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Derek Clarke is not Randy Gumbley, CHLPA insists

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The CHLPA “categorically denies” that Randy Gumbley has “any official position” with the aspiring junior hockey union.

The denial comes one day after various reports suggested that often-heard-from-but-rarely-seen union spokesman Derek Clarke is actually Gumbley, a convicted fraudster.

The CHLPA believes it’s all part of a plot to keep the CHL from being unionized.

“This issue is more than a smokescreen,” the union said in a statement, “it’s a high-handed union busting tactic to undermine the union in the eyes of the players. It’s outrageous!”

It’s been reported that Clarke – the “real Derek,” according to his lawyer – will appear on TSN today to clarify the situation. (We’d sure like to know how CHLPA executive director Georges Laraque could be shown a picture of Gumbley and say it was a picture of Clarke.)

However, the CHLPA says that today’s statement “will be the last statement from the CHLPA regarding this topic” and that it’s “going to focus its resources and energy on organizing in the certification applications already before the various labor boards.”

Update (3:30 p.m. ET):