Fort Frances Lakers coach suspended

Natali Trivuncic
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

It was announced on Jan. 6 that the Fort Frances Lakers head coach Bernie Lynch, has been suspended.

The news comes after the Lakers’ winning streak against the Kenora Thistles U18 AAA team in December 2020.

Fort Frances Lakers president, Gary Silander, said that the suspension is currently under review and cannot share any more details because it may hinder the investigation.

Hockey Canada confirmed that it is looking into the matter but have also released few details.

“Hockey Canada is in receipt of a complaint alleging a code of conduct violation and we have instituted our normal protocols to deal with this situation. As this situation is being dealt with we will not comment further at this time,” Glen McCurdie, senior vice-president, insurance and risk management at Hockey Canada said.

Some of the codes of conduct listed for coaches by Hockey Canada include: Be a leader, a positive influence and a role model; fair play and commitment; demonstrate respect for all individuals involved in the game; communicate in a positive and rational manner; use inoffensive language.

Lynch joined the team in September. With 47 years of experience under his belt, Lynch beat nine other candidates for the job.

Some of Lynch’s past experiences include coaching in Norway at the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, NY, coaching eight world hockey championships, and 15 National championships across several countries.

The Lakers were set to play four games this week, but Silander said they have since been cancelled because of the lockdown extension in northwestern Ontario.

Silander said there are not sure how the rest of the season will play out yet but it looks like it may be a while as Ontario Premier, Doug Ford, announced the province will be in lockdown for another 28 days beginning on Thursday.