04.25.2018 07:22 AM

“It’s not always about you.”

In the many (many) years I was a hockey Dad, the rules were pretty clear: only coaching staff are allowed on the players’ bench.

So, um, is he a coach along with his other job?


  1. Peter says:

    I disagree and I’m not a big fan. If a PM’s son had been on my team when I was coaching, I would have happily invited his father onto the bench, rule or no rule. The kids would have been thrilled and the PM would have been shielded from hockey moms and dads trying to chew him out on the budget between periods. And I would have stood down other parents demanding equal treatment by telling them I would consider it when they became PM.

    His flamboyance in India and elsewhere probably made this inevitable, but it’s still petty and unfair to the young Trudeau.

    • Warren says:

      Non-coaching staff aren’t allowed in the box. That’s the rule in every league in the country. Do you have kids who play hockey? I kind of doubt it.

      • Peter says:

        Doubt away, but yes and I coached. I’m also a lawyer who isn’t a big fan of strict liability rules enforced without reference to purpose and circumstances. I know it’s the rule and it’s a good one, but I’d still break it for the Queen, Sidney Crosby and a PM.

        • Warren says:

          So you agree it’s a hard rule across the country. Good. So you think the rule shouldn’t apply because he’s a Prime Minister?

          • Peter says:

            I would say it shouldn’t be enforced against him, rather than not apply to him, but basically yes. This is an organizational rule, not a law. I also believe Prime Ministers shouldn’t have to line up like everybody else for theatre tickets or to board airplanes. I’m assuming he didn’t muscle his way onto the bench over the objections of the coach. If it were me, though, I would have asked him to wear a helmet.

    • billg says:

      Oh come on, this PM craves and seeks attention, its not even debatable anymore, I cant think of another PM who wouldn’t get as far away from his kids coach, the limelight, and in doing so let his kid have a few hours of normality. Tells me something about the parent and the PM who never misses an opportunity to be the story.

      • Peter says:

        I believe that pic was taken by a private cellphone. If his goal was publicity, his PR team should be fired. I’m not a fan as I said, and I agree he chases the limelight too much, but just because I think he’s a flawed PM doesn’t mean I doubt he’s a loving father or doesn’t want to savour an all-too-rare father-son moment that many of his son’s teammates live every game. I’m also betting his son was proud (he’s still young enough) and the rest of the team and the coaches were thrilled, which to me is more important than sniffy hockey parents in the stands. If he started screaming at the ref or complaining about his son’s ice time, then the coach was wrong, as am I, but I would have taken the chance. C’mon, let’s lighten up, we aren’t short of rules these days. I hardly think this constitutes a violation of equality before the law or risks undermining the discipline structure of Canadian minor hockey.

    • Will Purcell says:

      It’s not a coaches decision. It’s expressly against the rules in every league and every sport in Canada to have non-approved individuals on the bench.

      Would you have “stood down” the referee? The league’s disciplinary committee?

      Good luck with that.

      • Peter says:

        Yes, I like to think I would have. Geez, I can’t believe how priggish everyone is being. This was a self-described “Fun Tournament” for eleven year old house league players with special rules like mercy rules and teams lending their goalie to other teams with an injured goalie. I’m sorry that dad didn’t get the result he wanted, but frankly he seems a little fun-challenged. I would have thought a Prime Minister or Don Cherry or an NHL star showing up on a bench would be super-cool for the kids and enjoyed by the refs, but I guess that makes me a threat to civilization as we know it .

  2. billg says:

    Trump and Trudeau are in many ways alike. I would imagine both have had their closest advisors tell them to tone it down, and, both have said, “why, it works”. As long as people can find jobs and economy’s purr along the voters really could care less about the Canadian photo hound and the US hound. Hey, if I was that photogenic I’d do the same thing.

  3. Matt says:

    Given how much time he spends out of the country on “business” and vacation, it’s rather fitting he’s under the “visitors” sign.

  4. DRB says:

    If he is going to be there have him be productive and not look like he is in charge….put him on a door so a real coach can help work with other kids. It would be cool for the kids to get a pat on the head coming off the ice from the PM.

  5. Sean says:

    100% correct, Warren.

  6. doconnor says:

    If he sat in the stands he probably would have been mobbed, wouldn’t be able to watch the came and there might be security issues.

    • Pedant says:

      He would have been mobbed?? Do you know ANYTHING about Canada and Canadians’ relationship with their political leaders?

      Here’s what would have happened. The fanboys would have approached him to shake his hand. The skeptics would have rolled their eyes and ignored him or glared disapprovingly. Such security issues!

  7. Sean says:

    …and I’m going to add that Harper and Chretien wouldn’t be caught dead doing that. They would stand in the back row with a cup of Tims.

  8. p bre says:

    wow short bench ..we sure thats not BQ caucus…

    the vast majority of hockey parents are decent…there to watch their kid…I doubt they would even talk politics with Trudeau..now about that mouthguard rule…

  9. Marc J says:

    Rule or no rule, I was invited behind the bench last year when my son was playing.

  10. Pedant says:

    Juxtapose that with this recent sighting of Harper (at McDonalds of all places). So rare is it to catch a glimpse of him that it counts as news .


    Startling how different are our current and most-recent former PM.

  11. whyshouldIsellyourwheat says:

    They really needed a photo to counter those from India. So they staged one.

  12. Bruce M says:

    Didn’t Putin coach a team to victory, too?

  13. Lance says:

    Me, me, ME!!!!!

  14. Kevin says:

    This is a joke, right?

  15. the salamander horde says:

    .. upon a time, I asked my son if he or any team mates heard parent shouting advice at them.. he said no.. not ever.. So I always watched from the farthest deepest corner of Ted Reeve Arena to give other parents a break and here n there shouted encouragement..

    I played college football and basketball & don’t recall ever hearing a word from the sidelines.. it was just noise, even from the coaches.. except during time out

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