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By Michael Christianson
The SIJHL will be hosting their annual general meeting in Dryden this year at the Holiday Inn Express on June 17 and 18. With a new team set to join the league there will be much to discuss.
President Mike Sveinson believes the AGM should rotate between the locations of the different teams and is happy the event will be held close to home this year.
Sveinson stressed that the presidents of the six teams need to work together to insure the success of the SIJHL.
Despite a call for unity Sveinson feels that the Ice Dogs are being unfairly treated when it comes to some aspects of the league.
“There are certain parts of the SIJHL that are not going to work for the Ice Dogs long term,” said Sveinson. “So, we’re faced with a situation, either we change it or suffer for it. The first issue is we need to abolish the current video review policy for on ice incidents.”
The current system is in place so that any team president, coach or GM can call the commissioner to report any occurrences; a system that Sveinson says lacks accountability. He feels the system would be better if there was a financial risk for reporting claims that are unfounded.
“The system is set up right now so that I’ve got a guy working for me right now, Tanner Watt, who was a victim of this on a number of occasions over the years,” says Sveinson. “He gets a target on his back because of a couple of questionable hits so the next ten games Tanner plays everyone is watching him and sending in video for him and now he’s labeled as a dirty player and the league acts accordingly.”
During last year’s playoffs Dryden and Thunder Bay had incidences with fighting and hair pulling which didn’t result in any discipline for the Thunder Bay players, even after video reviews.
“Most of this footage that is used to get players suspended or kicked out of games is from our ‘Fast Hockey’ broadcast. Some of that video is questionable at best,” says Sveinson. “The Ice Dogs had to hire a videographer full time this year. We got GoPros installed around our arena so that we had several camera angles to defend ourselves against the influx of suspensions. Now we’ve spent a couple thousand dollars on this during the year and it saved us a suspension on a couple of occasions.”
Sveinson says the Ice Dogs were forced into the current situation of filming their games, an expense that comes straight from