In yesterday's Daily Dish, about the situation with the owner of the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League's Kerry Park Islanders, it was mentioned that we may be able to print the letter written to the league.
We've been protecting players on this site since the beginning, and that will continue today. The parent and player's name will remain stricken from the letter as a result of that policy.
So with that said, let's get right to it.
I am contacting you to advise you of the unethical, threatening and borderline illegal behavior of Amar Grewal, the owner and general manager of the Kerry Park Islanders with regards to his demanding additional funding contrary to the signed player agreement we entered into on October 6th, 2018, which is attached as an enclosure.
When my son was released by the CJHL team and picked up by the Kerry Park Islanders, we agreed to pay $3675 CAD for the season, $250 CAD for league fees, $200 CAD for import player fees, and $0 CAD for billet fees. Based upon the agreed upon payment plan between Mr. Grewal and myself, I have paid those fees in total, see associated receipts which are attached as enclosures.
We also agreed to billet our son with Mr. Grewal at his rental property in Mill Bay along with his son and two other players. As such, Mr. Grewal became the billet family in addition to the owner. Based on a subsequent telephonic conversation I had with Mr. Grewal on either December 16th or 17th, he indicated he allowed other members of the team to socialize at the residence and did not put any limits on the frequency or number of team members allowed at the residence, which in essence became known as the “team house.”
On an unrecalled date in November, my son told me that Mr. Grewal was very upset because someone, likely associated with the team, damaged the garage door frame of the house with what looked like a vehicle. It is my understanding that no one from the team admitted to causing the damage and Mr. Grewal told the players living in the team house that if no one admitted to it, he would simply charge their families for the damage. My son assure me that he did not cause the damage nor did he know who did. I advised my son not to worry about it since he does not have a vehicle or a Canadian driver’s license and it would be unfair for Mr. Grewal to blame him and charge us.
Prior to the holiday break, my son informed me that all the players living in the team house needed to pack up their belongings and move them out prior to departing for the break. He told me that since no one was living there over the break, the property owner did not want their belongings stored in the house. Although it seemed unusual, I did not inquire further.
On either December 17th or 18th, Mr. Grewal telephonically contacted me. During our conversation, he admitted the reason the players were required to remove their belongings was because he was being evicted from the residence by the property owners due to the damage caused to the garage door frame. He noted that he had not shared this information with any of the affected players. He claimed that the property owners were retaining his security deposit to repair those damages. He indicated his desire was to recover those monies by charging each players’ family a portion that equaled $750 CAD per family.
Although I understood his frustration, I noted that aside from my son not causing the damage, we could not afford to pay him those additional charges. After a long conversation in which Mr. Grewal complained about the money he was losing as a team owner and no one caring about his situation, I told Mr. Grewal that we simply could not afford to pay the addition costs. The conversation was very cordial and ended with what I believed to be an understanding that he would not bill us.
On January 14th, 2019, I received an email from Mr. Grewal with an attached invoice of $750 CAD for a 25% share of a damage deposit. The invoice, which is attached an enclosure, was dated January 2nd, 2019, but was not sent until January 14th, 2019. I highlight the gap between the invoice date and its delivery as it was dated well in advance of the trade deadline but was not delivered until well after.
I subsequent email exchanges between Mr. Grewal and myself, I initially reminded him of our previous conversation regarding not pursuing this and commented that I would like to discuss this further with our family advisor, who has been a professional and quality sounding board for our family regarding our son’s transition from youth to junior hockey.
It quickly became clear in Mr. Grewal’s email responses that not only was he implying a threat that this situation could negatively impact my son’s hockey but he has arbitrarily attempted to modify our written player agreement by seek to charge us in USD for not only the “damage deposit” but also unspecified “extra” expenses. He also demanding we pay him $550 for billeting after February 22, 2019 as he claimed the player agreement only covered the season and not the playoffs. He mockingly noted that since we can afford a “Hockey Advisor”, he can modify our contract.
At this point, my goal became to protect my son from an owner who felt justified in extorting money from us and threatening my son’s hockey career. I attempted to diffuse the situation by trying to explain the financial burden this placed on my family and noted the fact as a US Coast Guard employee, the US government shutdown meant I had not current source of income to even pay the demanded funds.
Mr. Grewal’s subsequent response continued to mock our use of a family advisor and made it clear he was not willing to negotiate the “damage deposit” but agreed to accept three payments of $250 but pushed me to provide credit card information to be used to cover the disputed invoice.
Although I had no intent to provide someone who has proven themselves to be this dishonest with my credit card information, I again tried to diffuse the situation in order to protect my son by apologizing, requesting his understanding of our financial situation and agreeing to pay Mr. Grewal $750 CAD by February 1st, 2019, which required that I take a signature loan from our bank as I am without any source of income during the US government shutdown. I sent Mr. Grewal a personal check for the equivalent of $750 CAD via FedEx which was delivered on January 23rd, 2019.
I have include copies of my recent email exchanges with Mr. Grewal as an enclosure to this letter.
In addition to our situation, the team has recently cancelled bus transportation for two away games on January 16th and 30th. There are also recurring rumors circulating amongst the team members that billet fees being paid to Mr. Grewal are not being routed to billet families. I believe that all of these issues may merely be a small indication of underlying significant financial issue with the team and I am fairly confident, Mr. Grewal will demand additional monies from us as the regular season winds down and the playoffs begin. Based on this, we are transfer our son out of Kerry Park and moving him to a league within the US for the remainder of the season.
I hope you can understand why I was apprehensive to bring this to your attention when it happened. I truly believe that Mr. Grewal would have retaliated against my son and by the time the situation was resolved, the damage would have been done and my son would have paid a much higher price with regard to the rest of his hockey season.
I cannot image that this type of behavior is condoned by or representative of the VIJHL. Although I doubt we will ever recoup the monies Mr. Grewal extorted from us, I can only hope this information will be of use to your league and steps can be taken to ensure this of situation never affects another family or player.
Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or require additional information. I have also forwarded a copy of this letter and associated enclosures to our family advisor, Mr. Stephen Heisler, for his awareness.
Yea, that happened and Amar Grewal is that kind of owner. I'm just going to let the parent's letter speak for itself and call it a night.