UPDATE: In the latest development to this story, sixteen parents signed a letter asking for the coaches to be reinstated and allowed to pick their own team without board interference.
A fight is brewing among Surrey parents over the firing of the coach of a minor hockey league team.
The allegation is that the coach was fired because he had cut some players from the team, whose parents are members of the league’s executive.
The Bantams players are 13 and 14 years old, and this is a big year for them. Those who make their A1 team could potentially be drafted by the Western Hockey League and both parents and players know it.
“This, from a hockey perspective, is the worst month you can have,” says Burnaby Winter Club general manager Len McNeely. “Every parent is really tense, uptight and concerned about where their kid is going to end up.”
It’s also not the time of year to fire coaching staff, but that’s exactly what happened in Surrey.
“There seemed to be some arguing going on between a group of parents and what appeared to be a member of Surrey Minor Hockey Committee,” says Mike Allen, Head Coach of Bantam Triple A.
Allen says they later found out that previous coaches were fired.
Surrey Minor Hockey Association’s (SMHA) website shows an interim coach has now been posted for A1 Bantam.
In fact, three Bantam A1 coaches were fired.
Global News has learned the fired head coach is Darryl Erickson, a VPD officer with 26 years of coaching experience and a national license.
He is a volunteer, who has coached the likes of Brent Seabrook and Shea Webber, and is much loved by many hockey parents.
Today, there are allegations about a SMHA board member, altering evaluation scores as they were entered so that their child was ranked number one, and there are allegations against the president Harbs Bains, who was once in the news for a human rights complaint over having to wear a helmut even though he was Sikh.
The allegations are not yet proven. But despite getting Bains on the phone, he refused to answer any questions about the firing to Global News.