The New Zealand Ice Hockey League has prepared the below statement in regards to concerns raised by fans about the SkyCity Stampede’s roster for the semi-final series against the Canterbury Red Devils.
The SkyCity Stampede played #4 Matthew Schneider and #56 Ryan Strayer in last night’s semi-final game and in doing so, no rules were broken.
Gameplay in the New Zealand Ice Hockey League is managed by the NZIHL Events Manual, and the International Ice Hockey Federation Rulebook. The relevant section from the NZIHL Events Manual that applies to this situation is rule 8.7 (a) xii, which states:
xii) Players who either
a. change their registered association,
b. are not registered with the NZIHF; or
c. have transferred from overseas during the season,
must skate in a minimum of 6 regular season games with their new representative team to be eligible to play in the Finals. (Where ‘Skate in’ is defined as actively participating on ice play). Dispensation may be granted for a player unable to complete 6 such games due to an injury – the NZIHL General Manager will have the power to grant this.
The above rule has been present in the NZIHL Events Manual since 2016.
The facts that are therefore required to be considered are as follows:
- Did SkyCity Stampede #4 and/or #56 change their registered association during 2022?
- Were SkyCity Stampede #4 and #56 registered with the NZIHF?
- Did SkyCity Stampede #4 and/or #56 transfer from overseas during the season?
Did SkyCity Stampede #4 and/or #56 change their registered association during 2022?
No. Both players were registered to the Queenstown Ice Hockey Club only during 2022.
Were SkyCity Stampede #4 and #56 registered with the NZIHF?
Yes. Both players have the required senior player membership with the NZIHF.
Did SkyCity Stampede #4 and/or #56 transfer from overseas during the season?
“Transfer” means an International Transfer Card (ITC), which is issued by the IIHF. An ITC is required for players who transfer between two IIHF sanctioned leagues in different countries. Locally, it also refers to a player who transfers between two NZIHL teams.
Neither #4 or #56 were issued an ITC by the IIHF, and neither #4 or #56 transferred between two NZIHL teams. Therefore this rule has not been broken. For the avoidance of doubt; the fact a player was physically located overseas during the season on its own, does not infringe this rule.
Finally, both players were listed on the official team roster prior to the 30th June 2022 deadline.
The decision to play #4 and #56 was a decision made solely by the SkyCity Stampede and does not infringe the NZIHL rules.
Featured image supplied by James Allan Photography.