After the firing of SIJHL hockey coach Bernie Lynch of the Fort Frances Lakers at the beginning of the year, the team has issued a statement saying Lynch’s contract was terminated due to a clear breach of applicable codes of conduct. Through the team lawyer, the statement goes on to say they commend those who have come forward to share their experiences of abuse and misconduct in sport.
Bernie Lynch was suspended without pay on January 2, 2021, after the team was made aware of inappropriate communications between him and one of the Fort Frances Lakers players.
Since his firing, information regarding Lynch’s conduct while behind the bench for the Edson Junior A Aeros has also surfaced. In January 2020, parents and billet families filed a formal complaint against the coach.
Due to COVID-19, the SIJHL season was paused January 15, 2021 and ended by the league on March 1, 2021.