Saturday, 15 July 2017

Mea Culpa

Back in June at the introduction of the Kunlun Red Star CWHL team, there was a bit of confusion towards the pluralizing of the word "team" that CWHL Commissioner Brenda Andress used. One team definitely was introduced that evening, and we all became excited for a six-team CWHL next season that involved some international, overseas travel. However, there was still some unrest at the idea of there being multiple Chinese teams next season after Miss Andress used "teams" in her speech. Would there be further announcements? Was there a second team in the works? What details had yet to be revealed?

These question went unanswered until tonight. With one tweet, the CWHL confirmed an article written in Chinese that stated there would be a second team. If you had listened to The Hockey Show on UMFM on Thursday night, I had asked Sami Jo Small about the possibility of two teams, and she confirmed the rumour that there would be two teams. However, she also stated that only one would play in the CWHL next season. I thought I had the story, and I ran with it on Friday when people were speculating about the second team.

What Sami Jo Small and I didn't know is that Miss Andress had left the press conference in Markham, Ontario on Tuesday in order to catch a flight over to China for a meeting with officials for the second hockey club. Sami Jo Small was in Winnipeg running her hockey school, so she'd have no idea about the changes that were happening behind-the-scenes in Toronto at the league offices when she reported what she did on The Hockey Show when asked about the possibility of two Chinese teams. Things literally change that fast in the CWHL right now.

With the plane carrying Miss Andress touching down in China some time later on Tuesday or possibly Wednesday, it's clear that Miss Andress and the Chinese officials who were interested in bringing this second CWHL team to fruition came to an agreement at some point over the next few days between Wednesday and today, prompting the tweet to go out tonight about the second CWHL team based in China. Again, Sami Jo Small would have had no communication on these new developments, and I happened to report what I (and Sami Jo) had known to be true at the time on Friday - there was no second CWHL team in China.

Tonight, I sit here with a little egg on my face for being vehement in defending what I was told. There is no one to blame for me speaking out about this other than myself for stating what I was told, and I'll take the heat for that. Blaming anyone else would be wholly and completely wrong, and I won't allow that to happen on my watch. I spoke out, I said the words, and I deserve the heat I have already felt and will feel in the coming days for the error. It's all on me, folks.

There's a lesson to be learned here, and it's one that I should have heeded in this time of incredible expansion in the CWHL. That lesson is that in times of great change, multiple sources confirming any story are extremely important. Any single-source stories, as I've been taught, should come from an authoritative source. I took Sami Jo Small as being an authoritative source, and I will consider her to be one in the future. However, until this summer of great change in the CWHL is over, I will double-down on my efforts and get multiple sources on any major piece of news so that I don't lead people astray in the future.

In saying that, I have one message: sorry, folks. I messed up. I promise to be better in the future.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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