Round 9 months in the past, the Winnipeg Free Press wrote a sequence of tales that they referred to as A Stain on Our Recreation. The sequence lined one serial sexual abuser in hockey: Graham James. Most individuals know of James as a result of he has been put in jail for his crimes. Sheldon Kennedy and Theo Fleury spoke out about their abuse at his arms. He was ultimately despatched to jail. However there may be an unstated about connection to James within the NHL at present. It isn’t a participant who survived him or one who was coached by him like Joe Sakic. No, it’s Craig Heisinger.
Heisinger’s data of such incidences has been probed by the Winnipeg Free Press. In addition they requested him in regards to the data of hazing rituals with the Winnipeg Warriors. Heisinger has been evasive about his previous with reference to his connections to James and the hurt that was precipitated to the gamers that James had entry to. In actual fact, there may be one remark from 2011 that was made by Heisinger about James and it’s not precisely a condemnation for his serial abuse of gamers: “I don’t need to condone any of the s–t Graham did — he crossed the road in one million other ways. However there have been some folks he gave alternative to, and I used to be one among them.” (supply)
Once more, in 2012 the Free Press talked to Heisinger once more to start out probing into Graham James and did get Heisinger on the document. Once more, his remark leaves you wanting much more from him: ”It can save you your breath. I’m not going to say something about it. I’m not saying nothing. No remark. I’m not commenting on the Graham James state of affairs. I’ve received nothing to say.”
Why am I rehashing the commentary from Steve Lyon? As a result of it lays out a large problem with the Winnipeg Jets: they’ve been unwilling to look into an extended connection between James and Heisinger together with Heisinger being an element proprietor of the Calgary Hitmen of the WHL when James was employed by them. On the very least Heisinger must be prepared to denounce James with the warmth of a thousand suns. He’s a recognized serial abuser who used his place of energy to prey on susceptible younger males. He was and is a sick man. It shouldn’t be exhausting to denounce that.
Which brings me to the opposite darkish cloud hanging over Jets administration: the accusations of a coach sexually assaulting a participant with the Chicago Blackhawks and higher administration selecting to not report it. Two former Blackhawks staff have been requested for remark: the Montreal Canadiens Marc Bergevin and the Jets Kevin Cheveldayoff. Whereas Bergevin has repeatedly said he didn’t know (hopefully extra on the nuance round this problem later this week), Cheveldayoff and the Jets have determined to not remark. Once more, the Winnipeg Free Press and different retailers have reached out to them for a remark and have heard nothing again. The tradition of silence continues on.
The Jets appear to have no problem merely not addressing critical points. They need to be greater than prepared to make it clear that Cheveldayoff was not concerned within the cowl up and if he heard something, it was secondhand data. The difficulty is that the Jets don’t really feel the necessity to handle the actual fact Cheveldayoff was with the Blackhawks on the time and that he both did or didn’t know in regards to the assault. Their silence speaks volumes right here.
On the finish of the day until the regulation agency employed by the Chicago Blackhawks to analyze the Chicago Blackhawks with findings that can solely be shared if Gary Bettman deems it as one thing that must be shared. So a toothless investigation. That is the precise reverse manner of enacting altering in a sport that sorely wants it so higher safeguard towards abuse and assault earlier than it occurs. As an alternative of getting phrases and actions that would deliver actual change we get nothing greater than empty phrases.
Empty phrases that rattle across the constructing previously generally known as Bell MTS Place. Phrases that haven’t been stated by Craig Heisinger relating to Graham James. Phrases that haven’t been uttered in regards to the unnamed Chicago Blackhawks participant and Brad Aldrich relating to Kevin Cheveldayoff. No remark in anyway about what he knew or didn’t know. The silence speaks louder that 16 345 Jets followers on any given night time. With out phrases, it seems like you have got one thing to cover even when you don’t.