Joey Hishon #18 and Jesse Blacker #12 of the Owen Sound Attack watch for a loose puck along with Matt Fraser #11 of the Kootenay Ice during the 2011 CHL Mastercard Memorial Cup game on May 21, 2011 at the Hershey Centre in Mississauga, Canada. The Attack defeated the Ice 5-0.
(May 20, 2011 - Source: Claus Andersen/Getty Images North America)

CHLPA threatens to sue OHL over “blatant disregard” for working standards

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The Canadian Hockey League Players’ Association is threatening to sue Ontario Hockey League over what it believes is a “blatant disregard for the bare minimum working standards that have been set for employees,” according to the Globe and Mail.

The CHLPA is a fledgling union with the goal of representing players under the umbrella of the Ontario Hockey League, Western Hockey League, and Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

Major junior players — which range from the age of 15 to 20 — are typically paid about $35-$50 per week. The leagues prepare them for playing hockey professionally and many of the NHL’s best players have spent some time in the OHL, QMJHL or WHL along the way.

Additionally, education packages are made available, though there are limitations such as an 18-month expiration date.

The CHLPA claims the OHL is in violation of the Ontario’s Employment Standards Act for not paying its players minimum wage or providing them with vacation and overtime pay.

CHLPA spokesman Derek Clarke characterized legal action as a last resort and said the CHLPA hopes to engage in negotiations. At the same time, Clarke has a harsh opinion of the current state of the CHL.

“They don’t want to pay [more] in education, they want to restrict it, but then they don’t want to pay salaries either,” Clarke explained. “Basically they’re sweatshops. I just don’t get it why this has gone on for so long.”

NHL player agent Todd Christie previously filed a lawsuit against the OHL in 2005 when one of his clients didn’t get his education package on time. However, Christie gave credit to the CHL for enhancing their education system since that time.

“The minimum-wage issue is certainly a live one,” Christie said. “But the majority of complaints that I would have had [with the education system] before 2006 or so have been addressed and resolved.”

He still thinks the union probably has a strong case if it sues.

Related:

Should junior hockey players get paid more?

Wild must overcome Alex Ovechkin’s 14th career hat trick

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Death, taxes and Alex Ovechkin winning the Maurice Richard Trophy.

OK, the third thing on that list isn’t technically inevitable. It just feels that way lately in the NHL.

It’s unclear if the Washington Capitals can hold on against the Minnesota Wild, but we know for certain that Ovechkin already has a hat trick, the 14th of his high-scoring career.

This propels Ovechkin to the goals lead as of this writing, as he already has 34. As impressive as Patrick Kane has been, No. 8 is heating up, and may just edge No. 88 if Ovechkin can remain healthy.

One has to feel a little sympathy for the struggling Wild. They played well but lost against the Dallas Stars earlier this week and now must deal with Ovechkin and the just-as-hot Capitals.

Bylsma believes league will look at Gudas’ hit on Catenacci

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Rugged Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Radko Gudas may get in trouble with the league once again.

At least, it will be that way if Buffalo Sabres head coach Dan Bylsma has his way regarding Gudas’ five-minute charging major hit on Daniel Catenacci.

“I think there’s no question it’s head hit,” Bylsma said, according to the Buffalo News’ John Vogl. ” … I know the league will look at that hit and deal with it.”

As far as the injury portion of possible suspension considerations go:

Marcus Foligno‘s analysis of Gudas was … well just check it out.

The Flyers ended up winning 5-1. Gudas was a busy man overall, racking up 17 penalty minutes.

Fight video: Patrice Bergeron vs. Blake Wheeler (seriously)

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Regular Selke winner Patrice Bergeron can do it all on the ice, it seems. Apparently that means he’ll even drop the gloves.

That was the unlikely scene during Thursday’s Boston Bruins – Winnipeg Jets skirmish, as Bergeron fought fellow finesse forward Blake Wheeler.

Perhaps unusual feisty behavior was just in the air, as Tyler Myers squared off with Matt Beleskey.

(Not as unlikely, but still.)

Video: Dion Phaneuf’s assist is his first point with Senators

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Dion Phaneuf‘s first home game as a member of the Ottawa Senators is going more smoothly than his debut did on Wednesday.

Ottawa fell 3-1 to the Detroit Red Wings last night, and they need another goal to tie up the Colorado Avalanche. Still, Phaneuf’s making a bigger impact on Thursday, collecting two assists … his first two points in a Sens’ sweater.

You can see his crowd-pleasing first helper above.

Here’s his second assist for good measure:

Update: The Avalanche held on, taking a 4-3 edge. Even so, Phaneuf’s getting a warm welcome in his new hockey city.