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Bench Talk / Off The Wire

Tough Week


By Fred Wallace

Hi, this is Fred Wallace with " Off the Wire ".


What a tough week for the Kitchener Rangers of the Ontario Hockey League and the Canadian Hockey League in general.

First, former Rangers forward Eric Guest delivered a compelling and disturbing Instagram Video this week that outlined abuse he endured while a member of the OHL club & he hinted he may just be getting started.

The 15 minute video featured a number of topics detailing what was a highly negative experience for Guest during his days at Kitchener, which was just shy of 3 years in length.

Among the scenarios were two staggering sequences.

First, Guest, who was 16 at the time, says at the Rangers Rookie Party in 2016, he and another young teammate were locked in a bathroom with a veteran player, and the veteran player commanded the 2 youngsters to snort cocaine before they would be extricated from the room.

Also exceptionally uncomfortable to watch and hear was Guest admitting the events he was enduring led to an extended stay in hospital, estimated at more than 6 weeks, in what he describes " The Psyche Ward ".

The Kitchener Rangers Hockey Club spoke to the issue quickly, stating they were now aware of the allegations and have been in contact with police and will say nothing more until the investigation process runs its course.

Which is the absolute right course for the Rangers to take in this case.

BUT....only yesterday, another former Kitchener player, defenceman Sean Allen, outlined incidents he endured as a Ranger rookie, 2 season before Guest arrived

Ouch !!

My personal belief, in spite of what emerged this week, is that this isn't solely a Kitchener Rangers issue, but rather an extremely unfortunate example of activities that happened in Kitchener that involved Ranger players, but in no way represents the values of the Kitchener organization.

Make no mistake, these acts could have occurred anywhere at any time as illustrated again yesterday when Daniel Carcillo, a former OHL'er and Garrett Taylor an alumni of the Western Hockey League fronted a lawsuit against the Canadian Hockey League and their operations for abuses and harassment they, and others, endured as rookies or young players.

I have no doubt CHL teams will quickly have updated policies with extremely harsh penalties going forward to any player or person who commits an indecent or unacceptable act. Some good will come from this.

However, based on the examples this week which stretch back some 15 years, there's a lot of ground to be made up.


I'm Fred Wallace


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