Wednesday, 10 September 2014

WHL GM's, Coaches Meet in Calgary

  The Western Hockey League conducted its general manager and head coach seminar in Calgary Tuesday, re-iterating the player safety initiatives contained in the WHL's seven-point plan.

  The WHL Seven Point Plan was first introduced in 2011, and was a comprehensive player safety initiative designed to reduce injuries and improve quality of play.

  "We've had a decrease in concussion each season since the plan was introduced, and we're very excited about the trend we've been seeing based on our research data," WHL Commissioner Ron Robison told CKLQ's Bruce Luebke, "I think the most effective measure we've taken is dealing with repeat offenders, and we've really seen players correct their behaviour in terms of playing...I think it's been a real buy-in across the league that we need to address this, and we've done a good job in that regard."

  In addition to prevention, Robison also says they've been able to better recognize and treat concussions across the board.

  "We have a return to play protocol that is very clear with respect any prevention of any injuries in that respect," said Robison, "I think there's a real buy-in, again, across the league to make sure caution is always taken when you're dealing with those types of injuries.

  The WHL also announced Tuesday that retired RCMP superintendant Vves Lacasse has been appointed as the league's security officer.

  Lacasse will conduct internal reviews and investigations on behalf of the WHL Office to ensure WHL Clubs are operating in accordance with league standards and regulations.

  Lacasse will also be responsible to facilitate the implementation of a new league-wide security program with all WHL Clubs.

  "We are building a security network, in which we'll have security personnel with a law enforcement background throughout the league that will create a network with the league office," said Robison, "(Yves) will work with them to make sure that we're there to help mentor the players and provide any assistance they need."

  The WHL Player Experience is another key topic this year as the WHL and its member Clubs continue to develop elite players while ensuring athletes achieve their academic goals in a safe and healthy environment.

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