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Canadian Hockey League denies accusations made by Georges Laraque

Friday, 10.26.2012 / 7:54 PM / News

The Canadian Press

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Canadian Hockey League denies accusations made by Georges Laraque

TORONTO - The NHL isn't the only hockey league dealing with labour issues.

The Canadian Hockey League Players' Association, which says it represents junior A players, has threatened to sue the Ontario Hockey League over what it says are violations of "minimum legislative employment standards."

The CHLPA charges that players aren't paid minimum wage, overtime, vacation or severance pay. The CHLPA has also made similar complaints in Nova Scotia in reference to the QMJHL's Halifax Mooseheads.

The Canadian Hockey League, the umbrella organization for the OHL, WHL and QMJHL, fired back Friday afternoon.

"We firmly believe that our teams have always acted in accordance with all applicable provincial and federal laws and will continue to do so," the CHL said in a statement.

Junior A players in Canada are currently paid a small weekly stipend.

The CHL said the estimated investment for each player is $35,000 to $40,000 annually, which includes an education program and other benefits.

The statement came after former NHLer Georges Laraque, the executive director of the Canadian Hockey League Players' Association, said in a radio interview Friday that team owners have been intimidating players.

"There's owners that have been threatening the players if they join the union," Laraque told Sportsnet 590 The Fan in Toronto. "We have letters, we have videos. We have all type of stuff."

When asked to name names, Laraque said he couldn't because "it's all going to go to court."

The CHL said it "vehemently disagrees with the recent allegations made by Georges Laraque on behalf of the Canadian Hockey League Players' Association."

The league added: "Mr. Laraque, knows better than anyone, the investment that we make in each of our players and our commitment to ensuring that the player’s amateur hockey experience is maximized."

CHL commissioner Dave Branch has questioned who is behind the CHLPA. Laraque said players on the CHLPA's executive board are making the decisions but he wouldn't say how may players are on the board.

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