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Memorial Cup Thursday, May 15, 2014


Proving the committee right DAve Langford

Gord Kirke is a Toronto lawyer who has represented a who’s who list of athletes, entertainers and major league sports teams, including the Toronto Blue Jays. He is also the Ontario Hockey League’s legal counsel. And it’s in that role that he participates every three years in the selection process to choose the OHL host site for the Memorial Cup. He has been involved more than 10 years. His non-voting role is to review the presentations, ask and answer all the legal questions and determine if all the agreements are in place. “The guys are usually very knowledgeable in the briefs that are submitted and the briefs are very fulsome,” Kirke said in an interview with Metro. “The teams, frankly, do a great job.” Kirke and OHL commis-

“To be honest, it was absolutely outstanding,” Gord Kirke, right, said about London’s bid to host the 2014 Memorial Cup. This will be the second time London has hosted the Canadian Hockey League tournament. Contributed

sioner David Branch are the ex-officio members of the selection committee, with five other sports and television types doing the actual voting.

This year marks the second time London has been awarded the Memorial Cup in the past 10 years, beating out Barrie and Wind-

sor in the final round one year ago. “Everything else being equal, it comes down to which team is likely to be the

best team,” Kirke said about the selection process. While there was some controversy at the time, the fact the Knights finished 26 points ahead of both Barrie and Windsor confirms the committee’s decision. Kirke was impressed with the London bid presentation. “They do a first-rate job,” he said. “I mean, since they have presented before on a couple of occasions, they’ve got it down to a fine art, and it is. “From experience, they know the points that are important, they touch on them, they cover them. They’re fully prepared in the live presentation.” And Kirke will return to London to see the finished product. He also visited London in 2005. “I thought it was great. I thought it was fun. I thought the ancillary activities were fun and they do a very good effort overall. These are quality hockey people who know what they’re doing.”

Selection committee

The following made up the site selection committee: • Paul Beeston, Toronto Blue Jay president and CEO • Frank Bonello, former NHL and OHL executive and director of central scouting • Colin Campbell, NHL senior executive vicepresident of hockey operations • Jim Gregory, NHL senior vice-president of hockey operations • Scott Moore, president of broadcast, Rogers Media (Sportsnet) • David Branch, OHL commissioner (ex officio) • Gord Kirke, OHL legal counsel (ex officio)

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