Scott Smith, anyone else involved in the Hockey Canada fund must go

Scott Smith has displayed the identical sensibilities in refusing to resign as CEO of Hockey Canada as he did whereas overseeing the secret slush fund the group amassed to, in half, pay out claims referring to victims of sexual assault that had been thought-about “uninsured liabilities.”

This decades-old National Equity Fund was partially financed by skimming a share of registration charges from unknowing minor hockey registrants. Imagine signing up your son or daughter to play hockey and studying later {that a} portion of the payment was going to perpetuate the cover-up of alleged sexual abuse.

Smith, apparently as shameless as he’s tone deaf, informed a Parliamentary inquiry final week that he wouldn’t resign till ordered to do by Hockey Canada’s Board of Governors.

And it isn’t simply Smith who must go.

Indeed, each member of authority inside the group who had data of this fund must acknowledge his or her accountability to step down. That would come with previous president Tom Renney, CFO Brian Cairo and any members of the Board and higher echelons of Hockey Canada.

Those people had been entrusted with the accountability of caring for youngsters and establishing a template of accountability. They failed, miserably and habitually, in that mission. Regardless of how earnestly they’re attempting to persuade investigators and the exterior world — and sure themselves — that they are often a part of the resolution, they symbolize an indelible a part of the downside.

Hockey Canada President and Chief Operating Officer Scott Smith
Hockey Canada President and Chief Operating Officer Scott Smith

It was revealed in testimony final week to the Standing Committee of Canadian Heritage that Hockey Canada had paid $8.9 million to settle 21 circumstances of alleged sexual assault since 1989. The slush fund — my phrases — was used to settle 9 of these circumstances, for $7.6 million.

Existence of the National Equity Fund was reported by The Globe and Mail’s Grant Robertson in the wake of the scandal referring to a beforehand undisclosed settlement with a 25-year-old girl who was an alleged sufferer of sexual assault by members of Team Canada’s 2018 World Junior Team following a Hockey Canada occasion in London, Ontario, in May 2018.

That horrific incident and its aftermath had been uncovered by the groundbreaking reporting of TSN’s Rick Westhead and amplified upon by The Athletic’s Katie Strang. There is a particular place reserved for Westhead and Strang in the journalists’ neighborhood for his or her unquenchable want, effort and dedication to shine a light-weight on the darkish corners of hockey tradition. They symbolize the highest customary of our business.

Tom Renney
Tom Renney
Getty Images

The scandal — Westhead has additionally reported on an allegation of group sexual assault involving members of Team Canada’s 2003 World Junior Team, which is now below investigation — has confirmed a reckoning for Hockey Canada, which has no less than briefly been reduce off from nationwide funding and from appreciable company sponsorship income.

It has raised severe questions, not solely in Canada, but additionally absolutely right here in the United States — about the macho, old-boy mentality that infects the sport each from the prime down and from the backside up.

Canada deserved higher from Hockey Canada. So did the sport. The group wants a cleaning. It wants a brand new voice, new course and new priorities. It wants new management. The previous must make means for the future. The present regime must go.

Six weeks out from coaching camp, the roster of unsigned free brokers would possibly problem for a playoff spot — or would do an equally credible job as did the 2021-22 enlargement Kraken.

That is a perform of the flat cap that has squeezed groups and the free-agent class, as it’s going to for no less than the subsequent two summers till the NHLPA’s escrow debt to the league is paid in full. This is a perform of the 2020 collective bargaining settlement extension that absolutely contemplates this subject.

At this juncture, Sonny Milano is on the market, and so is Tyler Motte. Paul Stastny, Calvin De Haan, Evan Rodrigues, Zach Aston-Reese, PK Subban, Cody Eakin, Ryan Murray, Jay Beagle and Derek Stepan are unsigned. So is Braden Holtby. So is Phil Kessel.

And even Nazem Kadri, who apparently is ready for his most well-liked staff to clear sufficient cap area to both signal him or register an already signed deal that’s some basic supervisor’s backside desk drawer.

Jaroslav Halak while with the Islanders.
Jaroslav Halak whereas with the Islanders.
Robert Sabo

Jaroslav Halak is about to change into the seventh goaltender to play for each the Rangers and the Islanders. Not one in every of the authentic six posted a successful document for each franchises.

Ranking the sextet on their worth to each golf equipment: 1. Glenn Healy; 2. Martin Biron; 3. Kevin Weekes; 4. Mike Dunham; 5. John Vanbiesbrouck; 6. Steve Valiquette.

So possibly the Red Wings won’t ever erect a statue of Sergei Fedorov exterior their enviornment, however haven’t got the statute of limitations run out on the transcendent middle’s 1998 perceived supply sheet transgression with Carolina?

It is unquestionably previous time for Detroit to retire Fedorov’s No. 91.

The two largest miscarriages of justice in NHL awards voting of my profession are: 1) Joe Thornton received the 2006 Hart Trophy as a substitute of Jaromir Jagr; 2) Steve Yzerman received the 1998 Conn Smythe as a substitute of Fedorov.

Finally, I see that the Islanders have bought 25,000 lottery tickets. If they win the jackpot, Lou Lamoriello will let everybody know in a few months.


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