By Bill Doucet
CAMBRIDGE – Will Rawski’s season is in limbo.
The former Ayr Centennials netminder finds himself sitting at home awaiting an appeal with the Ontario Hockey Association (OHA) to get a release from the Brantford 99ers, after he jumped between three teams on Jan. 10 and still ended up on the sidelines.
According to Rawski’s appeal form, obtained by the Times, the 20-year-old goalie was put on Ontario Junior Hockey League waivers by the Milton Icehawks on Jan. 9 and picked up by the Carleton Place Canadians of the Central Canada Hockey League.
Just prior to the Jan. 10 OHA trade deadline, Rawski was sent to the Stratford Warriors of the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League.
That’s went things went awry.
According to a source with direct knowledge of the situation, a deal wasn’t worked out with the GOJHL’s Brantford 99ers, which he played for last season.
Junior B teams hold league release return rights for two seasons on any player who moves to a “higher or lower category”, according to OHA regulations. That player must return to the team he formerly played for in the league or a written release must be obtained.
The source further said Brantford president and general manager Darren DeDobbelaer wasn’t contacted about the Rawski trade until the morning of Jan. 11, hours past the trade deadline. Without the proper channels and papers signed, the source insists the trade should not have gone through.
In Rawski’s appeal application, he states he was contacted by Brantford on Jan. 14 and told they would not trade him to Stratford as “they are conference rivals and are willing to let me sit out”.
He also stated he would not sign with Brantford to be a fourth goalie on their roster and the 99ers won’t waive him to sign with Stratford.
While Stephen Boscariol, the OHA development co-ordinator, who handles appeals, directed all comments to OHA president Karen Phibbs, he did confirm receipt of the appeal.
Phibbs said, “The OHA policy regarding appeal hearings is, in fairness to the parties and process, not to comment or discuss the matter at hand.”
Both Stratford Warriors alternate governor Jason Lott and director of hockey operations Paul Jennings said they would not comment until the matter is resolved.
DeDobbelaer was short and succinct with his views on the matter.
“Brantford will be defending the appeal as the rule is black and white,” he said.
GOJHL commissioner Chuck Williams said he didn't want to speculate the appeal case as it was in the hands of the OHA, but was hoping it would work itself out.
“We always like to see players playing at the level they should be playing at wherever possible. We hope that, in this particular case, the OHA reviews it and makes a proper decision based on all the facts and evidence that they have,” he said.
A place to discuss what's happening to those teams in the MidWest Conference for those who ARE interested.
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Found this on the OJHL forum;