Recent developments at Hockey Canada are a positive step forward after the mismanagement by the organization. On October 11, 2022, the HC Board of Directors resigned effective December 17th when a completely new Board will be put in place. As well, CEO Scott Smith resigned effective immediately.
To grassroots hockey at the Minor Hockey Association level, the arrogance shown by Hockey Canada in recent months has been disappointing. The attitude expressed was one of "hockey in Canada will not survive if the Hockey Canada Board and upper management were to resign" or "will the lights stay on in the rinks if we do?" This was disrespectful and insulting to all of the volunteers that make minor hockey happen in Canada.
Besides improving the culture around hockey and the expectations of the people involved in the game, hopefully there will be a newfound humility at Hockey Canada that will see a better appreciation of grassroots hockey from the national governing body.
As part of the improvement of the culture around hockey, Hockey Canada's Section 11 of the Hockey Canada rulebook was created in 2021 and is an excellent tool to emphasize respectful behaviour by all involved - both on and off the ice. SMHA has been and will continue to be strict on all participants that are not respectful to others in the game and go against the Secton 11: Maltreatment rules.
SMHA also would like to see consistent messaging to our players from the adults involved in minor hockey - parents, coaches, managers and volunteers - that playing minor hockey and minor sports is a privilege, and with that privilege, comes expectations. The main expectation that needs to be emphasized to youth and young adults is respect of others in all situations on the ice and off the ice in all of their personal interactions with others.
Section 11: Maltreatment is described in summary below.
Maltreatment consists of acts that result in actual or the potential of physical or psychological harm. This includes, but is not limited to physical, psychological, or sexual actions, as detailed below.
Physical •Assault or unwanted physical contact •Non-contact behaviour, such as denying hydration or nutrition; providing alcohol to a participant under legal age, etc.
Psychological •Verbal assaults or attacks - including those based on a person's gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, the colour of their skin, etc. •Unwanted physical contact •Denying attention or support
Sexual •Unwanted contact of a sexual nature on any part of a person’s body •Showing sexual videos or images •Unwanted conversation or teasing of a sexual nature
The minimum suspension guideline for players or team officials is five (5) games under the Maltreatment rule. For off-ice situations involving parents, SMHA will utilize its Parents Code of Conduct for discipline.
Verbal abuse or written online abuse of players on-ice officials, off-ice officials, volunteers or staff will not be tolerated on or off the ice. Please be respectful at all times and use the proper channels of communication.