The furor in Canadian hockey over the World Hockey Association's signing of underage players (and the National Hockey League's threat to sign them) at first centered around the harm being done to amateur hockey. But now criticism is directed at the amateur leagues themselves. Officials of Midget (under 16) and Juvenile (under 18) hockey claim the Juniors (under 20) are raiding their leagues. Tom Graham of Toronto says, "If the Juniors want the pro teams to lay off hiring underage boys, they'd better lay off, too."
And a government report issued by the province of Alberta declared that at certain levels the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association was "little different from a slave market in which the promoters and dealers have taken all the power." It warned that "constraints upon individual rights of players...are so serious as to cry out for immediate and drastic action." Hearings are planned.
Brian Shaw, coach of the WHA's Edmonton Oilers, claimed the attitude expressed in the report might be justified in the case of a 12-year-old boy playing amateur hockey for his own amusement. "But let's face it," said Shaw, "by the time a player is a Junior he has only one thing on his mind and that is to make it into the professional ranks as quickly as possible."
Graham's reaction to all this was, "At the rate they're going they'll soon be playing 16-year-olds in the NHL."
THE GAME OF THE NAME
It's name time again for football roster nuts, those who enjoy culling college squad lists and coming up with super teams based only on the names of the players. Best so far comes from the Eastern College Athletic Conference, which can field an offensive team composed of Block, Rush, Butts, Buck, Driver, Cannon, Bolt, Dart, Lively, Lightfoot and March. The defensive team is Hard, Wall, Rock, Stone, Grip, Grab, Axe, Savage, Gang, Stopper and Crump. On the bench, but great at victory parties, are Glass, Beers, Case and Booze.
The captain of the name team, suggests
Boston Herald American Columnist Dick Dew, should be Bill Pappafotoboloas of Boston State.