Thursday, 13 October 2011

WHL Release on GM & Governors Meeting

The Western Hockey League issued the following release on Thursday afternoon...

The Western Hockey League held its' General Managers and Board of Governors meetings in Calgary, Alberta on October 11 and 12. In addition to the City of Saskatoon and the Saskatoon Blades being named the host of the 2013 MasterCard Memorial Cup, the following matters were also approved:

1) Implementation of WHL's Seven Point Plan to reduce concussions - The WHL reviewed the Seven Point Plan, including the introduction of new playing rules; new discipline standards for player suspensions; educational video and team meetings to educate players on the risks of concussions; adoption of a new policy relative to releasing information on the nature of players injuries. In an effort to further provide a safer environment for players, the WHL Weekly Injury Report will refer only to either upper or lower body injury or illness.

2) Explanation of major disciplinary action - The WHL will be providing an explanation on any player suspensions of five or more games. The text explanation will be provided in the WHL Discipline section of the website.

3) WHL Social Media and Networking Policy - The WHL has adopted a Social Media and Networking Policy designed to educate players and all members of the WHL community on the risks associated with this new medium. The policy contains guidelines for using social media in a responsible manner and areas which would constitute a League violation.

Just a few thoughts from me:
On #1, I don't agree with the new Injury Report policy, although I can understand where the league is coming from. 

From a strict media standpoint, it will make us a little more curious and, perhaps, dig a little bit more about a players' injury than we have previously.  Personally, it also leaves me in an awkward position.  I know the nature of all four of Brandon's current injured players, but some of that information was gathered because of how I travel with the team.  I've always used the 'inevitable discovery' policy in the past, which is to say that if I find out information through the more traditional team/media relationship, then I feel free to use it.

I do think it's a stretch to say that 'nobody wants players targeting areas of injuries', as Spokane GM Tim Speltz said earlier this month.  For me, I would think there should also be some responsibility on the team and coaches to make sure a player is 100 per cent before allowing them to return from injury, which would mean there should be no concern about opponents targeting areas of a previous injury.

The other point for me to make on this would be...why not tell the media of this decision before the season begins, rather than have us find out the day the first injury report is released.

The good news -- because this policy claims to reduce targeting areas of injuries and provide a safer environment, the WHL should have no issues with continuing to produce an Injury Report during the playoffs.

#2 - A text explanation.  Perfect for the broadcasting world!

#3 - Interesting the WHL will tell us they've adopted a Social Media Policy, but not release what the guidelines contained in the policy are.  Even the NHL was more transparent than that on this matter.

1 comment:

chwk-fan said...

My thoughts exactly on the Social Media and Networking Policy - they say they want to "educate...all members of the WHL community on the risks associated with this new medium", but they don't make it available to everyone?! Strange.
Thanks Luber.