The attempt to create the Canadian Hockey League Players Association has been derided by some for its ham-handed efforts in getting off the ground. Others praise it for trying to stand up for the youngsters playing there.
One thing that won’t help their cause is the possibility that one of their spokesmen has been convicted of fraud.
Joe Warmington of QMI Media reports CHLPA spokesman Derek Clarke is being investigated by Canadian hockey officials to figure out who exactly he is. TSN’s Dave Naylor reports (video) he’s spoken to two different people who have identified themselves as Clarke.
The man some believe him to be is former hockey coach and two-time fraud convict Randy Gumbley. Even CHLPA Executive Director Georges Laraque may not know who he is.
In an interview with TVA Sports reporter Stephane Gonzalez yesterday, Laraque in an on-camera interview identified a photograph of Gumbley as Derek Clarke. Then, in a subsequent interview denied the two were the same man.
That’s a bit embarrassing and, worse for the CHLPA, damning to their cause if it turns out a noted huckster like Gumbley is pulling the wool over their eyes.
To help add to the surreal nature of all this, the CHLPA says Clarke will be making an appearance on TSN today to show who he is. Here’s to hoping he doesn’t show up looking like this: