Discussion in 'NHL Draft - Prospects' started by ReLyT, Aug 30, 2006.
Owen Sound loses a player today and then gains one!
He should be Spokane's if he was on the protected list before Owen Sound signed him
Doesn't Branch have a connection with Owen Sound?
That doesn't make any sense. Owen Sound is in the wrong (they signed a player clearly from an area designated as WHL territory) and they get away with it? Sure they get sanctioned, but all they're really doing is paying a little extra for the player they want. What's to stop other teams from poaching players from the other leagues if they're willing to take the sanctions now?
Bingo. Branch is pretty much telling the entire CHL that the rules dont matter and go do what you want. What an embarassment to the CHL this is.
The deal with Trevor Lewis was reached before Spokane added him to their protected list.
The Chiefs were asleep at the switch and tried to lock the barn door after the cow escaped.
Thanks, FearTheFlyers. That explains it well, including the analogy... though I'm not too sure that I like comparing Lewis to a cow j/k
How about the farmer went and got the shotgun right after the young stud left the farmer's daughter's room?
It really was never about when he signed with Owen Sound, it was that it was done without proper merrit. The fact that OS got sanctioned and compensation will be given to Spokane or the WHL says to me the OHL and Owen Sound are wrong in this case. I liken the punishment for OS/OHL, to a celebrity who does something illegal and instead of being getting jail time they get community service.
You forgot "secretly" signed him to a contract and didn't make it public, to not screw the WHL, but more so the NCAA. The Chiefs just kind of messed their plan up, for a bit. But it doesn't hurt that they have contacts in the main office (IE branch)
Except that the CHL has clearly established territories in Canada and the US from which each of the 3 member leagues are allowed to recruit players. Utah falls under the territorial umbrella of the WHL and not the OHL.
So it's not that Spokane tried to lock the barn door after the cow escaped. It's more like a robber broke in and stole the cow, and all the cops did was say "well, your door should've had a bigger lock."
I direct you to the following items from the WHL website
I couldn't find a similar description from the OHL or QMJHL websites, but the gist of it would be the same just with different regions. The whole point is that those areas listed above (Utah included) are meant to be exclusive recruting grounds for WHL franchises. The OHL shouldn't have any right to swoop in and pick players from those regions any more than the WHL should be able to nab a player from, say, Michigan away from his territorial league (which I suspect is the OHL).
Speltz blasts ruling on Lewis
Calls decision by CHL 'total conflict of interest'
August 30, 2006
Hockey standout Trevor Lewis is signed, sealed – and now delivered – to the Owen Sound Attack of Ontario, and Spokane Chiefs general manager Tim Speltz is livid.
Lewis, the 17th overall pick in the National Hockey League draft, has been the subject of intense discussions among the board of governors of the Canadian Hockey League over the past few weeks. The CHL is made up of representatives of Canada's three major junior leagues: the Western Hockey League, the Ontario Hockey League and the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.
WHL commissioner Ron Robison said Tuesday that the matter was resolved Monday via in-person meetings of the CHL Board of Governors in Ottawa. Lewis will play for the Attack and the OHL will be reprimanded.
"The player will be permitted to play in Owen Sound while we work out an attempt to introduce a national regulation on player movement between leagues," Robison said. "There is no question that the Ontario Hockey League and our league have different interpretations."
Lewis, 19, was the most valuable player of the United States Hockey League last season as its leading scorer.
The Attack signed the Salt Lake City product to a major junior contract at the NHL Combine (May 30-June 3) but didn't announce the signing until July 21. He was listed as a protected player by the Chiefs sometime before the NHL draft on June 24. Both teams claimed the exclusive right to sign him.
David Branch, OHL commissioner, is current president of the CHL. He approved Lewis' signing with Owen Sound as OHL commissioner and did not recuse himself from a resolution of the matter after it became a dispute. All of the foregoing is unacceptable to Speltz.
"Obviously, I'm thoroughly disappointed and offended by the decision," Speltz said Tuesday.
"I'm not surprised, totally, just by the communication I've received. But it's been a total conflict of interest to me and in my opinion (Branch) has misrepresented the CHL and, for sure, misrepresented the WHL and the Spokane Chiefs."
Robison said he's not happy with the way the situation played out either, but said a greater good had to prevail.
"At the end of the day, we have to look at the player's interest first," he said. "It's the responsibility of the CHL to develop regulations. In the absence of a CHL agreement, the OHL chose to proceed in this way."
Speltz said the Chiefs' only remedy under the circumstances is to take action against Lewis, a position the franchise opposes.
"The player and his agent aren't at fault here," said Speltz. "This wasn't a front-door process from the start. Quite frankly, for me, this is a very basic issue that is about the CHL territories."
Utah falls within the territory of the WHL, per CHL regulations, so the WHL took the position that Lewis couldn't be signed by an OHL team. A waivers system has been in place for teams wanting to claim WHL players, but Owen Sound did not avail itself to that process in this case.
"To me, that right there shows that they knew it was not on the up-and-up," said Speltz.
The Attack made informal inquiries about Lewis' status and followed practices the OHL uses with the QMJHL and deemed Lewis to be a "bona fide" free agent. WHL officials say no such status exists in junior hockey.
Owen Sound GM Michael Futa was not available for comment. Branch has not returned phone calls on the matter.
"For me, most of the teams understood and respected the territories," said Speltz. "Dave Branch's position that the OHL never respected our territory just isn't true. This is about a team that found a loophole, went with a loophole, and instead of being told no, was told yes. Since then, it's just been about trying to sweep it under the carpet and make it go away."
Robison said that possible compensation for the WHL or the Chiefs was still undecided.
Speltz said that isn't the issue – it's about the viability of the CHL.
"For me, this weakens the CHL and shows we have weak leadership," said Speltz. "I'm so disappointed that we have a president of the CHL that won't return a (media) phone call – let alone have the common courtesy to call the general manager or the owner of the affected team. All he is doing is pretending it didn't happen and wishing it would go away.
"It's not about what's happened as much as it is about how he's handled it. … I know how much respect he's lost here – all of it."
Speltz quote at the end pretty much sums it up perfect. Drop Branch from his chair, ASAP.
Mr. Branch should resign as CHL commissioner right away. He obviously thought he he could strong arm the WHL and Spokane into helping him sweep this under the rug - which didn't happen and should be embarrased by his actions. He had the best interest of an OHL team at heart not the CHL in general. Yes - Spokane may not have handled things the best in terms of when Lewis was listed by them but Utah is clearly an WHL area and some respect and courtesy should have been shown to the WHL and Spokane because of that. Whole thing stinks of conflict of interest by Mr. Branch and favoritism towards the OHL.
Owen Sound didn't secretly sign him to a contract, they asked for and received permission, from the OHL before signing Lewis. If the OHL made a mistake in granted Owen Sound permission that isn't Owen Sounds fault.
This whole thing reminds me of Claude Giroux. Giroux is from Ontario but was never drafted by an OHL team - probably because he was considered too small. Giroux signed in the Q with Gatineau and had an outstanding season culminating with him being the 22nd overall pick to the Flyers this season. Like Lewis he appears to be a bit of a late bloomer who took some people by surprise with his development. The only difference is the teams in the O accept their mistake and Giroux will be back in the Q this season.
As for Tim Speltz being "livid" about Lewis signing in OS, why did he take Lewis off Spokane's protected list in the first place? Either Speltz is a poor evaluator of talent, he didn't think Lewis was going to be this good (see Giroux), or he figured there was never a chance of Lewis reporting. His complaining sounds more like a GM trying to keep his job because he screwed up royally. Speltz should quit being a crybaby about it and accept removing Lewis from their list was a mistake.
My question is why is Branch both commissioner of the CHL & OHL. I always thought it could be a conflict of interest. There should be one commissioner for the entire CHL not working under one of the seperate leagues at the same time.
I agree that the CHL commissioner should be independent of all leagues, but that's not how it works. The CHL commissioner is one of the leagues' commissioner, so if it weren't Branch, it would be the Q or W commissioner. Until now, there haven't been many (if any) disputes between the leagues so the issue of conflict hasn't arisen to this extent. We may see changes now though.
I guess you have to let it go if its nobody's fault.
Branch should have recused himself (taken himself off the decision due to his position in the OHL)...or at very least, been a more effective head of the CHL by better making his case through the press.
nice to know Bobby Ryan has a first line center to play with this season.
IMO, Ryan will get a ten-game cup of tea with the Duckies, and then be sent down to Owen Sound.
A good idea, IMO, because that team will compete for the OHL crown.
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