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Screen Shots: Hockey Canada, Jagr and Hawerchuk's Statue

Adam Proteau looks at reports of Hockey Canada's second fund to cover uninsured claims "including but not limited to sexual abuse," Jaromir Jagr considering his retirement, and the unveiling of the Dale Hawerchuk statue in Winnipeg.
Dale Hawerchuk statue

You’re reading Screen Shots, a regular THN.com feature in which we break down a few different hockey topics for your reading enjoyment. As always, we’ll leave any further introduction aside, and get right to it:  

The Globe and Mail reported Monday that Hockey Canada employed a second monetary fund to cover potential uninsured claims "including but not limited to sexual abuse." The fund – named the Participants Legacy Trust Fund – reportedly was established in 1999, and it got its money from Hockey Canada’s National Equity Fund, which was established partially using player registration fees across the country.  

Hockey Canada told The Hockey News that the Participants Legacy Trust Fund was created to cover uninsured claims against Hockey Canada’s member branches between September 1986 and August 1995, but has never been used for any purpose and is not a Hockey Canada asset. 

The Legacy Trust Fund reportedly was designed to be dissolved in May 2020, but the Globe and Mail report says Hockey Canada went to court in late 2018 and early 2019 to extend the Fund until 2039.

Obviously, this is an absolute outrage and another reason why Hockey Canada must undergo a full, independent financial audit and total change at the top of the organization. The outrage isn’t just that Hockey Canada used registration funds to fuel these secret funds – it’s the fact the organization seemed resigned to the fact there could be a slew of assault claims, and rather than aggressively working toward creating a safer playing environment, they sat back and did next to nothing to change things for the better.  

An independent financial audit would give a new administration at Hockey Canada a clean beginning, and clearly, there are skeletons in the closet of the organization that need dragging out into the open. Who knows what other entities were created to keep Hockey Canada’s problems in the dark? This new report gives us reason to be wary of the current management group, and to demand real change for it.  

– Sadly, it looks like legendary forward Jaromir Jagr is leaning toward retirement. A report in the Czech news site blesk.cz said the 50-year-old, who has played the last five seasons for Rytiri Kladno, the team he owns in the Czech Extraliga, doesn’t feel he has what it takes to play at an elite level anymore. 

“I lack desire and motivation,” Jagr said in Czech. “At my age, playing at any level is challenging. Prepar(ing), motivat(ing). Not to mention the need for rest.” 

In 43 games with Kladno last season, Jagr generated eight goals and 19 points. In 214 career games in the Czech league, he has 91 goals and 211 points. And in the NHL – where he last played for Calgary in 2017-18 – he has 766 goals and 1,921 points in 1,733 career regular-season games. He is a no-doubt, first-ballot Hockey Hall-of-Famer, and while it would be fun for us to see him attempt to continue playing, Jagr doesn’t have anything to prove to anybody. We should be celebrating his imprint on the game, and recognizing him as one of the very best to ever lace up a pair of skates. Whatever his decision winds up being, we should respect it and allow him to move on to whatever place he wants to be at this stage in his life.

– Finally, it was heartwarming to see the people of Winnipeg honor the late Dale Hawerchuk this weekend with a statue outside the Canada Life Centre, home of the Winnipeg Jets. Hawerchuck, who died in 2020 after a bout with stomach cancer, was honored as the greatest Jet of all time, and his wife, Crystal, accepted the honor of the statue on behalf of Dale Hawerchuk and his family.  

“Now, he is home again,” Crystal Hawerchuk said at the unveiling of the statue Saturday. “Dale was notified of this honor shortly before he died and he was humbled by it…He led with a purpose. He inspired us all to be better people, he supported many charities, and he gave our family a beautiful life. Thank you to everyone for making this statue a reality.”  

The statue, which was made by Erik Blome, who has also crafted statues of the Legends Row in Toronto and hockey legend Wayne Gretzky, was officially unveiled by 16 of Hawerchuk’s former Jets teammates Saturday. And current Jets star Mark Scheifele, who spoke at the ceremony, told the PenvinaValleyOnline how emotional the celebration of Hawerchuk’s life really was.  

“I see the statue over there and all of a sudden you’re fighting back tears,” Scheifele said. “What a tremendous honor to speak at his statue unveiling. He meant so much to me. It’s one of those things I’ll remember for the rest of my life.”  

Anyone who saw Hawerchuk play the game, with determination and grace, remember him fondly. The statue is for this generation, and future generations, to understand what he meant to hockey in Winnipeg, and the Jets franchise in particular. He will always be in the conversation of the best Jets player of all time, and this new honor underscores his impact on the sport and the city of Winnipeg.  

Correction: The Hockey News incorrectly noted that the Hockey Canada Participants Legacy Trust Fund was used to settle claims of sexual assault. The fund was used to cover all uninsured claims and not exclusively sexual assault, but was never used, according to Hockey Canada. Sculptor Erik Blome also did not create a Michael Jordan statue. We apologize for the error.

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