Toronto, ON Some of you, yet not nearly enough of you, have *possibly* heard about the latest *scandal* to come out of the London Knights organization. On a recent Eastern Conference road trip, the London Knights made *headlines* for their off ice misdemeanors at a hotel in Kingston. The boys were allegedly partying and causing general mischief while in town to face the Frontenacs. Unfortunately for Paige Manel, a participant in the local Canada Cup fencing tournament, the rowdy Ontario Hockey League Hellians deprived her of the sleep necessary for a successful competition the following day. Manel’s mother complained to the staff at the Courtyard Marriott, which prompted the junior hockey beasts to lash out and start abusing the mother/daughter duo further. This should come as no surprise to anyone who knows anything about junior hockey players.
Now, for some of you, particularly those of you not familiar with Canadian juniors, your initial reaction may have been, “Why is a story like this considered news?” When actually the fact that this story even made the news is a HUGE deal. In Canada hockey scandals get swept under the rug, which is a major problem. You wonder how questionable hazing rituals, sex scandals, substance abuse problems, and etc persist in hockey – the answer is simple. Canadians turn a blind eye to anything and everything that blemishes the image of the perfect, upstanding hockey player, and we often exempt them from any sort of public scrutiny in regard to their personal lives. The fact of the matter is more stories like this should be making the news. For those of us who have been around the game for a long time, we know the stories, we’ve heard the whispers, and we catalogue them all in our community’s orature. But no one else knows the dirty, sadistic origins that their beloved NHL stars have emerged from, and I assume that’s also part of the reason that you can love these players as unquestioningly as you do, because you sure as fuck make a point to kiss their asses whenever you can.
In junior hockey it’s not uncommon for players to suddenly disappear from their teams overnight. The reason is always scandal related: statutory rape of 13 year old girls, affairs with their host parents, and a plethora of other dirty liabilities that force junior clubs to remove them in the blink of an eye before there is (in some cases) police involvement. Here’s a fun one as told to me by one of the players of the time. A decade or so ago, one of the OHL clubs had a billet host-mom who also worked at the only rub and tug in the that small Ontario town. As you may have guessed, the players frequented her establishment, and she was more than happy to take their money for her services. Or how about the reason a friend of mine got traded from his Tier II team? He and two of his teammates picked up a 38 year old cougar, and went back to her place. Two of them would fuck her at a time, while the third guy would run around her house destroying shit. In his words, “We trashed everything. If we saw a bottle of Tylenol, we’d open it and dump it out. We completely destroyed her house.” Apparently, this classy lady also had the teenage boys do a booze run in her car while they were intoxicated. Shockingly, her car was also totaled. The next day all three of them were traded to different teams.
No one wants to believe that the stars on the ice have “blow job rosters” going on in the locker room. Yes, that would be a 4 line roster of girls that give the best head as agreed on by all of them. Ouch, if you’re a 4th liner on that team! Or that, while we the fans are waiting for the gates to open, they are sexually harassing the female staff working around the rink.
Junior hockey players flash their club affiliation around to get laid, get perks, and get a pass on being abusive and disrespectful to anyone they come in contact with. If players are slow to mature, once they hit the professional payouts, their shitheadedness will reach unbelievable heights. Long story short, hockey players are often a bunch of disrespectful little boys, who seldom grow up. It’s hard to remember sometimes because it’s much more comfortable to believe that the players are nice and professional when the cameras aren’t rolling, as they appear to be when they are. Even I go to OHL games and find it hard not to see them as innocent little boys (unless they have facial hair), and I know better than most exactly what their kind is capable of.
Was I shocked that the London Knights allegedly formed an assault on that young fencer and her mother after they complained to the hotel management? Not at all. Like I said, I was only shocked that someone was ballsy enough to publish the story. I will say, though, that I sincerely doubt the young girl could not compete the following day because the players were harassing her until 1 in the morning. According to reports, the girl pulled out of the tournament prior to competition due to fatigue. In the words of Wayne Gretzky, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” Not saying that the Knights weren’t being total assholes, but perhaps she should have tried a cup of coffee. The worst thing that could have happened was not taking home the Canada Cup.
Disclaimer: To be fair, I’m sure there are some decent hockey players out there. I just haven’t met too many of them yet.
Top Photo: The London Knights embark on the Eastern Conference road trip in question. I had the misfortune of getting stuck behind them while commuting from Kitchener to Toronto that day. Try the slow lane!