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OHL announces decision regarding John Tavares

The Regional Evaluation Panel established by the Ontario Hockey League today announced its results of its review and consideration of the application by John Tavares to be granted “exceptional player” status and thus be eligible for the OHL Priority Selection Process on Saturday, May 7th, 2005.

The Regional Evaluation Panel was an arm’s length committee struck by the OHL.

The Regional Evaluation Panel was comprised of Mr. Kevin Burkett, a respected labour arbitrator / mediator and long-time Minor and Tier 2 Junior A hockey coach; Mr. Frank Bonello, former Minor and Junior hockey coach and manager and current Director of Central Scouting for the National Hockey League; and retired National Hockey League player and current Minor hockey coach and parent, Mr. Doug Gilmour.

The panel had full and binding authority to determine the status of player John Tavares.

In making their judgment the Regional Evaluation Panel made the following statement–

“We have been constituted and have the authority to decide if John Tavares is, within the guidelines established by the Ontario Hockey League, an “exceptional” 15 year old hockey player eligible to play within the Ontario Hockey League for the 2005-06 season.

We are mindful of not only the athletic challenges but also the emotional and academic challenges that would occur should a 15 year old be permitted to play in the Ontario Hockey League.

Having considered the report of Mr. Paul Dennis, Phd., a sports psychologist, who interviewed John Tavares to determine if he possesses the necessary life skills to qualify as an “exceptional player” and having interviewed Mr. Dennis; having considered both the completed teacher questionnaire and hockey coach questionnaire and having interviewed his coach, Mr. James Naylor; having considered the player evaluation report filed by Mr. Robert Kitamura, Chief Scout, OHL Central Scouting and having interviewed Mr. Kitamura; having considered the academic and hockey documentation and the essay submitted by John Tavares in support of his application and having interviewed John Tavares and his mother, we unanimously conclude, – subject to the agreement in writing of the team that selects John Tavares that during his first year of play the League must concur with all billeting arrangements and will monitor John Tavares’ social and educational development and may initiate any remedial response that it considers appropriate — that John Tavares is an “exceptional” 15 year old hockey player who possesses the maturity and strength of character to play in the Ontario Hockey League for the 2005-06 season.”

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