TORONTO - So everybody else is at fault except for the characters in this ruined junior hockey union?
Before the blame for the vanishing Canadian Hockey League Players' Association can be put on media, or "sabotaging" hockey executives, Georges Laraque and his shadowy sidekicks need to answer this question first.
Who was that on those cryptic phone calls to media and players posing as Derek Clarke?
Lets start there.
Remember The Toronto Star reported Friday a quote from the brother of the convicted fraud artist admitting an imposter. In the story Glenn Gumbley said "it's possible that a union organizer could have contacted a media outlet posing as Clarke to fill the void."
Kind of an important point.
So who was it, Glenn?
Not your fraudster brother Randy, who has been convicted of bilking hockey players and using aliases before?
Is Glenn curious?
Luckily, David Naylor at TSN has been -- saying the last Derek Clarke he spoke with was different than the one he had talked with previously.
But here's the good news.
There are previous interviews with Derek Clarke on tape so the solution is very simple.
Play those tapes and compare the voices.
You interested in finding that out Georges Laraque? How about all of the "pro bono" lawyers who are now fleeing the sinking ship?
It may be difficult since it seems computer salesman Derek Clarke has not allowed himself to be taped. And who knows where the Gumbley brothers are these days?
Instead of answering any of that, or why it is there are other media reports that Derek Clarke and Glenn Gumbley had the same cell number, Laraque is transferring responsibility.
"The CHLPA has, and continues to deny that Randy Gumbley has any involvement with the CHLPA or that Derek Clarke is Randy Gumbley. These allegations were entirely frivolous and today, this November 2, the Toronto Star shed some light on the real facts of those accusations."
What the Toronto Star did shed light on was putting Gumbley's brother Glenn on record saying it's "possible" someone posed as Clarke.
Should anything else said in this matter by the current players be taken at face value?
It's interesting since also in The Star, Glenn Gumbley stated "he was the founding hand behind the fledgling union but that he tried to keep his identity hidden because he knew his family name was toxic in hockey circles."
Glenn Gumbley was quoted saying "I realized going into this that my name was definitely going to be a problem" and "that's why Derek Clarke has been the person to be the spokesperson on my behalf and other people behind the organization that do not wish to be named."
Not exactly a confidence-inspiring strategy for parents looking to put in the hands of these people their children's futures?
But when identity concerns came to light Wednesday, spokesperson Clarke was not answering calls and when asked about Randy Gumbley neither Laraque or Toronto-based lawyer, former OHL player Mike Mazzuca, mentioned anything about there being a Gumbley involved and that it was his brother.
Did they know Glenn Gumbley was involved at that point? Did they not know the background of his criminal brother?
If they did, why did they not tell the reporters who were simply calling to clear the air?
Meanwhile a source, who claims to know the Gumbleys and Clarke from back in Verdun, says "they were pals with Derek Clarke as teens" and ran around together as a group called "The Strobers." The friend said Clarke did not "talk with the media on tape" because it was not him who spoke with them the first time and that he does not know "anything about the business" of the junior hockey union.
So, these upstart union organizers fail to identify who they are, who is involved, and then play cute with the truth about the Gumbley family's involvement, but somehow it's all the misdeed of everybody else?