The Detroit Hockey Association is done. Dissolved. How did I just hear about this?
In the Spring of 2012, I published a piece here on Jack Adams Arena in Detroit. I meant to follow it up, but it got lost in the shuffle—until recently, when into the comment section of that first piece someone dropped the troubling news that the Detroit Hockey Association is no more. The DHA ran the leagues and teams hosted at the arena, so while the ice remains, the organizational structure around it does not. It turns out the DHA dissolved before this hockey season began. The causes and consequences of that dissolution are still not clear. But all signs suggest this is bad news.
Those signs, however, are scant. There is hardly any information out there on the demise of the DHA. It looks like the commenter who tipped me off, who has a long history with the organization, had been the primary keeper of the DHA’s blog. After the dissolution, it seems the blog followed him and became his personal outlet, which he used to tell his side of the story with a mix of anger, frustration and ODDly placed CAPLOCKS. Meaning, the only news on this issue is from a few blog posts that often swerve into rants, the merits and accuracy of which are difficult to decipher. What we can decipher from his posts is that the DHA was officially dissolved by the Michigan Amateur Hockey Association for failing to complete elections. Why that occurred is not clear. Full disclosure: I remember the blogger as a coach at Jack Adams who was both devoted—he was still there ten years after I moved away—and not someone people always got along with. So his perspective needs a bit of salt to go with it, but he should also be acknowledged as the only person to make an effort to broadcast this story.
There was nothing in the Detroit News. Nothing in the Free Press. Both are sports-obsessed papers in a sports-obsessed city. They have all the time in the world to cover high school sports and to chase around seventeen year old running backs picking a college. Yet, no coverage at all on the fall of a unique and valuable, if small and troubled, youth sports organization.
In the internet age, if a small community-oriented youth league falls and no one hears, does it matter? Yes. The fact that the comment section of my previous piece has now generated more updates on this issue than the rest of the internet combined shows there is interest here. So yes, it matters, but it also matters how it fell, why no one cared enough to cover the fall, and what people are doing to make up for it. So over the next few weeks, we’ll gather some firsthand accounts on what went wrong, what’s happening now, and why it matters.
First, a follow up on my interview last spring with Will McCants.
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