Hap Emms, coach and general manager of the OHA Junior A Niagara Falls Flyers, says that something is rotten in the state of the Ontario Hockey Association these days and he wants it to stop.
Kickbacks and salary violations
At the monthly meeting of the Junior council yesterday, Emms made accusations of kickbacks and violations of the OHA’s junior hockey salary schedule. Emms, in his straight-from-the-hip style, didn’t mince words:
“If some of you want to buck this league, if you want to cheat, I’ll be the first one into this office and then we can break it open. Players talk and I’ve heard a lot of talk.”
Players in the OHA are given $60 per week, or in the case of students, $30 per week plus school expenses. Rumours have been circulating recently that some clubs are giving players far in excess of the $60 stipend. Apparently the players themselves may be the source of these rumours.
Blair blames players “bragging”
Both Wren Blair, general manager of Oshawa, and Toronto general manager Jim Gregory said that they have heard from players that others have bragged about receiving extra cash, as well as other “perks”. The players, according to Blair, were located and brought before management, where admissions were made that they were exaggerating.
Blair said, “I had that trouble. I think much of the talk is intended to intimidate management.”
League officials also asked the member teams to try and exercise more control over scouts in the field. There have been reports of scouts offering young players exorbitant amounts of money in order to get them to sign with their clubs. Promises may have been made to ensure these players receive more than the $60 per week.
Blair also had a comment on this practice. He said that this sort of thing was reportedly made by a Boston scout. Blair said that it turned out that the person in question didn’t even work for the Bruins.
Harold (Baldy) Cotton, chief scout for the Bruins, urged that all cases of misrepresentation be brought to the attention of the head scouts of each of the NHL teams.
“You let us know and the NHL club can straighten that birddog out. He ought to be straightened out.”
John Dedeana, a second year defenceman with the Hamilton Red Wings had decided to leave the OHA Junior A team. He told Red Wings officials that he wanted to devote all of his time to his studies at McMaster University, where he is a freshman.
Last season, Dediana scored 13 goals and added 4 assists in 53 games with Hamilton. This season, in 9 games, he had one goal.