February 20, 2016

Brown: OHL nepotism solely an ownership issue

Wouldn't it be a dream scenario for fans if the 67's could get another elite center?

Perhaps a skilled, big-bodied player who could shelter some top-pairing duties away from Dante Salituro and give the 67's an unrivaled 1-2 punch down the middle of the ice.

With 18 picks in the second- and third-rounds between now and 2020, they would probably have enough value to acquire a player like a Logan Brown.

It's a fantasy that can be quickly tossed out -- Windsor has put in a bid for the 2017 Memorial Cup and is clearly going to be in buy mode -- but what would happen if Jeff Brown could bring his son home?

He's certain it wouldn't be a negative, despite the father-son issues facing a certain OHL team this week.


The elder Brown squashed rumours as soon as he arrived in Ottawa that his son would be joining him.

"He needs to stand on his own two feet, we're different people," he said at the time.

While his original claim didn't pan out -- he added during his first presser: "Logan's going to play in Niagara" -- he stuck to his promise that he would not be carrying on coaching his young one the way he did most of his childhood.

After this week's saga in Flint, will teams be even quicker to shut down that sort of conversation?


Brown says he hasn't had to talk to his team about the events in Flint, where defenceman Hakon Nilsen's father, the team owner, has fired his coaching staff twice for allegedly not giving Hakon enough playing time.

"I think (Firebirds owner Rolf Nilsen) was upset more about (him) being scratched as opposed to ice time," said Brown.  "But that's a long way from here, we have our own deal to worry about."

Between last year's disastrous season in Sudbury, Brown's old OHL stomping grounds which saw owner Mark Burgess put his son on the roster, and the mess in Flint, nepotism as the ownership level seems to be a time bomb waiting to go off.

But on the coaching side, with Ben Hawerchuk currently playing for Barrie, Kerby Rychel having such a great run in Windsor, and Tucker and Dylan Hunter having long tenures in London, Ottawa's bench boss insists that a father-son duo on the bench isn't a bad thing.

"The issue is ownership, as a coach it's different.  Dale has his boy in Barrie, other coaches have had their boys, it's not the issue."

"If Logan was to ever come here in the future, I'd be harder on him than anyone."

It's a big stretch to imagine they'd ever be together in the OHL, but if it did happen, Ottawa wouldn't be in the same boat as Flint.

If the 67's realistically want that elite one-two punch down the middle, maybe they can pry away hometown product Will Bitten, whose father called out Firebirds ownership in The Hockey News this week, to fill the void instead.

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