Junior players deserve better coaches

By Mitch Calvert, Sports reporter
David Frost just can’t seem to escape the headlines.
Frost, most known for being the former player agent of Mike Danton (the man who tried to have him murdered in 2004), recently was on trial in Napanee, Ont. for four counts of sexual exploitation relating to two of his former players while coaching the now-defunct Junior ‘A’ Quinte Hawks. He had pleaded not guilty.
The judge is expected to deliver his verdict Nov. 28.
One of the alleged victims, who cannot be named, testified that Quinte Hawks players engaged in group sex and that it’s something he found to be common later in his career. “It’s like a bonding thing with your friends or teammates,” he told the Canadian Press.
Whether he is trying to cover up for his former coach remains to be seen, but he does seem to raise questions about whether or not this behaviour is prevalent in the junior hockey ranks.
A heavy practice and game schedule prepares kids for professional hockey, but it also means spending a lot of time with the same crew of players and coaches week in and week out. Certainly a level of camaraderie could be developed that might be conducive to these sort of rituals, but I doubt it’s commonplace.
The Canadian Press reported Ian Larocque, a former Quinte player who testified at Frost’s trial, told the court that group sex is common among hockey players and that he has had sexual encounters involving one girl and as many as five or six other guys.
Larocque also said he went on to play for seven or eight years in various leagues, and stressed group sex was not unique to his Hawks’ tenure.
Junior hockey players can be seen as big fish in a small pond to some girls in these smaller markets, and it certainly might increase their allure from the opposite sex, but to say females are willingly objectifying themselves for these guys seems a tad unfair.
I’ve never played junior hockey so to say conclusively one way or the other wouldn’t be my place to do so, but it’s unlikely it is as widespread as Larocque suggests.
Regardless, weeding people out like Frost will go a long way to preventing—or at least limiting—these sort of team “bonding experiences” from happening.
Back in September, Frost was granted permission to attend the Phoenix Coyotes’ training camp because he wanted to follow the progress of Adam Keefe, the younger brother of Sheldon Keefe who he once represented as an agent.
But Coyotes’ GM Don Maloney put the kibosh on his plans immediately.
“I can’t be strong enough about this, we don’t want any part of David Frost,” Maloney told the Toronto Sun at the time.
Of course, the story between Frost and his odd relationship with former St. Louis Blues’ forward Mike Danton is quite well-known in hockey circles, and no doubt has tarnished his image permanently—no matter how his own trial pans out.
Danton, meanwhile, is serving time in prison after pleading guilty to trying to arrange a murder-for-hire on Frost.
A CBC investigative report on the whole proceedings described how Frost told Danton’s girlfriend that hockey players “share women,” and allegedly attempted to court her in Danton’s apartment while he was on a road trip.
The report also recorded this interesting phone conversation between Frost and Danton while the latter was in jail:
Frost: Do you love me?
Danton (whispers): Yeah.
Frost: Say it.
Danton: I love you.
Frost: Do you?
Danton: Yeah.
Frost: OK.
We can only hope Frost and Graham James (another former junior coach who served prison time for sexually abusing some of his former players) are rare cases and do not reflect the norm. Junior coaches should focus on mentoring these kids into adulthood and improving their skills on the ice, not in the bedroom.
Junior hockey players deserve better.

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