Author Topic: Flint Firebirds Players Quit  (Read 2053 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Online CarltonTheBear

  • Global Moderator
  • Sittler Status
  • *****
  • Posts: 18703
    • View Profile
Flint Firebirds Players Quit
« on: November 09, 2015, 09:37:56 AM »
So, a pretty bizarre story broke last night. Flint (formerly the Plymouth Whalers) were down 3-1 at home to the Oshawa Generals. They came back to win the game in a shootout 4-3.

The, word broke that the team fired the coaching staff, and afterward the entire roster marched to the owners office and quit:

Quote
One league source and one source out of Flint, MI tell OHLInsiders that the Flint Firebirds have gone on strike, all coaches have been fired and players have begun walking out.

While the reasoning behind this groundbreaking news remains behind closed doors, one theory is that the owner, assumed to be Rolf Nilson, is/was upset about the amount of playing time his boy Hakon has been receiving, coaching stood their ground and were all fired. The players who stand behind their coaching staff have also begun walking out the door.

http://ohlinsiders.com/2015/11/08/report-firebirds-on-strike-coaches-fired-players-walking-out/

ESPN's John Buccigross reported that all 24 Flint players, including the owners son, quit the team.

Offline Nik the Trik

  • Sittler Status
  • ******
  • Posts: 21736
  • Some Guy On a Message Board
    • View Profile
Re: Flint Firebirds Players Quit
« Reply #1 on: November 09, 2015, 09:59:47 AM »

I wonder what mechanisms the OHL might have to step in here because if this situation is as reported that sounds like the players are completely in the right.
Give a man the reputation of an early riser and he can sleep 'til noon
-Mark Twain

Online CarltonTheBear

  • Global Moderator
  • Sittler Status
  • *****
  • Posts: 18703
    • View Profile
Re: Flint Firebirds Players Quit
« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2015, 03:12:54 PM »
The team re-hired the coaches who were fired and they've been given 3-year contracts: http://www.tsn.ca/mondaymustread-flint-firebirds-re-hire-coaches-after-player-protest-1.390508

There's also rumblings that the owners son, Hakon Nilsen, might be getting traded soon. For his part Hakon seems to have done all the right things here.

Online herman

  • All Star
  • *****
  • Posts: 7865
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
Re: Flint Firebirds Players Quit
« Reply #3 on: November 09, 2015, 03:39:50 PM »
Wow.

Offline Captain Canuck

  • Rookie
  • ***
  • Posts: 556
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
Re: Flint Firebirds Players Quit
« Reply #4 on: November 09, 2015, 06:25:26 PM »
It sounds similar to the Conner Burgess drama in Sudbury from a couple seasons ago where a spot on a OHL team was held for the son of the owner, even though the son had no business playing in the league.

Obviously this is taken to the next level in Flint though by daddy firing the entire coaching staff! Glad to hear they all got their jobs back though and kudos to Hakon Nilsen for standing up to his father and marching up to the front office with the rest of his teammates to quit until cooler heads prevailed. Damage done for Rolf Nilson though, nobody in hockey will ever take him seriously again...he may as well sell his stake in the team!

Offline L K

  • All Star
  • *****
  • Posts: 8527
    • View Profile
Re: Flint Firebirds Players Quit
« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2016, 07:44:51 PM »
So he went and fired the coach again. 

Detroit has a decent prospect on the team in Vili Saarijarvi.  They have already guaranteed that he won't be sent back to play for Flint next year.

Offline Captain Canuck

  • Rookie
  • ***
  • Posts: 556
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
Re: Flint Firebirds Players Quit
« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2016, 08:04:54 PM »
So he went and fired the coach again. 

Detroit has a decent prospect on the team in Vili Saarijarvi.  They have already guaranteed that he won't be sent back to play for Flint next year.

Sounds like the league will be looking into how this was handled AGAIN! There seems to be a lack of professionalism with how the ownership group in Flint goes about handling this type of business.

The timing to me was strange due to the Saginaw firing yesterday. It was almost as if Flint management justified firing their coach now because Saginaw did and they are worse than the Spirit so hey why not?

Online CarltonTheBear

  • Global Moderator
  • Sittler Status
  • *****
  • Posts: 18703
    • View Profile
Re: Flint Firebirds Players Quit
« Reply #7 on: February 17, 2016, 10:47:46 PM »
So he went and fired the coach again. 

Detroit has a decent prospect on the team in Vili Saarijarvi.  They have already guaranteed that he won't be sent back to play for Flint next year.

The father of the Flint Firebirds top scorer this season said his son will not return next season if the Ontario League does not do something about Firebirds owner Rolf Nilsen. Michael Bitten, the father of Firebirds leading scorer Will Bitten, said his son would have probably left the team immediately, but has been advised by his agent to remain with the team for the rest of this season.
But Michael Bitten said there is “no way” his son will return to the Firebirds next season if Nilsen still owns the team. “If there are not changes there, my son will not go back, and I don’t think many others would as well,” Michael Bitten said. “It’s probably out of (OHL commissioner) David Branch’s control to a certain extent, but he must have the power to rectify it and I don’t know what that it. But surely they have to take this team away from that man. How can you go on long-term?”


http://www.thehockeynews.com/blog/father-of-flint-firebirds-star-they-have-to-take-this-team-away-from-that-man/

The amazing thing is that in all of this Flint is still only 3rd last in the league. But it's pretty much a guarantee that any top prospect they might draft won't be reporting to them next season if the ownership situation isn't resolved.

Offline Nik the Trik

  • Sittler Status
  • ******
  • Posts: 21736
  • Some Guy On a Message Board
    • View Profile
Re: Flint Firebirds Players Quit
« Reply #8 on: February 18, 2016, 01:19:56 PM »

Owner, new coaching staff suspended, ordered to pay for counselling for players:

http://www.ontariohockeyleague.com/article/statement-from-ohl-commissioner-david-branch_167558
Give a man the reputation of an early riser and he can sleep 'til noon
-Mark Twain

Online herman

  • All Star
  • *****
  • Posts: 7865
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
Re: Flint Firebirds Players Quit
« Reply #9 on: February 18, 2016, 02:45:45 PM »
And this garbage fire isn't even the worst example of mismanagement in this city...

Offline Nik the Trik

  • Sittler Status
  • ******
  • Posts: 21736
  • Some Guy On a Message Board
    • View Profile
Re: Flint Firebirds Players Quit
« Reply #10 on: April 06, 2016, 10:18:15 PM »

The hammer comes down:

http://new.ontariohockeyleague.com/article/statement-from-david-branch-ohl-commissioner-concerning-flint-firebirds

Essentially, the OHL is taking over the franchise with various punishments for the club: 
 
- Five year suspension for Nilsen for any involvement with the team
- Forfeiting the 3rd overall pick in the OHL draft
- 250,000 dollar fine

In addition:

Quote
If it is determined by the League that Rolf Nilsen has violated this Order, the League may order Rolf Nilsen to sell one hundred percent (100%) of the ownership interest of the Flint Firebirds.

Damian Cox has reported that lots of agents are saying that their players won't report to Flint if drafted/traded there. It's tough to blame them.     

Give a man the reputation of an early riser and he can sleep 'til noon
-Mark Twain

Offline L K

  • All Star
  • *****
  • Posts: 8527
    • View Profile
Re: Flint Firebirds Players Quit
« Reply #11 on: April 06, 2016, 10:39:04 PM »
I really do think that 1st round pick forfeit is a bit of a heavy hand from David Branch.  Everything was clearly done to essentially force Rolf to sell the team (and now that his kid is done with the OHL he might as well go and buy an ECHL team or start a University anyway).  But that draft pick just punishes whoever comes in to buy the team next and is a harsh hit to any of the players who do choose Flint as they lose out on either a top prospect or a top prospect who could be traded for assets.

Offline Nik the Trik

  • Sittler Status
  • ******
  • Posts: 21736
  • Some Guy On a Message Board
    • View Profile
Re: Flint Firebirds Players Quit
« Reply #12 on: April 06, 2016, 10:43:00 PM »
I really do think that 1st round pick forfeit is a bit of a heavy hand from David Branch.  Everything was clearly done to essentially force Rolf to sell the team (and now that his kid is done with the OHL he might as well go and buy an ECHL team or start a University anyway).  But that draft pick just punishes whoever comes in to buy the team next and is a harsh hit to any of the players who do choose Flint as they lose out on either a top prospect or a top prospect who could be traded for assets.

Yeah, I was going to say something along those lines. I understand wanting to really come down hard on the gong show Nilsen created but that just seems to hurt the team's fans and you assume they're not happy with what they've seen already.
Give a man the reputation of an early riser and he can sleep 'til noon
-Mark Twain

Online CarltonTheBear

  • Global Moderator
  • Sittler Status
  • *****
  • Posts: 18703
    • View Profile
Re: Flint Firebirds Players Quit
« Reply #13 on: April 07, 2016, 07:54:52 AM »
Yeah agreed I don't like that pick forfeiture. Granted whoever they took probably wasn't reporting anyway but they still could have gotten value for it back.

And Nilsen basically has to sell the team, there's no way it'll ever be healthy with him owning it.

Offline Frank E

  • Veteran
  • ****
  • Posts: 3286
    • View Profile
Re: Flint Firebirds Players Quit
« Reply #14 on: April 07, 2016, 09:35:22 AM »
Wasn't there an issue of top players not wanting to go there anyways?

Maybe taking away the pick is just to avoid that whole mess, especially if the OHL is going to be running the team.

Or maybe they reinstate the pick if someone else buys them. 

TMLfans.ca

Re: Flint Firebirds Players Quit
« Reply #14 on: April 07, 2016, 09:35:22 AM »