The Flint Firebirds, the team once known as the Plymouth Whalers, just scored a comeback victory against the defending champion Oshawa Generals.
After the win, the owner fired all of the coaches... because his son wasn't getting enough playing time.
In response, the entire team quit. Including, apparently, the son in question.
The OHL isn't some scrub league, here--these are players with pro prospects and (questionable) education packages at stake, on a team in a new city, in a league that isn't insignificant. As far as I can tell, this sort of revolt is unprecedented in Major Junior (or pretty much everywhere else before Missouri this weekend).
Not the same issue at all, but clearly some similarity with Missouri. This... well, we might remember this weekend for a long time.
It appears that the Daily and Kitchener have settled without ever going to court. The Daily issued a retraction of their story saying
The Daily clarifies here that, while it was at the time reporting a story of importance to the Michigan sports community, and that its source made the claims reported in the story, if all of the facts had been known to the Daily, including the denials that were not initially reported, and the subsequent OHL investigation that found no violation, the Daily would not have published the story. The Daily has accordingly removed the story from its website.
While Kitchener releases a little propoganda
It is unfortunate that there are individuals so intent on harming our organization that they would fabricate and disseminate harmful lies. It is particularly unfortunate that they chose to implicate Jacob Trouba and his family, who should not have had to answer to the baseless allegation.”
I also hear that Kitchener's COO had 11 hole-in-ones on his first time golfing. I'm guessing the OHL penalties on Windsor drove this to completion because I doubt Kitchener wanted the OHL to go digging more and I'm sure the Daily just wanted to be done with it.
So this story came out late last night, but the Kitchener Rangers are intending to make good on their earlier threat of Legal Action. One quote that I found interesting was:
“By people out there saying whatever the hell they want, with not having to back it up and hiding behind sources, that damaged us,” said Bienkowski (Rangers Chief Operating Officer). “I don’t take it personal but it’s frustrating. You work pretty hard to build what we think is an outstanding reputation in the CHL and then you have all this sort of stuff.”
Which is complete rubbish. The reputation of the CHL isn't to be tarnished based on one student reporter, especially since this isn't the first time this issue has come up. Hearing their reasoning behind another similar case is ridiculous too.
It’s not the first time the Rangers have been accused of paying to attract players. Three years ago, Notre Dame head coach Jeff Jackson told The Record he heard the Rangers offered $500,000 to American rearguard Cam Fowler, who had committed to attend the school. Fowler’s family denied the allegations but the damage was done. Bienkowski said, in the wake of reports, that the defenceman cancelled meetings with the Rangers and the club was forced to put him back into the OHL draft. Windsor scooped him up and the Michigan native played one season with the Spitfires and never attended Notre Dame.
They threatened legal action against Jackson but never followed up, my guess is now they think they have an easier case. From the story, the Daily and Slovin have yet to respond
After the draft, sources were saying that Trouba was around 50/50 toward Michigan or the OHL. Well that all changed earlier tonight. From a Matt Slovin article, a new OHL source speaking anonymously spoke that apparently the Kitchener Rangers have put a huge new offer on the table for Trouba. Huge as in Trouba could be compensated around 200,000 dollars in place of an education package. This same source went on to say that he "believes it will happen.”
Hopefully this doesn't happen, but I'm not so optimistic about our chances. And if (when?) Trouba leaves, I think Yost Built might just spontaneously combust from all this
Now the Kitchener president has responded on his twitter page, that the source in Slovin's article is "utterly false"
For those of you don't know, the OHL draft is today and it's currently going on right now (9th rd as of 4 pm EST). This is where many a college hockey fan finds out whether we can expect Player X to ever suit up in a college uniform.
General rule of thumb seems to be early rounds (1-4) are more likely to go while later rounds indicate that that team / the OHL don't think it's likely they'll be able to sign that player.
Bob Miller assembled a list at CHP (link) of notable american prospects and their current commitments (if any). I made a table of those players and their current draft status
|Ryan||Mantha||(RW)||5||14||Sault Ste Marie|
|Brandon||Halverson||(G)||7||4||Sault Ste Marie|
Kyle Connor and Dylan Larkin (Michigan commits) have not been drafted yet which is great news because as I saw on the twitter:
Both Michigan commits. RT @RyanHPscout: The 2 best players we have on our draft board are Dylan Larkin and Kyle Connor both 1st rd talents.
- Brendan Perlini (MSU, younger brother of current MSU skater Brent Perlini) looks like he might be going OHL
- MSU had 4 guys on Bob Miller's list. One went in the first, two in the fourth, and one in the 9th. I'm not sure what to think of the guys going in the fourth round, but I'd be nervous if they were ours
- Darby Llwellyn is indeed Tristin Llwellyn's younger brother. No word on whether Darby has the same love for incredibly stupid penalties
EDIT: Dylan Larkin just got selected. 10th round, 1st pick to Erie. Looking good.
EDIT2: MacEachern from MSU hasn't been drafted yet. I recorded the draft info wrong
EDIT3: And Kyle Connor finally gets taken by Saginaw. 14th Rd, 11th pick. Looks good there too.
As expected, Max Domi was drafted 8th overall by the Kingston Frontenacs in the OHL Priority Selection. Domi has repeatedly stated that he wants to play for Michigan, but Kingston is probably the team that has the best chance of luring him away.