Raiders hockey club turns into SAMHA

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The elite hockey program at St. Albert, which was officially run by the Raiders under the supervision of SAMHA, will now be run by a committee under SAMHA known as the Raiders Hockey Committee.

St. Albert’s elite hockey clubs will no longer play under the Raiders brand after structural changes to the local sports organization mean teams will now be run by the St. Albert Minor Hockey Association.

The change prevented the Raiders from using their branding for elite teams, according to the Raiders’ website.

In early June, the St. Albert Minor Hockey Association (SAMHA) Board of Directors terminated its collaborative agreement with the St. Albert Raiders Hockey Club, which will bring the management of elite hockey back under the control of the SAMHA.

“We know this change in governance will help support the overall growth and development of AAA and AA hockey in our community and mitigate the ongoing reputational risk to the Raiders program,” the board’s public announcement reads.

The elite hockey program at St. Albert, which was officially run by the Raiders under the supervision of SAMHA, will now be run by a committee under SAMHA known as the Raiders Hockey Committee.

Following the announcement, Raiders President Kevin Porter released his own statement saying that elite clubs will no longer carry the Raiders hockey club brand. Porter declined to comment further.

“Next year, players will use SAMHA jerseys and equipment. All trademarks, use of the Raider name and related graphics are owned and operated by Raiders Hockey Club. SAMHA may not use any graphics, logos or anything associated with the Raiders,” Porter wrote.

Team jerseys and gear will carry the SAMHA brand and not the Raiders brand, Porter said, adding that the Raiders brand will no longer exist for elite hockey in St. Albert.

The move took place a few days later. The Gazette posted a story with current and former members of the Raiders hockey community sharing their concerns about the filing of complaints with the Raiders club.

Former coaches, board members and families spoke with The Gazette and shared their struggles to get the Raiders board to address complaints without having to escalate them to Hockey Alberta

Following the report of The GazetteSAMHA’s board of directors considered merging the two companies, but ultimately decided against it, according to the public statement, as they would then bear responsibility for any future legal action against the Raiders Hockey Club.

“Given the seriousness of the recent allegations against a member of the board of directorsr of the Raiders Hockey Club, the SAMHA Board of Directors did not feel comfortable assuming this ongoing risk,” the online statement read. SAMHA would not clarify the nature of the allegations or identify the board member mentioned in the statement.

No allegations against a Raiders board member have been reported in any precedent Gazette story.

The Raiders name originated in St. Albert in 1979 and the most recent logo was developed in 2005 under the direction of then President SAMHA. SAMHA granted the Raiders use of the logo for elite level AAA and AA hockey in St. Albert.

“We were confident that you would never hide this name from Raiders players in our community,” SAMHA’s public statement read.

“As of June 3, 2022, the statement to your membership on the SARHC website indicates that the Raiders Hockey Club Board of Directors intends to withhold player jerseys, equipment and logo.”

Porter said the Raiders are shocked and disappointed to learn that their collective agreement has been terminated and that the Raiders will have no role in the management of elite hockey in St. Albert.

Jane Sedo, executive director of SAMHA, declined to be interviewed for the story, but emailed a statement to The Gazettee. Sedo said it has made changes to the organizational structure of the Raiders Hockey Club and SAMHA will provide oversight for AAA and AA hockey in St. Albert.

“We are working closely with the leadership of the Raiders Hockey Club Society throughout this transition. For the past 15 years, the Raiders Hockey Club has been a vital part of our hockey community. Many dedicated volunteers have dedicated countless hours to building Raiders pride in St. Albert, and we look forward to continuing that legacy in our community,” Sedo said in the release.

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