Sports: OHL takes next step in squashing payment for players - PressFrom - Canada
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SportsOHL takes next step in squashing payment for players

20:16  08 november  2018
20:16  08 november  2018 Source:   msn.com

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Players are currently eligible for post-secondary school scholarships, with each season spent in the league being worth one year of tuition, books and In 2014 Toronto lawyer Ted Charney filed a 0-million lawsuit against the CHL on behalf of all current and many former players for outstanding

Verdict: WHL, OHL and QMJHL players get paid . Take your next step . Join the career growth platform for hourly workers. I'm in "Reser's was SquashRx offers personalized squash instruction for players of all ages and abilities. Lessons take place at our private rooftop squash court in the heart

Commissioner David Branch is standing firm in his belief that the players in the Ontario Hockey League are there for the love of the game, and shouldn't be getting paid for their services.

It appears that the Ontario government agrees.

Branch sent a letter to the provincial government on Monday as an effort to keep the league's 425 players under the title of amateur athletes, and not allow them to potentially become employees regulated by provincial employment standards legislation, like some people are trying to make happen.

The government responded to Branch's letter on Thursday, with Michael Tibollo, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport, offering support.

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The Ontario Hockey League places player safety at the top of its priority list. The OHL Concussion Education Video was created for all players and teams. "Our government is proud to take action and cut red tape to provide clarity and help make sure the OHL is able to continue training players and

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"I want you to know, that our government is behind you," said Tibollo. "We are going to do everything in our capacity to grow and support the Ontario Hockey League and junior hockey across our province.

"I want to reassure the OHL and the people of Ontario that we are actively looking at providing this clarity to the OHL and we will have more to say in the coming weeks."

Branch, who also serves as president of the Canadian Hockey League, which the OHL is part of along with the Western Hockey League and Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, has always considered major junior players — typically ranging from 16 to 20 years old — as student athletes.

Players are currently eligible for post-secondary school scholarships, with each season spent in the league being worth one year of tuition, books and compulsory fees. Players also get money for out-of-pocket expenses, equipment, billeting and travel costs while on a CHL roster.

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Gretzky optimistic about concussion research TORONTO - Daniel Carcillo wants Wayne Gretzky to step up and help the players who protected the hockey legend during his career. But Carcillo, one of the plaintiffs in a concussion lawsuit against the NHL, will have to settle for a show of support for the research that has been done on the issue. Speaking before the Hockey Hall of Fame induction ceremony Monday night, Gretzky didn't answer whether he felt US$22,000 — the agreed-upon amount in the settlement for each player who opts in — is a good number for the players. However, he did give his thoughts on concussions. "When I played, we didn't know what concussions were," Gretzky said.

Nearly all players who make the OHL have played AAA hockey of some sort in midget. Other pre- OHL junior options are the various Junior B leagues in Ontario , some which are quite skilled compared to the typical third tier of junior hockey in Canada.

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"To us it's the best scholarship program in North America, it's the hallmark of our player experience," said Branch.

"In addition we have concussion management, mental health programs, we do drug education and anti-doping. We have taken a position in what we believe the right thing to do is — that's to help develop our players."

But not everyone agrees with Branch that what the players get in return for their services is enough and that's led to him having to fight to keep the league the way it is.

In 2014 Toronto lawyer Ted Charney filed a $180-million lawsuit against the CHL on behalf of all current and many former players for outstanding wages, overtime pay, holiday pay and vacation pay. Sam Berg, a former Niagara IceDogs forward, and Daniel Pachis, a former member of the Oshawa Generals, were recognized as the representative plaintiffs against the OHL when the lawsuit was certified in March 2017.

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If the Ontario court system rules in favour of the players, Branch says it could put some teams out of business while the programs currently being offered would have to be re-evaluated.

OHL takes next step in squashing payment for players© Provided by thecanadianpress.com Windsor Spitfires' Captian Harry Young, right, accepts the J. Ross Robertson Trophy from Comissioner David Branch, left, after defeating the Barrie Colts' for the OHL championship on Tuesday, May 4, 2010 in Windsor, Ont. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Greg Plante

"If we were forced to pay minimum wage then it would undoubtedly have an impact on the various programs we currently provide," said Branch.

"The player experience is a very significant investment on our part."

If players were to be paid the $14 hourly minimum wage in Ontario for a 40-hour work week over an eight-month season, it would cost the OHL somewhere in the range of $8 million a year.

The letter addressed to Ontario Premier Doug Ford and Tibollo, says that there were 321 OHL graduates using their scholarship at a cost of $3.125 million in 2017-18. This year, teams also spent $475,000 on scholarships for current players.

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It's no secret that WHL, OHL and QMJHL players get paid a stipend for playing . Find out how much. This is less than what I received a decade ago in the WHL, but it’s still a step in the right direction.

Pay to play does not enter the conversation in the USHL. Everything your son would need, including billets is covered by the USHL. As a note [our son] has received personalized letters from OHL GMs and responded and indicated his [Training Camp Invite Formula] profile with your Junior Hockey Truth!

It also said that "Our players, together with their parents and with the support of player agents, enter and continue to play in the OHL clearly understanding that they are participating in amateur athletics."

Player agent Allan Walsh voiced his displeasure with the letter on Twitter when he saw it.

"Why does the OHL feel they are authorized to speak on behalf of Player Agents? I'm perfectly capable of speaking for myself. Several agents (myself included) feel Major Junior players are NOT amateurs. This is just an attempt to avoid paying players minimum wages."

The OHL's move came after virtually all other jurisdictions in which CHL teams play have reviewed this issue and already passed exemptions/clarifications, including Quebec, New Brunswick, B.C, Saskatchewan, Nova Scotia, Manitoba and Prince Edward Island, as well as Washington and Michigan.

"(The letter) is to work with the Ontario government like we've done in seven other provinces across the country, to confirm what we always believe is the fact our players our amateur athletes, not employees," Branch said.

"One of the great questions is 'when does the game start being fun, when does it start becoming purely a business?' And I don't know the answer for that, but I do know that when you look at the players that have had great success they played the game because they love it."

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Every OHL Player is eligible for a scholarship from their respective team, administered through the league office, upon graduating from the OHL . The OHL is the number one development league in the world in providing players to the National Hockey League (NHL) and U SPORTS Men’s Hockey.

Step 3: Strategize your play Alternate hitting the ball with your opponent. Step 4: Alternate servers Change servers when the ball bounces more than once, bounces before hitting the wall, or goes Tip Give your opponent room to take their shot; if interference occurs, it is a let and the point is replayed.

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AROUND THE CHL: Portland forward Joachim Blichfeld is the CHL player of the week after producing four goals and nine points in three games, all victories to help his Winterhawks move into second place in the WHL's U.S. Division. The 20-year-old from Frederikshavn, Denmark has 35 points in 17 games to sit third in WHL scoring. He was selected by the San Jose Sharks in the seventh round of the 2016 NHL Draft.

— Joseph Raaymakers of the London Knights earned the CHL goaltender of the week honours after posting a .965 save percentage in back-to-back wins, including a shutout victory. The 20-year-old overager from Chatham, Ont., turned aside 55-of-56 combined shots to lead London into a first-place tie in the Midwest Division. Raaymakers is playing in his fifth OHL season and went undrafted by NHL clubs.

— As of Wednesday, the top 10 teams in the CHL rankings are: 1. Prince Albert Raiders (16-1-0); 2. Ottawa 67's (16-3-1); 3. Rouyn-Noranda Huskies (16-4-0); 4. Vancouver Giants (12-3-2); 5. Moncton Wildcats (14-3-2); 6. Baie-Comeau Drakkar (14-4-1); 7. Halifax Mooseheads (13-4-1) ; 8. Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (12-3-4) ; 9. Red Deer Rebels (11-4-1); 10. Drummondville Voltigeurs (13-4-1)

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