CHL Players Forming a Union? (Mod: Canadian Hockey League, aka junior)
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10-22-2012, 06:49 PM
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: North of the Tank
Like so many players, Todd's professional dreams did disappear. His backup plan, to attend university with OHL funding, did not go smoothly. He learned some hard lessons.
"The league always told us, they would take care of our education costs," Todd recalls. "I sure found out different. My experience taught me that players need to understand what is exactly in their contracts and not be afraid to ask questions."
The eager 16-year-old signed a standard player contract with the Frontenacs that paid him $50 a week for his "exclusive services." The team covered his lodging, food and school expenses.
Among other things, the contract contained an "education package" under which Todd would receive $7,000 annually for four years for post-secondary schooling. The package's terms are similar for most players but dollar amounts vary.
[talk of no trade clause, coach ultimatum, left team]
But during the summer, Christie received a surprise letter from his old team. Mavety wrote that Todd had left the Frontenacs voluntarily and, as a consequence, the player violated his contract and forfeited "all benefits."
Christie contacted the OHL and argued that Todd had not left voluntarily or breached his contract, saying the team had never given the player proper notice of a violation which would affect his benefits. Despite phone calls, registered letters and faxes, the league never responded with its position, according to Christie.
Christie felt strongly that Todd was on solid legal ground even though the issue remained unresolved. The lawyer also didn't believe the league would allow any of its member clubs to leave a player without education assistance.
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