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Officials' reaction

Following is a brief history of documentation which indicates how young officials feel about Sherman Chamberlain's actions with regards to the . A letter dated Oct.
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Following is a brief history of documentation which indicates how young officials feel about Sherman Chamberlain's actions with regards to the .

A letter dated Oct. 12, 2001 sent by a young referee to the SMHA said Chamberlain approached him after a game and commented "hey buddy you stink...I can't believe they're paying you for this."

As the official proceeded to his car, he was challenged to fight, he said.

The referee later writes: "I personally felt somewhat threatened by this particular altercation and I firmly believe that some younger officials might feel endangered by such incidents, thus discouraging them from officiating.

"I strongly hope that more is done to ensure the well being of officials, both on and off the ice. This would further encourage officials to continue fulfilling this vital service to the game of hockey."

In another letter written just before Christmas, Gosselin alleges to the SMHA that Chamberlain verbally abused two officials and waited to confront them in the parking lot following a playoff game in March 2001.

Gosselin supports the referee's statements made in his Oct. 12 letter and further states Chamberlain was directly responsible for police being called by initiating the serious confrontation with officials in the Dec. 18 incident.

Chamberlain "has crossed the line" and "my colleagues have a great concern for the safety of all officials," he said in the letter. "A precedent must be set in this case."

The referee-in-chief formally asks in writing that Chamberlain not enter any arena where the Warriors are playing for the rest of the 2001-02 season.

"Please make note that this is my minimum requirements that I am requesting. The facts are there and the only issue is the safety of all parties in concern."

A month ago in late January, Gosselin wrote another letter about Chamberlain.

"If Sudbury Minor does not address this situation, there will be no officials assigned to any SMHA sanctioned games in all divisions of hockey as of Thursday, Jan. 24 until Sudbury Minor deals with this to our satisfaction," he wrote.

Gosselin requests Chamberlain suspended from all arenas for a minimum of two years.

"I feel bad that this might cause some games to be rescheduled at a later date, however I have to protect my officials from any harm that might be caused to them."

Gosselin then accuses the SMHA board of putting this issue "on the backburner."

"We are tired of taking all kinds of abuse year in and year out. It's time to fight back for all the proper reasons and to take a stand on what we believe to be justice to mankind."

Northern Life has confirmed the officials only boycotted one game and have since agreed to work at Warriors games.

Stalker remains furious Gosselin sent the fax about the boycotted game last week after his office closed for business, he said.

"We (SMHA) are their (game officials) employers and we're not going to have employees telling us how to run our business," said Stalker.

The SMHA board believes they've gone out of their way to ensure no further incidents occur between Chamberlain and officials, said Stalker.



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