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The Big OHL Crackdown


By Fred Wallace

I'm still laughing about the big crackdown coming to the Ontario Hockey League, a crackdown to impede those who are using shady, if not illegal, tactics to recruit players, especially high end players.

Here's another reason why it won't work.

First, forget all the OHL public relations material about being a weekend only, education a priority, people development entity.

I mean, those goals are achieved to a certain extent.

But make no mistake, the Ontario Hockey League is business, big business, one that would dwarf almost every other industry in the city.

The bottom line for the OHL is money.

The money rolls in from several fronts, primarily from development fees from the National Hockey League, through national advertising campaigns and eventually through a percentage of playoff receipts, which is a bonus hit financially when a major market with a huge seating capacity has an extended playoff run.

The success of those three revenue streams are almost directly tied to the star player and the mission statement is to get those star players into the OHL and not have them play elsewhere.

So if an elite player is landed by corrupt or crooked means, big deal, the business makes money.

And is the Ontario Hockey League really going to sic a crackdown oriented watchdog on the very operations who are generating a healthy cash flow ?

Don't make me laugh. Again.

I'm Fred Wallace


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