The Duluth Clydesdales are done. Lets make that clear. After speaking with USA Hockey Officials, one thing became perfectly clear; USA Hockey is not going to let the Clydesdales play an independent schedule.
The only reason the Clydesdales had USA Hockey sanctioning as an independent team was because they had a league structure to play in. The status was granted after an initial denial through the appeal process, and the basis for that appeal was the league structure provided by the SIJHL.
In short, do not look for the Clydesdales to ever come back to the SIHJL. Perhaps a new team under new ownership in Duluth is possible, but the Clydesdales are done.
Accusations of improper financial maneuvers and of mounting debt are growing.
Originaly TJHN reported that Duluth may have had an outstanding debt in the range of $5500.00. We have since learned that the debt could be as high as $50,000.00 when factoring in refunds due on tuition that had been paid by players.
More problematic for Duluth is the refusal to release some players. TJHN has obtained documents that would prove the Clydesdales were, from the very beginning manipulating the rules to a point that it would likely be considered enough to loose their USAH sanctioning.
One key component to USA Hockey is that when a player is released or separated froma team he is due a refund of fee’s paid based on a pro rated system. The Clydesdales were stripped of their membership and therefore can not provide services that they were contracted to. The players are due refunds and releases immediately under the rules.
The Clydesdales, being USA Hockey sanctioned were also obligated to provide a copy of the USAH Player Rights and Responsibilities to the player prior to signing any agreement. No player received this document that TJHN has been able to find. That document spells out the refund policy the Clydesdales are obligated to follow.
TJHN has learned that four players are still waiting on their release at this point. The Clydesdales need to do whats right here and release them while they can still find a team to finish the season with. TJHN would like to hear from all players that participated with the Clydesdales to update this story firstname.lastname@example.org