Campbell River Storm owner Kevin Spooner says he hopes people judge him on the good he’s done with his hockey team and his young players and not on a judge’s comments that he feels are unfair.
“I regret the whole thing happened,” Spooner said. “Am I sorry? I am super sorry the whole thing happened. I shouldn’t have gotten that angry.”
Spooner gained provincial notoriety when media outlets reported the Dec. 17 reasons for judgement by Provincial Court Judge Ted Gouge in slapping a peace bond on the team owner. Spooner was ordered to avoid contact with Comox Valley Glacier Kings owners Dave and Marsha Webb for a year after incidents in 2014 where the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League owners got into a dispute over compensation for a player. The judge took Spooner to task for what he called physical and verbal intimidation of the Webbs and applying the supposed hockey tradition of intimidation in an argument.
“I was appalled, mortified,” Spooner said of the judge’s comments. “I was never charged with assault. I don’t even have a criminal record.
“I feel unjust(ly treated), I guess.”
Spooner said there never was an assault and the case was based on allegations. Judge Gouge did say in his judgement that the contact between Spooner and Dave Webb was “trifling” and incidental.
Spooner said there was a heated argument by both sides and he felt the matter had been dealt with. But then he was shocked when the police showed up at his door and issued the peace bond. The case went to court when Spooner sought to have the bond lifted. If it hadn’t been for that, the case would never have come to public light.
But be that as it may, Spooner said he is a passionate person who cares deeply about the kids on his team. He has had issues with the way the Webbs treat their players in the past.
“My pure passion is for my kids,” he said.
The picture of Spooner painted by the judge is “not who I am,” he said.
A peace bond is a preventative remedy and does not entail a criminal conviction or a finding of criminal behaviour. It also does not have the same standard of proof beyond a reasonable doubt.
Spooner took over the Campbell River Storm four years ago when the franchise was suffering poor attendance of around 300 people a game and poor on-ice performance. He has since improved the team to the top of the standings in that time and is drawing up to 1,000 spectators a game.
He hopes the community will judge him on the positive things he’s accomplished and the positive environment now surrounding the team.
“This team and this town means so much to me,” he said.
Spooner said although the story has received provincial attention, he has had many calls and emails of support from around B.C.