May 18, 2019
Frustrated hockey parents took their shot and scored, winning an injunction to halt Hockey Calgary’s plans to shake up hockey association boundaries.
The decision was made by a Calgary judge on Friday and gives both parties — the group of elected associations and Hockey Calgary — until June 21 to reach a resolution or find themselves back in court.
Danielle Melnyk, a hockey parent and the spokesperson for the group of associations, said the decision has them feeling optimistic.
“We feel like maybe that can open up some doors for communication,” she said.
“We want to go back to serving our community in the way that we were elected to do so, so we definitely would prefer to have a resolution before spending more time and energy towards the court process.”
Three associations, which are led by elected parents, joined the legal fight against Hockey Calgary. It includes the Calgary Saints, Northwest Warriors and Glenlake, all of which would be affected by the decision to alter boundaries.
The decision to drop the number of hockey associations from 14 to 11 was made in March.
That month, Hockey Calgary president Kevin Kobelka said the decision came after 18 months of community engagement and balanced the needs of the hockey associations, parents, players and communities.
Its purpose is to allow more players to develop and compete at the same level, however Melnyk said Hockey Calgary “worked outside of its mandate and didn’t follow the process that was required to make these drastic changes.”
Melnyk said the decision could force players with fewer resources to quit hockey altogether.
“There is no harm done to any associations or any kid playing hockey if we pause this,” she said. “I really hope that we can all come to the table and agree on a solution.”
Hockey Calgary did not respond to a request for comment on Saturday.