Wednesday, October 31, 2012

CHLPA: Seriously... WTF!?

This was not the intended next chapter on the CHLPA series here at Coming Down the Pipe but I can't possibly ignore the breaking news on Halloween. According to reports from TSN's Dave Naylor (which has to be seen to be believed) , Joe Warmington of QMI Agency and Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun, the very identity of CHLPA spokesperson and board advisor Derek Clarke is up for debate. 

Apparently Clarke, who has not yet returned a text message from a couple of hours ago, will appear on TSN Thursday to prove he is not who some claim him to be - a noted con-man named Randy Gumbley. The stories above detail the crimes committed in the past by Gumbley.

The air of mystery is palpable and all will be revealed. It's like wondering what the members of KISS looked like during the height of their popularity in the 1970's. Or the secret identity of Spiderman. Maybe it will be more like the unmasking of a villain in an episode of Scooby-Doo. 

Whatever, it definitely sets up an incredibly important day for the fledgling CHLPA. If the "union" hopes to hold onto any sense of credibility it may have, and there are many who suggest they never had any to begin with, Clarke's TV appearance tomorrow has the potential to end the "union" before it really begins.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

CHLPA: The World of Tomorrow


In the future, hockey will be played by robots thus eliminating concerns over injuries and the escalating salary costs associated with the sport. Fans will have an unobstructed view of the game because the boards will be replaced by a force field. Players, or Robo-Skaters, will be controlled by remote control not unlike the boxers in the 2011 movie Real Steel (which I highly recommend).

But if it sounds like you won't recognize hockey in the 22nd century, don't worry. We'll still have the trapezoid, touch icing and a clone of Don Cherry. 

OK, I just wanted to have a bit of fun before today's write up turns more serious. The above might sound crazy but I'm sure there will be plenty of readers today who feel the same way with what comes next. Of course I'm referring to how the hockey world could change if the CHLPA has their way. 

The artwork above is by

Monday, October 29, 2012

CHLPA: NCAA Eligibility

"I just wanted to tell you that the biggest hurdle for the NCAA eligibility was squashed by Hockey Canada, the CHL and USA Hockey." - Derek Clarke, CHLPA Advisor by phone on October 27th, 2012.

The primary objective of the CHLPA, according to Executive Director Georges Laraque and Spokesperson/Advisor Derek Clarke, is to ensure that players in the CHL have their education needs taken care of. 

As explained in the last part of this series, even the legal actions taken by the CHLPA over the last few days in the OHL and QMJHL (which will continue this week I'm told) are actually about forcing the CHL and Hockey Canada to meet with them. The talk about suing for minimum wage, etc. is all Plan B should Plan A, a new CHL education package including a funding model designed by the CHLPA, not come about. 

A large part of the CHLPA's argument stems from the ongoing debate as to whether the CHL is a professional or an amateur league. 

If it's a pro league, then the "union' suggests that the players, as employees, should be paid a salary which would be enough for them to pay for their own education should they not go on to higher levels of the game. If it's an amateur league, then the "union" sees things much differently and that's where the NCAA comes in. 

Oh dear Lord. Settle in for a long read because this will take a while.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

CHLPA: The Endgame

On Thursday the CHLPA circulated a letter to the OHL clubs, CHL President David Branch and Hockey Canada President Bob Nicholson. Yesterday I shared insight into that scenario after I had an opportunity to speak with CHLPA spokesman Derek Clarke. 

Today I continue the story by focusing on the actual motive behind Thursday's move. According to the CHLPA, it's not about the money at all. 

Friday, October 26, 2012

Statement from the CHL

The CHL has released a statement regarding the CHLPA.  If you haven't read Guy's article about the latest developements with the CHLPA, it's on our main page. After the jump you can read the CHL's statement.

CHLPA Fires Warning Shot

The first serious salvo has gone off between the Canadian Hockey League and the group collectively calling themselves the CHLPA, the would-be union for major junior players. 

On Thursday, the CHLPA leaked a copy of a letter to selected media which had been sent to the owners and General Managers from all 20 member clubs of the Ontario Hockey League, CHL President David Branch and Hockey Canada President Bob Nicholson. The letter outlines a number of grievances the proposed union wishes the CHL to address on the threat that not doing so would result in legal action.

The Pipeline Show spoke with CHLPA spokesperson Derek Clarke last night about the motivation behind the letter, the accusations of intimidation surrounding the Calgary Hitmen, the results of the Alberta Labour Board, the union's ultimate goal and what happens next. 

Much, much more after the jump.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Cichy shaking off the rust at WMU

It was interesting during the Nic Kerdiles situation at Wisconsin when discussing the young man's choices.  If he was suspended for the entire season his options would be move to Kelowna of the WHL or sit out an entire season while serving his suspension and attending classes.

Sit out the entire season? Seriously? Would his NHL team let him do that?  Wouldn't his development totally drop off?

Tuesday night Guy and I spoke with someone who did just that, took a year off and it doesn't seem to be affecting him.

Monday, October 22, 2012

A Break for the Badgers

After the past couple of years most people just assumed that Nic Kerdiles was going to jump ship and join the Kelowna Rockets instead of serving his 10 game suspension at the University of Wisconsin for an NCAA violation.

Those folks might have been stunned today then when the freshman forward decided to stay with the Badgers.

Hockey Canada Compiling the Invite List

The 2013 World Junior Championship is two months away making it a hectic 60 days for Hockey Canada between now and then. The upcoming Canada-Russia Subway Series will be a major factor in deciding which 40-some players receive invitations to the December camp before 22 are chosen to go to Russia. 

Head scout Kevin Prendergast was a guest on The Pipeline Show this past Saturday and updated our audience on the search for players to end Canada's two-year gold medal drought.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

If Guy is right, we'll be in for a treat

When we did our WHL pre season predictions, Guy's final was the defending Edmonton Oil Kings up against the Kamloops Blazers.  Tuesday night the two teams met and the Blazers snuck out of town with a 5-4 shoot out victory.  Some observations after the jump.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Sorting things out in the Nic of time

Tuesday night we welcomed one of our favourite guests to the show as Chris Peters from United States of Hockey joined Guy and I to talk NCAA eligibility.

Yes it's a fascinating subject and it never seems to get old.  While it would have been great to discuss Northeastern's great start or Penn States first 2 games of division 1, the big story is whether or not Nic Kerdiles will win his appeal and be allowed to play at Wisconsin this year or not.

Friday, October 12, 2012

2012-13 All-Canadian Freshmen Team

On Tuesday I made my predictions for the All-Canadian Teams when it comes to NCAA hockey in 2012-13. Today I'm talking strictly about the rookies, the guys just making their debut at the college level this year.

I've picked a 1st and 2nd team composed of 12 (actually 13) players from 12 different Division I programs, 4 different conferences and one school playing as an independent. 

Somewhat surprising is that despite the freshmen coming from so many different places, there is still one conference that is fairly dominant for incoming, top quality Canadians.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

2012-13 All Canadian NCAA Teams

Our Friends at, College Hockey News and Inside College Hockey provide great, all year round coverage of NCAA hockey. They, among other publications, have done a fantastic job of getting college hockey fans ready for the new season. Pre-season polls and power rankings, Hobey Baker predictions and All-Conference teams are all available for readers who could spend hours going through it all.

But there's an angle that provide on The Pipeline Show that doesn't get touched on by our American based counterparts, and understandably so; the Canadian perspective. 

Roughly 25-30% of NCAA players are Canadian and that's one of the major reasons why college hockey is a focus for us on the radio show. Not only do Canadians play college hockey but they do it well. The list of former Canadian NCAA players in the NHL and in pro leagues around the world is as extensive as it is impressive.  And more are on the way.

The following are my picks for the 2012-13 All Canadian NCAA Teams.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

2013 Draft Blog: Eamon McAdam Pt.1

We're pleased to have the second member of the NHL draft Class of 2013 contributing the first chapter of his ongoing blog series with us this year. Goaltender Eamon McAdam is top rated goaltender from the USHL according to NHL Central Scouting's preliminary Future Watch release. 

Eamon joins Curtis Lazar as the first two players we have recruited to give us a behind the scenes look at life for a NHL prospect in his draft season.

Without further ado, here is the debut blog entry from Eamon McAdam of the Waterloo Black Hawks.