Filed Under:  U.S. & World

OHL’s Flint Firebirds walk out on team

Contributed by on November 11, 2015 at 6:49 am

The Firebirds are in their first OHL season in Flint, having been granted a team following the purchase and relocation of the Michigan-based Plymouth Whalers. They’ve got some talented players on their roster – including players looking to raise their NHL Draft stock – so hopefully this mess will get sorted out sooner rather than later.

That team was owned by Carolina Hurricanes owner Peter Karmanos, who is set to be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame Monday night. The Firebirds are 7-9-0-1 and rank ninth in the OHL’s 10-team Western Conference.

The owner of the team fired the coaches after a come-from-behind win on Sunday. That prompted the entire team to walk out in protest. Presumably displeased with the decision, each player handed in their jersey and quit – including Nilsen’s son, Hakon – a defenceman for the Firebirds.

Sports and CBS affiliate WNEM-TV in Flint, among other outlets are reporting the mass walkout of the team’s players. Do you know hockey parents that have protested on their children’s behalf because of a lack of ice time? Just heard Flint Firebirds come from behind against defending memorial cup champions, Oshawa tonight. They all walked out in a show of solidarity immediately after the firing came down. “Even his (owner’s) son quit”.


Immediately after the victory, the team’s head coach, John Gruden (no, not that Jon Gruden), and his entire staff were fired unexpectedly. The team’s next game is scheduled for Friday against the Sarnia Sting.

OHL's Flint Firebirds players walk out

OHL’s Flint Firebirds players walk out

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