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The Death Pool – Could Major Junior Hockey As We Know It Be Nearing The End?

Yeah, this aint some Halloween trick kids.  And I know all those boys in Major Junior up north aint gonna think this is some treat either.  The truth is, Major Junior hockey as we know it in the OHL, WHL and QMJHL may be coming to an end.

Don’t think so?  Think that with all the bullshit legislation being passed to try to keep those teams from actually having to pay its player employee’s will fly?

Child Labor Exploitation.  Not a phrase anyone wants to hear.  Not a phrase anyone wants associated with their company.  Shit, we don’t even buy clothes from companies who exploit child labor in other countries.  We put them out of business in most cases!

If some adult is dumb enough to pass up receiving wages for his work, that’s on him I guess.  But a 16, or 17 year old kid isn’t old enough to waive his rights to a fair wage.  And parents don’t have the legal right to waive that right for the kid either.

What happens now when all teams have to submit their Tax Returns?

A Calgary judge has ordered 42 Major Junior teams to hand over their tax returns and financial statements dating back to 2011 to establish whether those franchises are profitable or lose money.  Every OHL and WHL team needs to go digging through those big old banker boxes now.  The QMJHL is exempt from this order because they aren’t named as a defendant in this lawsuit.

Why would teams have to do this?  The Major Junior defense to class action lawsuits is centered around the argument of whether or not players are employees and should be paid.  That is cloaked by the teams contention that the majority of Major Junior lose money.

See, until now, no one had to prove they lost money.  Ignorant legislators have been passing laws exempting Major Junior teams from having to pay players without actually having proof that any team loses money.  Yep, that’s some responsible governance there boys.

First of all, anyone who believes the Major Junior defense is a freakin moron.  No one stays in business that long to lose that much money.

Anyone who believes that players aren’t employees when they get tax documents at the end of the year, and their working visa’s state they are employee’s should have their head examined.

But hey, anyone who also believes these tax documents are going to show piles of money being made are just as stupid.  A tax document is the most fiscally conservative document in the world.  Just ask any accountant.  Its all about saving money and not having to pay taxes so you make sure you have a ton of expenses.

You know what though, you cant wipe away all profits all the time.  Its nearly impossible.  If you try, you usually end up in tax trouble at some point.  Sure don’t the revenue boys crawling up your ass after this one boys.  Better get this shit right.

What about the retirement packages for players?  You know the scholarship packages.  The scholarship packages that according to the OHL only 49% of the players claim.  What happens to the money the other 51% don’t claim?  Shouldn’t that just go to the players because they earned it?

Lets also get one point absolutely clear.  Major Junior players ARE NOT AMATEURS.

They get paid.  Period.  They go up and play NHL games.  They sign NHL contracts.  They get paid NHL signing bonuses.  They accept NHL pay.  Even those players that don’t get to the NHL still play with those NHL contracted players.  This makes them PROFESSIONAL.  The monthly pay, no matter how little, makes them PROFESSIONAL.

Can we all just agree to stop the bullshit?  Seriously, this is the absolute dumbest freakin argument in all of hockey.

If some teams lose money and would have to go out of business because they had to pay the players a fair and legal wage then that’s just life!

Its a business, and if they cant make money, then they need to find a way to make money or close up shop.  Just like any other business.

Maybe losing some of these Major Junior teams is a good thing and would make Tier II or Junior A hockey that much better?  Ever think of that?

Not only that, but even if they do lose money, the franchise itself is valuable because you cant get expansion franchises.  So they may be losing a little money on annual operations, but the value is increasing over time and that more that offsets the loss.

This whole thing is about the tradition of junior hockey.  Similar to the old days of before the NHL had a players union maybe?  You know, when there was indentured servitude?  Funny how the past always seems to repeat itself.

What’s really gonna be funny is if when all the tax returns are in if a majority of teams make money or break even.  Where is the argument to not pay players going to go then?

But hey, I got to run kids.  I got me some guys working on my car, and I need to explain to them that I cant pay them because if I do, I will lose money.  I will be sure to thank them for the work though.

David Wagner – The Angel Of Death – For Those Who Live Stupidly I salute You

*The Death Pool is a mix of comedy, and satire in connection with recent events.  It is not an official report of current events although it may look as though the news is so accurate that it could one day happen or may be happening.

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