Arthur Thomas Potter was a Canadian ice hockey administrator.
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Arthur Thomas Potter was a Canadian ice hockey administrator.
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Art Potter was president of the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association from 1962 to 1964, and oversaw the establishment of a permanent Canada men's national ice hockey team after he decided that sending the reigning Allan Cup champion to international competitions was no longer the answer.
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Art Potter felt that Canada needed discipline to handle Cold War tactics and propaganda at the Ice Hockey World Championships, sought to give its best players to develop as a team, and supported a plan by Father David Bauer to assemble a team of amateur student athletes to complete at the 1964 Winter Olympics.
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Art Potter had multiple disagreements with coach Hap Emms during two Memorial Cup finals, suspended radio announcers for comments that he felt were detrimental to the game, sought rules to sanction teams and individuals who abused on-ice officials or the CAHA, and advocated using a three-man officiating system to reduce incidents.
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Art Potter was the youngest of five children to Annie and George Potter, the latter who worked as a blacksmith.
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Art Potter volunteered as a convenor for the Edmonton Junior Hockey League in which the team played.
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Five seasons from 1929 to 1933, Art Potter managed the Edmonton Poolers while Barney Stanley coached the team.
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The age groups played all of their games on outdoor ice rinks, had grown to exceed 200 players by 1941, and Potter hoped to further expand the groups be encouraging participation from the towns surrounding Edmonton.
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Art Potter was elected vice-president of the Edmonton and District Hockey Association in October 1943, then served as its president for four seasons beginning in October 1944.
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Art Potter sat on a committee to establish a sports and recreation council for Edmonton, and felt the proposed body should aim to support and promote sports organizations rather than be simply a neutral administration.
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The council supported a proposal for a C$100,000 artificial ice rink for minor ice hockey, and Potter sat on the committee to have the facility designed and built.
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Art Potter retired as EDHA president in September 1948 to focus on organizing hockey at the provincial level.
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Art Potter was elected vice-president of the Alberta Amateur Hockey Association in May 1948.
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Art Potter served seven one-year terms until 1955; and oversaw the Northern Alberta playoffs each season for intermediate level senior hockey, and the bantam, midget, juvenile age groups in minor hockey.
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When players from Edmonton were added to the rosters of WCJHL teams, Art Potter stated that the players had not been released and faced suspension for not honouring commitments.
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Art Potter chaired the committee that organized the victory parade in Edmonton for the Mercurys.
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Art Potter blamed the increase of minor league professional hockey for the decline the senior hockey in Alberta.
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Art Potter was elected president of the AAHA on November 14,1955.
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Art Potter wanted to see more children playing the game for fun, advocated for shorter schedules, and felt that the game in general had become too physical.
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Art Potter wanted to see more temporary outdoor ice rinks constructed to meet the seasonal demands of minor hockey and recommended that rinks be located at schools if public parks had no available space.
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Art Potter felt that "professional money [had] ruined amateur hockey", and that the NHL changed the game into a big business.
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Art Potter wanted to spread out junior hockey talent and see fewer players controlled by professional interests concentrated on a small group of teams.
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Art Potter urged for smaller towns to focus on producing their own talent through minor hockey, instead of trying to import better players by offering money.
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Art Potter aired several grievances of the AAHA at the 1956 Canadian Amateur Hockey Association general meeting.
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Art Potter was opposed to the NHL making professionals out of players who were still eligible for junior ice hockey.
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Art Potter disagreed that any junior team owned its players, nor had the right to sell them to another team, and compared it to slavery.
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Art Potter warned that proper transfers must be completed to change teams, and that players could be suspended if an agreement was not honoured to play for a team.
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Art Potter was opposed to any amateur sport club which attempted to restrict its athletes from playing an additional amateur sport.
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Art Potter stated that the athlete had the right to choose, and would be supported by the AAHA and the CAHA.
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Art Potter wanted to see more branches of the CAHA to enter teams, rather than only the senior teams in Ontario in British Columbia.
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Art Potter stepped down as president in November 1958, and had continuously served on the AAHA executive from 1943 to 1959 as either a director, the vice-president or the president.
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Art Potter was elected second vice-president of the CAHA on May 21,1959.
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Art Potter oversaw the distribution of $80,000 in grants towards development of minor hockey in Canada, and the implementation of mandatory goaltender masks.
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Art Potter credited the team for being able to beat Canada in hockey and described the players as, "smart, clean-living and interested in finding out more about Canada".
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Art Potter oversaw scheduling for the 1960 Allan Cup in Western Canada, ruled that Saskatchewan too late in declaring a champion to participate in the playoffs, then changed his mind and scheduled an abbreviated series.
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Art Potter was elected first vice-president in May 1960, and served two one-year terms.
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Art Potter was in change of the 1961 Memorial Cup playoffs in Western Canada and the final championship series.
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Art Potter served as chairman of the resolutions committee which handled recommendations to update the ice hockey rules and CAHA by-laws.
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Art Potter favoured the change and felt that junior hockey had become too fast for the two-referee system without linesmen.
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Art Potter was elected president of the CAHA to succeed Jack Roxburgh on May 25,1962.
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Art Potter denied reports in The Canadian Press that Quebec hockey officials were upset about increased fees and a decrease in minor hockey registrations.
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Art Potter felt university instructors would be best suited for training volunteers on how to teach hockey fundamentals to minor hockey players, and that the government would contribute since hockey aligned with the council's objectives of promoting citizenship, character and physical fitness.
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Art Potter wanted more study into programs to support continued junior hockey growth and the Memorial Cup.
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Art Potter stated that the suspensions resulted from "continuously and severely criticizing officials, thereby giving an erroneous picture of the game as played"; and that "this type of broadcast is a definite detriment to sport and cannot be tolerated".
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Art Potter lifted the ban on the two broadcasters after the conclusion of the playoffs.
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Art Potter oversaw the 1963 Memorial Cup between the Edmonton Oil Kings and the Niagara Falls Flyers, played at the Edmonton Gardens.
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Art Potter dismissed the charges and stated that the treatment of the Flyers matched their lack of courtesy and refusal to attend the Edmonton Sports Writers' Association dinner.
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Art Potter agreed that Emms was a good coach but that "his actions were childlike".
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The CAHA chose to participate in ice hockey at the 1964 Winter Olympics, and Potter deferred making the decision on which team would be sent until the next executive meeting.
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Art Potter later met with Bauer and University of British Columbia officials and reached a financial agreement for the national team program to begin in August 1963.
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Art Potter commented on the Soviet Union national team tour of Canada in 1962, and felt that despite losses to them, Canada would regain its position as the world's top hockey nation since it produced the best players.
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Art Potter felt that as a part of Canada teaching hockey to the world, pupils could become better than the teacher.
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Art Potter noted that the Europeans played with a lot of passing the way Canada used to, and taking high-sticking penalties was Canada's weakness in international play.
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The Canadian Press speculated that Art Potter's remarks reflected that Canada wanted to remain on good terms with the IOC since it had bid to host the 1968 Winter Olympics in Calgary.
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Art Potter stated, "Something has to be done to stimulate more national hockey pride in Canada".
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Art Potter felt that Canada would not win the World Championships again unless it sent its best players and gave them enough time to develop as a team.
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Art Potter felt that the CAHA had done nothing wrong and accused Kromm of poor judgment in choosing players.
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Art Potter oversaw scheduling for the 1964 Memorial Cup played in Toronto, and disagreed with the management of Maple Leaf Gardens on the radio broadcast rights for games.
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Art Potter stated that the CAHA reserved all rights, but that there was little he could do since the CAHA had a different contract with the Gardens.
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Art Potter declined to answer whether an American-based team could win the Allan Cup and represent Canada at international events, and felt that the formation of a permanent national team was preferred.
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Art Potter was named to the North American committee of the IIHF in August 1963.
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Art Potter presented differences in international body checking rules at the IIHF general meeting in 1963, where the federation agreed to trial usage of the North American rules to see if European players and spectators would accept a permanent change.
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Art Potter questioned whether future exhibition games in Czechoslovakia or the Soviet Union would be worthwhile, due to the games being used for political propaganda and to give Canada a bad reputation.
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Art Potter accused media in Czechoslovakia and the Soviet Union for portraying Canada as physical and undisciplined, whereas newspapers in Germany and Switzerland lauded Canada's play as clean and disciplined.
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Art Potter accused referees at the Olympics of calling petty penalties and ruining the games for all countries, and credited Bauer for keeping his cool despite the inept officiating.
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Art Potter felt the Swedish player should have been assessed a 10-minute penalty and a game misconduct, and implied that it was typical behaviour by the Sweden national team.
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Art Potter appealed the decision and contested that only the games involving the top four teams mattered when using goals for and against in tie-breaking, instead of including all games in the tournament.
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Art Potter admitted that he might have said it out of frustration, but later denied the quote and still felt that Canada had been double-crossed in the standings.
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Art Potter recognized that the time commitment to the national team had a negative academic impact on its players, and commended them for paying the price to represent the country without complaining.
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Art Potter met with Bauer to discuss prevention of academic impacts, after it was revealed that seven of the players dropped out of their courses, and nine others completed less than half of their courses.
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Art Potter defended Bauer's system and disagreed with suggestions to use junior-aged players who he felt were not mature enough to play at the international level.
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Art Potter felt that the talent level on the national team had to be on par with the American Hockey League to regain the World Championship, and that sending the reigning Allan Cup champion was no longer the answer.
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Art Potter advocated using the nucleus of the 1964 Olympics team and adding senior players until it became a truly national team by the 1968 Winter Olympics.
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Art Potter was succeeded by Lionel Fleury of Quebec City as president on May 23,1964.
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Art Potter was named chairman of a committee for an internal audit of the finances of the CAHA branches and their affiliated groups.
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Art Potter chaired a committee to examine the professional-amateur agreement with the NHL, with the intent to keep players in junior hockey as long as possible instead of becoming professionals.
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Art Potter cautioned teams to avoid a financial bidding war for players, which had caused the previous decline of senior hockey in Alberta.
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Art Potter felt that the Allan Cup would regain its prestige within a year or two if teams kept expenses low and minimized travel costs to share the wealth.
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Art Potter advised to host only the top tier of competition which would generate the most ticket sales and felt that the IIHF would be willing to host the lower tiers of competition elsewhere.
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Art Potter oversaw the 1965 Memorial Cup played at the Edmonton Gardens, a rematch of the final between the Edmonton Oil Kings and the Niagara Falls Flyers.
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Art Potter ordered that the game be stopped after three match penalties, nine major penalties and three misconducts had been issued; and after Edmonton police had to restore order when fans became involved with players.
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Art Potter described the brawl as "butchery" and the most brutal he had seen.
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Emms made multiple complaints about the scheduling and inferred that Art Potter had a financial benefit from games at the Edmonton Gardens.
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Art Potter implied that Emms felt he knew everything, and declined the "cloak of genius" label given to him by Emms.
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Art Potter felt that the CAHA general meeting in May 1966 would be one of its most important meetings, since the CAHA had submitted notice to terminate the professional-amateur agreement with the NHL due to grievances with the drafting of 17-year-olds and the uneven distribution of money.
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Art Potter felt that the new practice of alternating referees in Memorial Cup and Allan Cup games caused fewer complaints, and sought for rules that sanctioned teams who abused referees.
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Art Potter felt that the officiating at the tournament was disgraceful and a deliberate attempt to prevent Drumheller from winning, and had authorized the team to protest the officiating and withdraw from a game in progress.
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Art Potter was a lifelong Edmonton resident from the time he was nine months old.
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Art Potter was married to Shirley Potter for 65 years, with whom he had two daughters and one son.
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Art Potter was the secretary of the Edmonton Sportsmen's Association during the 1950s, the local sports boosterism club.
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Art Potter chaired the committee for the welcome home party after the team's victory at the 43rd Grey Cup in 1955.
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Art Potter was later an executive member of the Sportsmen's Fund to boost local amateur sports, and was chairman of Edmonton Sports Hall of Fame committee when it was established in 1959, and inducted its first members in 1960.
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Art Potter was elected to four terms as chairman of the Edmonton Recreation Board from 1958 to 1961.
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Art Potter summarized the most common complaints he received into three categories; the quality of the referee, the validity of player registrations, and the location of playoffs games.
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Art Potter noted that the weather was the greatest issue during the playoffs.
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Art Potter was a Freemason and a member of West Edmonton Lodge Number 101.
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Art Potter was the namesake of the Art Potter Trophy awarded to the most valuable player of the annual all-star game between the juvenile and junior age groups in Edmonton, and was made an honorary life member of Edmonton's Maple Leaf Athletic Club in 1981.
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Art Potter received the Amateur Hockey Association of the United States citation award in 1965, for contributions to the game in the United States.
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Art Potter was recognized for services to amateur hockey in Canada with the CAHA Order of Merit in May 1966, and received the Canadian Centennial Medal in 1967.
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Art Potter received the past-president's pin from the CAHA in 1973, and was made a life member in May 1976.
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