BOUCHERVILLE, Thrusday, December 10, 2009 – The Commissioner of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, Gilles Courteau, today announced new measures to enforce the principles of the entry draft system in order to eliminate unlawful draft practices.
"A team that drafts a player has the right to expect that it is acquiring his services without any interference from other clubs," said the Commissioner. "The recruitment of new players must be done through an annual entry draft system which is based upon the principle that every team can select the best player available with the expectation that the player will report to and play for the organization in question."
In the past few years, several players have refused to attend the QMJHL Central Scouting Challenge, the TELUS Top Prospects Presentation or even the Annual Entry Draft to later decide to nonetheless report to the team that drafted them. These situations have been strongly denounced by several Quebec Major Junior Hockey League teams.
"For these reasons, the Board of Governors, with the help of guidelines established by an independent committee comprised of Governors and members of the QMJHL hockey operations staff, have created a form which the Owner, the Governor and other key members of the franchise are obligated to sign and which states that they are bound to avoid using any action intended to jeopardize the selection process with manoeuvres such as inciting a player not attend the Central Scouting Challenge, the TELUS Top Prospects Presentation or the Annual Entry Draft or inciting a player to lie about his real intentions or to encourage him to avoid talking to other teams."
Should a team infringe one or more of these guidelines, the Commissioner may assess the following sanctions:
• A fine that could reach up to $100,000;
• The loss of draft picks for the two seasons following the date that the infraction is brought to the attention of the Commissioner.
The process will be initiated by the lodging of a formal written complaint to the attention of the Commissioner.
(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at email@example.com)