Hockey Montreal reinstating young players after strange suspensions
Hockey Montreal began reinstating the Atom and Pee-Wee players in the league Tuesday morning after suspending some 200 Atom to Midget players for an unusual reason – not accepting invitations to try out for elite double-letter teams.
Thirty children between the ages of 9 and 16 from south central Montreal were expected to try out in Rosemont for Inter-city BB or CC teams. They instead chose to play single-letter hockey, which comes with less of a time commitment and is played in their own neighbourhood.
Jose Rebelo, general manager for the South Central Community and Sports Association, said he was appalled when he was sent an e-mail by Hockey Montreal's President Yves Pauzé containing the names of his suspended players, who didn't go out for the double-letter teams.
"Players didn't feel like going, so they just discarded the invitation – but in that invitation it didn't say if they didn't come they'd be suspended," said Rebelo.
"It was a shock to the players and parents when we had to tell them Hockey Montreal suspended them because they didn't show up. Nobody understood. The parents and kids didn't understand what happened."
Pauzé said the suspensions were a temporary measure.
"They were just pulled until we could evaluate them," he said.
Yvan Dallaire, director of Hockey Quebec's rules and regulations, said the children should not have been suspended at all.
"Suspensions are not something that is included in our policies or in our rules," he said. "A pre-evaluation of the players should have been made by the association in order not to invite everybody."
Dallaire more logical steps are now being examined, such as seeking solutions to keep players closer to home and playing at a less competitive level.