Ken Marshall. (CBC)

Grimes says he received an email on Friday from high-profile St. John's lawyer Steve Marshall, the brother of Ken Marshall, saying Grimes would no longer be allowed to play hockey at his rink — the Capital Hyundai arena. 

"So you don't have to hear it from [an organizer] first if you're planning on skating next year you better check out one of the other rinks because you won't be skating at mine ever again," Marshall's email said.

Steve Marshall is a former law partner of former Tory Premier Danny Williams. Ken Marshall worked closely with Williams as an executive at Cable Atlantic, which Wiliams owned.

Grimes said he thought the email from Steve Marshall was a joke at first, but later confirmed that Marshall was indeed serious.

'No hockey for Mr. Grimes'

In an email to CBC, Steve Marshall says he feels justified in refusing to let Grimes play in his arena.

"My partners and I have owned this hockey rink for over 20 years. We pay all the bills out of our own pockets so we make the rules," he said.

"Mr. Grimes saw fit to take a public cheapshot at my brother Ken so there will be no hockey for Mr. Grimes at our rink. He should now realize that in saying negative and untruthful things about my family that I will do something about it without hesitation."

The Capital Hyundai Arena on 138 Pennywell Road in St. John's. (Google Maps)

When asked, Marshall declined requests for an interview.

'Bullying tactic,' says Grimes

Grimes told CBC on Friday that the attempt to ban him from the Capital Hyundai Arena is an example of "immature" and "childish" bullying on the part of Marshall.

"It's a bullying tactic that he gets from his close friend Danny Williams," he said. "That's an approach they take. If they don't like what you're saying, threaten you with something."

"I've lived my whole life and through teaching and everything else, I've taught kids in school that when you feel you're being bullied or intimidated in any way you have to confront it. My way to confront it is to expose it for what it is and let everybody see what it is and people can judge for themselves."

Grimes went on to say he has no regrets about his comments on Thursday, and that he plans to still show up at the arena when hockey resumes in the fall, regardless of what Marshall or others say.

"It should be entertaining come the fall," he said.

"My plan is to go to the hockey rink, and Steve Marshall or somebody will just have to have the RNC at the door to bar me from getting in the rink and explain why that is."

With files from Peter Cowan