Fife Flyers have been told to quit criticising the league’s disciplinary system - and accept the blame for messing up a review to the disciplinary body
The strong words came from Todd Kelman, managing director of Cardiff Devils in a detailed rebuttal of the Fife club’s PR attack on the Department of Player Safety (DOPS) after it rejected a request to review Braehead Clan player Jay Rosehill’s conduct in an incident with Flyers’ defenceman James Isaacs in Sunday’s game.
DOPS said the appeal missed the deadline, sparking a detailed response from Flyers who argued that any ‘’minor technical infringement’’ should not be a barrier to punishing Clan’s NHL forward for checking Isaacs twice - once while he was face down on the ice.
Kelman insisted the blame rested entirely on Flyers’ shoulders.
And in a pointed reply – issued on his Twitter account – he said: ‘’If you are a member of Fife Flyers fan base don’t blame the league for the system – be frustrated your team didn’t follow it.’’
Kelman said: ‘’It shouldn’t be my responsibility to defend the EIHL and DOPS review system, but someone needs to today.’’
He described the appeals system as ’’very simple’’ and one Flyers were well are of since it was brought in a few seasons ago.
‘’It was put in place and agreed by all ten teams,’’ he said.
‘’If I want a review for my team, I will put it in by 6pm on the correct day to the correct email address and pay my fee to the league – same as every other team does a few times every year, same as Fife Flyers did last season.
‘’So don’t rip apart the league for the system of review because, whether we agree with it or not, it is so damn simple, and we have all been following it for the past two or three seasons.’’
Kelman said that DOPS should be free to review all calls whether or not a team or referee asks for a review – and that the disciplinary body ought to have called Fife and checked if they were making an appeal after video footage was widely shared on social media and discussed online.
But he reserved strong criticism for the Fife club’s PR, and how it handled the situation.
‘‘If you had time to cut the highlights, put the video out on social media, and respond to comments on Twitter and Facebook about the incident, you surely had time to send a one line email to the correct address by the correct time requesting a review.’’
And he added: ‘’If you are a member of Flyers’ media team or management, don’t put out a statement trying to undermine the league saying you’ve followed the system when you didn’t.’’
Kelman admitted the DOPS process was not ideal but was clearly established and known to all clubs.
He added: ‘’The fact that the incident did not get reviewed is not the fault of the referee, Braehead Clan, the EIHL, or DOPS. This is the fault of Fife Flyers.
‘’No matter what they put out on their website, if they’d followed the simple process we would all look less stupid today to our fans and to the hockey community at large.’’
>> read Todd’s full statement on Twitter @toddkelman