Hockey Newfoundland and Labrador Responds to Coach Suspension

June 11, 2012

Hockey NL would like to inform the membership and general public that the sanctions handed down to the Mount Pearl Junior Blades and their Head Coach is in no way suggesting that hockey is more important than education.

Head Coach, Brian Cranford was suspended and the team fined $2,000 as a result of the teams’ failure to have any representation at either the Open Ceremonies or the Awards Banquet during the 2012 Don Johnson Cup held in St. John’s from April 17-22, 2012.

Hockey NL advised the Mount Pearl Junior Blades in writing on April 3rd the mandatory requirements of the branch representative team to attend both the ceremonies and banquet. The branch again reminded all teams of this during the Coaches/Managers Meeting on April 17, 2012. At no time did the Blades suggest they could not attend.

Murray Roberts, Vice President, Hockey NL, says that the decision was based on a number of factors. “The team did not communicate to the host committee that they would not be represented at these events. Our association clearly doesn’t expect young players to sacrifice education for hockey and we certainly understand the difficulty to get the full team at these events when such conflicts arise. However, the team has twenty-three players, four coaching staff and seven executive members. As the branch representative at a prestigious tournament held in our province, we would expect at least a representative of the team at these functions”, said Roberts.

The branch decided to fine the team for such neglect, and felt the Head Coach had a direct responsibility to ensure the team was represented. Hockey NL appeals committee conducted a comprehensive investigation in to the incident and upheld the decision.

For more information please contact,

Craig Tulk
Executive Director
Hockey Newfoundland & Labrador
Tel: 709-489-5512
Cell: 709-486-0442
Email: ctulk@hockeynl.ca