Too good to play?

I don’t very often write about non-NHL stuff but when I heard about this it just disgusted me and this story deserves to get told so that those involved get thoroughly embarassed and shamed for what they have done.

The story is about Jared Murray, an eight year old hockey player in Shawville, Quebec who happens to be the son of Tim Murray, who is a scout for the New York Rangers and nephew of Ottawa Senators coach Bryan Murray. Jared Murray, who is 4’9″ and 110 pounds, has been ruled inelligable to play in the Outaouais regional playoffs because he is too good. These are eight year olds people. Nobody eight year old should be too good or too bad to play hockey. Jared is eligable to play in the league and was allowed to play all season only when it came to regional playoff time was he disqualified to play. Those who made this decision should be thoroughly disgusted in themselves.

In the eyes of Hockey Outaouais officials, Jared is just too good to compete in the regional playdowns at the B level — the sniper scored 51 goals in 17 games in his second season of novice in Hockey Outaouais’ Metro League. Jared is also the grand-nephew of Ottawa Senators head coach Bryan Murray; Jared’s father, Tim, is a New York Rangers scout, a former head coach of the Shawville Pontiacs junior B team and the nephew of the Senators coach.

Jared’s team finished with an 11-3-2 record, ended up third in the 16-team league in the Pontiac area, but then lost in the opening round of sudden-death playoffs.

This article has 19 Comments

  1. It is even sadder because the Francophone hockey league FORCED the shawville teams to play in the Quebec league (Shawville is predominently English speaking) rather than in a league on the English speaking Ontario side.

    So there is more to this story.

    The Xenophobic cultural police of the radical Quebecoisie strike again.

  2. im his brother and i feel this is great for shawville and the rest of english quebec, i feel it finally gives us a voice aand if you can get this out there even more it would help shawville alot

  3. I tried to stay from the French vs English aspect of the story because I have no idea if it is true, but if it is that would be far more disturbing.

  4. I live in quebec and i dont think francophones would stoop to this level. imo it has more to do with his scoring 51 goals. although it completely idiotic. if he was SO GOOD to deem unfair to the rest of the league, his team would not have lost 3 games and tied the other 2. that means his team is average, as its in third place, and not outstanding. on top of that, he is obviously an important part of his team, and by ruling him out, theyre ruining the hockey season for an entire novice hockey team.

    i think it has more to do with being retarded and braindead than with the language issue.

  5. Before everyone gets too wrapped up in the outrage of some bureaucracy “not letting a kid play,” there’s an important tidbit in that story that everyone seems to be neglecting:

    “Jared is just too good to compete in the regional playdowns at the B level”

    That suggests to me that there is an A or higher level that could accomodate the kid.

    Granted, rec level teams often get A-calibre kids who are discipline problems or don’t want to travel or who just don’t feel like playing competitive level hockey. I don’t know how this region is organized, but judging by the usage of the term “regional playdowns” it seems to me that B is still among the competitive levels – not the rec level.

    If the kid can play competitive-A, then he’s a ringer on a competitive-B team.

  6. That suggests to me that there is an A or higher level that could accomodate the kid.

    Yes, and to some extent this is where the controversy gets a bit interesting. Shawville claims they don’t have enough good hockey players to create a competitive ‘A’ team so instead they created two ‘B’ teams. Technically this is not allowed and they were asked to create an ‘A’ team but they still chose not to and in the end that rule was not enforced for the season. The end result seems to be that Shawville had 2 good B teams instead of a second rate A team and a second rate B team (at least that is what Shawville claims would have happened).

    But regardless of all that, Jared Murray was allowed to play all season and Shawville was allowed to have two B teams all season. It was a real bad decision on the part of the decision makers to not allow Jared Murray to play. Furthermore, it is shown that while the Shawville team is a good, maybe even very good, team, they are not dominant even with Jared Murray. They finished the season in 3rd and lost the first round of the playoffs. Any decisions such as these should have been made before the season, not just prior to the regional tournament.

  7. In response all of the Shawville team’s pulled out of the tournament. If it wasn’t an English vs. French issue before this sort of reaction is going to make it one.

    The kid doesn’t sound abnormally large but 51 goals in 17 games indicates he’s likely playing a fair bit above the level of the other kids in his league. It wasn’t his fault they decided to not have an A team, but to punish him for the decisions of adults is ridiculous.

  8. I can see the point if the TEAM is great because of the player, but this is ridiculous (although I thank you all for the context, it certainly is a bit more nuanced than I thought).

    When I played minor hockey we had to play Bala, a village the same size of us. In fact, we had identical arenas. But they had one guy, Edward Smith, who went on to play Junior A. One game they beat us 28-0. No mercy rule then… I can’t even remember how many points he got, but I do know he used to take penalties just to get off the ice (his dad was the coach).

  9. well they should have created an A team but because they thoguht the team wouldnt do well they didnt and outaouis did not tell them they had to, i just think at thestart it would have been better becausae it makes the shawville players better, also he is better then 51 goals, he is a bit lazy on the ice in the offencive zone and there for does not score as many as he should

  10. Just a few points to add to the story.

    The Pontiac region (Shawville, Fort Coulonge and Chapeau) was forced to play in the Outaouais region by Hockey Quebec in the mid 1990’s, it has never been a good fit.

    Shawville had founded and played in the Upper Ottawa Valley Hockey League for over 30 years.

    We have never felt welcome in their rinks or at league meetings and they do not like travelling beyond the city to Shawville or Fort Coulonge for games. Occasionally but not often, teams cancel games to avoid the travel, up to an hour and 40 minutes, Gatineau to Coulonge, for a 50 minute game.

    We still strived to make it work on the executive and team level, at least in my past experience, and the feed back from some Hockey Outaouais executive members seemed positive, that was encouraging.

    As for teams classifications, every effort is made to ensure a good fit and somewhere down the line Hockey Outaouais would have a say. So having two Novice B teams must have been OK. “A” hockey was not available.

    Shawville coaches were never asked to move up a team, nor was any player asked to move up.

    Jared Murray is a good hockey player, he has multiple-goal games but did not score in every game. He is not the biggest player on that team, but he is very mobile and good hands as they say. Last season he had one goal and played defense.

    A bad decision was made by Hockey Outaouais, plain and simple concerning Murray. Shawville boycotted the Regionals because of that decision.

    The Regionals is a tournament, sponsored by McDonald’s, to determine a winner to represent the Outaouais for the Provincial Championship.

    Not every player or parent is happy about this but we understand the situation.

    Some Shawville teams had very good chances to win the regionals, but to my understanding, certain rules have been changed to prohibit teams like the Pontiacs’ from advancing to the Provincial Championship. I guess an English team representing the Outaouais in the Provincial Championships would be unspeakable, but that’s my opinion. Dave

  11. Just a comment about all this, we have to remember at the end of the day this is an 8 year old boy who wants to play hockey and have fun. We have all seen teams at this age that have 1 or 2 players which can skate circles around your own team, but they developed faster thats all.

  12. My son played in this league this year and the Shawville Blakhawks were not the strongest team.

    I think that Shawville and Fort Coulonge should have had one “A” and one “B” team, like every other town in the league. But the real fault remains with the league who did not impose this on them, going against Hockey Quebec regulations.

    And now the funniest thing…Fort Coulonge, who lost only one game the whole season and who easily won the playoffs, will be playing in the Regionals, but with one condition…their star player, a defensman, who should no be playing at the “B” level – like 4 or 5 of his teammates – is being forced to play goaltender for the Regionals…how much sense does that make??

  13. As Head Coach of the Shawville and District Minor Hockey Association, I would like to clarify a few things regarding this issue.

    The Shawville Blackhawks finished 4th out of 20 teams and Jared scored only 32 goals in 16 games (not 51 in 17 games, as erroneously reported in the press). As far Jared being too big, too strong, this is ridiculous. There are many other players in Novice B who are as tall as Jared.

    The governing body of this league at no time asked the SDMHA to move this team to Novice A. Had they felt this team was too strong earlier in the season, they should have taken the time to evaluate the ENTIRE team, and make a more informed decision at that time. This is about 11 kids being discriminated against and not just one child.

    This team did not win a tournament all year, nor did they win the playoffs (they were eliminated in the quarter-finals) at the Novice B level. How Hockey Outaouais can now say they are a Novice A team is ridiculous.

  14. Just out of curiosity, how bad must a fact checker be to turn 32 goals in 16 games into 51 goals in 17 games. I’m guessing it’s 51 points? Either way, that’s a pretty major mistake. Way to go Press… congrats on screwing up the only thing you’re required to do: present the facts and let other people form opinions.

    Hopefully everyone will realize none of this makes any sense and there must be something more to it than just keeping Andy Murray’s great nephew out of a tournament. Speaking of which, is the fact that Murray is a head coach in the NHL the only reason this got any press in the first place?

  15. Some one at Hockey Outaouais needs to give their head a shake. My son played Jared’s team at a tournament and yes they are a good team, he is a good player, and he is bigger than a lot of other players at that level. BUT a lot of other teams in this division also have kids as big and as talented as Jared. Is the league going to force them to move players for the playoffs? And what about Fort Colounge, who won all but 1 game this year and was averaging 7-8 goals a game? The timing of this decision and the fact that only Shawville seemed to be affected smacks of politics and leaves a bitter taste in my mouth. The only point that Hockey Outaouais has made that I agree with is that they are trying to “balance” the league with equal teams. That is great but it is something that they should be doing before the midpoint of the regular seeason and not just before the playoffs start. To do something like this at this time of the season leaves me to think that something a little more devious was up.

  16. speaking of facts, Jared is not andy Murray’s great nephew, he is Brian Murray’s great nephew.
    The reason this recieved press is not because of his relations but because this is the second year in a row that this organization got screwed by Hockey Outaouais. It happened with a bantam b team in 2006, the team was definately the strngest team in the league, but they were asked to bump some players with a hand ful of games left which they did, the players they bumped were the stronges and oldest players on the team. Still at the end of the year after having won the regular season and playoff titles, the bantam team was forced to compete at the bantam a level in the regional finals, so having said that I now think this is not an isolated incedent, they want our hockey players to improve their double letter teams but they don’t want the remainding players to be able to play competitive hockey in uovmhl where people don’t seem to be so judgemental.

  17. I coach a atom team in Fort-Coulonge (mostly french )so Outaouais hockey did not pick out Shawville because it is an english town my opinion is Outaouais hockey do not want us small towns winning , two years ago our novice B team was told at the end of the season to move one of our star players (The smallest player on the team)we did not so Outaouais hockey put our B team in A for the regionals and playoffs we lost all games badly .This year again our Atom B team won 5 and tied one to start the year so again Outaouais hockey moved our team to A and we lost all games in A so Outaouais hockey is happy again so stop this language issue and look at the real reasons I opointed out above .Outaouais hockey has to let us go back to the ontario minor hockey leagues they sure don’t look like they want us in their city league

  18. Hockey Outaouais is a body of discriminating individuals, acting for children, apparently in their best interest. If this was one of their own I am sure the outcome would have been different (a celebrated success). Hockey Outaouais also has discriminating hands in girls hockey and has destroyed advancement for our girls to Double AA teams. If they had the coaches and the programs to support keeping the girls that would be understandable, but the girls program is POOR and yet they refuse to release players that make double AA teams. Shame on them. Many of the girls are dropping out simply from disapointment and to get out of the association.

  19. Honestly, as if the child was considered ‘too good’. He is a boy, and regardless of who his family is, he has talent. Apparently everyone has forgotten that this is an 8 year old boy who wants to play hockey!!!!!!

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