SBD/Issue 237/Leagues & Governing Bodies

World Hockey Summit Kicks Off In Toronto, But Is It Just For Show?

 

More than 300 delegates gathered at the Hockey HOF in Toronto last night to kick off the four-day World Hockey Summit, which is "designed to draw some of the sport's biggest names into an open public forum," according to Sean Fitz-Gerald of the CP. Canada women's hockey F Hayley Wickenheiser was on "one of four rotating panels, asked to discuss the 'state of the game' alongside" Lightning GM Steve Yzerman, player agent Don Baizley and German men's team head coach Uwe Krupp. Wickenheiser said that the women's game "needs improved access to facilities and stronger international leadership to strengthen the game in some of the weaker countries." Wickenheiser: "I kind of look at it as more of a call to action for the hockey community to say, 'Look, what can we do to really grow the game here?'" Meanwhile, NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly, IIHF President Rene Fasel and KHL Chair Slava Fetisov were on "another panel discussing pressing issues such as international contract disputes." Daly: "We're on a different road than we've been in the last couple of years (with the KHL). We obviously have had some misunderstandings and differences of (opinion), and you only bridge those differences of (opinion) by continued dialogue. And I think we've improved the level of dialogue in recent months." Daly added that he "does not think either league is interested in ... what he called a 'classic' player transfer agreement" (CP, 8/23). The NATIONAL POST's Matthew Coutts notes a discussion of the "role of agents was one of four hot-stove panels." Maple Leafs President & GM Brian Burke, CAA Sports Hockey co-Head Pat Brisson and player agent Don Meehan "spoke on the relationship between an agent and a young talent" (NATIONAL POST, 8/24).

SUMMIT JUST FOR SHOW? THE HOCKEY NEWS' Ken Campbell wrote the World Hockey Summit is a "case of an event that has so much potential it probably won't deliver much of it." But that "doesn't mean the R&D camp and the World Hockey Summit are a waste of time -- far from it." Campbell: "Contrary to popular belief, the NHL is not constantly tinkering with its rules, at least not any more than most other leagues. ... And just because the league is trying out new and sometimes radical concepts, doesn't mean it will necessarily implement them." He noted the "same goes for the summit." Campbell: "It may not result in anything tangible this time around, but when you get that many hockey minds in the same room, there's bound to be some meaningful dialogue" (THEHOCKEYNEWS.com, 8/23). The NATIONAL POST's Bruce Arthur writes the summit "could use some fixing." Arthur: "It's great that they are going to discuss things, even if it's more likely that any progress will be fueled by healthy debate over a few beers after the panels are over than it will during the panels themselves. Putting everybody in the same room is usually a good thing, unless it is the NHL and its players negotiating a CBA, or the players trying to choose a leader. But this Hockey Summit is not a United Nations of hockey, with binding resolutions. It's talk. It's a show" (NATIONAL POST, 8/24). Univ. of Toronto's Rotman School of Management Associate Dean Richard Powers: "I don't see a whole lot coming out of this. To the extent that they can go back and use any of this stuff, I think that's questionable. This is PR 101 for the NHL" (TORONTO STAR, 8/24).

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