An 18 year-old is an adult that should have the right to make adult decisions.One of those decisions should include the right to step outside of the developmental process and go to work. The now adult ... Read More...
"The NCAA would also do themselves a favor by forcing players into four year commitments with a financial penalty for early departure. That commitment also has to go both ways. If a college player wants to leave early for professional hockey, he is going to get a bill to cover the educational and developmental costs accumulated to that point." I assume then that a student on academic scholarship who leaves college to go to work for IBM or Microsoft (as Bill Gates did by the way) will also receive a bill from the college for "educational and development costs accumulated to that point"? And I assume the student athlete who has been part of generating millions of dollars for a D1 athletic program for the school will likewise be able to bill the school when he graduates for the difference of what he received and what he generated?
D1 athletic departments are certainly big business and 98%+ of the athletes are never going to see a penny generated from their sport. But is it fair to real student-athletes to have to compete for roster spots with guys that will never see the third or even second year of school? Why are we using up scholarship dollars on these kind of athletes.
Hockey's developmental system needs to clearly define the paths to professional OR college hockey. The college route should not simply be a short cut to avoid the NHL-CHL agreement.
These reforms may ensure that prospects with professional hockey talent actually do go and play professional hockey! They wouldnt hang around at college! Then the scholarships would be avaialble to the players who will stay in colllege for four years. SOme people may not like these changes....if you remove the star names from the college game!To the extent a pro prospect attends college for some years I am not sure that you can ask for a refund if he doesnt stay for four. For every year a player commits to college and plays he is fufilling his obligation and his education package is the exchange! How would you really legally require him to return those monies.
If a player goes into college knowing the repercussions of early withdrawal, and makes the adult decision to commit to the agreement, why would we not want him to maintain his end of the bargain?
The commitment has to go both ways...if the school discovers that the prospect is not nearly as talented as projected, the student does not suffer if he he not selected for the team.
If the NHL suddenly develops a keen interest in the prospect, they won't mind covering the exit expense and even if they don't, I am not going to feel sorry for a player that leaves school to sign a $5M contract and is legally responsible to repay the school $100K. Boo hoo.
I just dont know how you legally make that work. Do you treat the player the same who leaves collge because he decides the academics are not for him and he signs in the ECHL for 30 K...or leaves school because a parent dies and he is going to work to financially support his younger siblings. I dont think this works....legally.... just saying because you can't distinguish! People bail on "contracts" all the time and there may be some punitive consequences per agreement in commercial contracts ...but not you must repay all your salary earned already! ANd this is not commerical this is for education? The education was provided - the student took part? What if he is academically failing? Are you going to punish him them and make him repay the costs? I'm not saying I dont like your idea. I do! I think it would negate the majority of these situations in the first place! But repaying fees is probably not going to work!
Trying to navigate the ocean of BS that is out there now is all but impossible.
What kind of insanity does it take for the parent(s) of a 15-16 year-old to roll the dice on the future of their son? If a bantam is all that now, there is a really good chance of being able to go to college for free later on, especially if he has decent grades.
It is even more insane for society to accept the practice as business as usual.
If the major juniors could figure out how to keep their collective noses clean, NCAA compliance would take the insanity out of the equation.
So you feel it ok to keep adults from being able to work, allow players to use college hockey to get around the NHL-CHL agreement, and think that the parents of 15-16 year-olds should continue the practice of trying to win the lottery on the backs of their children? Nice.
This is one area where baseball is kicking hockey's a%&.
Stephen we understand that the point of your site is to make arguments that maximize options for junior players.. and in the case of tier 2 and 3 players, you do a great job.. in fact in the case of 99% of junior players you do an important service..
But the CHL's raison d'etre is developing hockey players for the National Hockey League.. not for the NCAA.. and the CHL sets the standard in North American sports for profitability, franchise stability (below the major league level) and talent development..
You do a great job talking about the junior hockey world, with the exception of major junior hockey.
I'm sorry to say this, but when it comes to the OHL, the WHL and the Q .. you just don't get it.
That said, for the rest of junior hockey I'm glad you do what you do and please keep it up..
I agree with the role of the CHL... the issue I have is the lack of options for the can't miss prospect that simply missed.
What percentage of CHL players play more than ten games in the NHL? Your 99% number was nearly dead-on. Unfortunately, there are a lot of former major junior players back on the farms and in the mills. The option to get a free education certainly would have been nice when the reality of the NHL Draft killed the fantasy.
So, with that in mind, was the little bit of cash worth the loss NCAA eligibility? Do you really want to ask that question?
Bringing the CHL into full compliance would not be that much of a stretch. Players could receive an equal stipend if the CHL wants to pay the kids so much.
But what you are really concerned about is the loss of the 19s and 20s to the minor leagues. What you have to think about is the influx of talent that would fill in that loss once the CHL was in compliance would more than offset that loss. All of the top players on the continent would be in the CHL.
In reality, the CHL becomes a much stronger entity while reducing costs. Trust me Jeff, that is an interesting proposition for every team at the major junior level.
The death of the NHL-CHL agreement would force the CHL in such a direction and the result would be a balanced system of development.
Most of all, Canadian consumers and Canadian hockey players.
There is no system or industry that protects all of life's bad decisions or - more to the point: failures. Most athletes fail to make it to the big leagues and that's just part of life.
No kid in Canada grows up wanting to play in the NCAA.. they grow up wanting to play in the NHL and they all recognize that the CHL is part of the path there.. at some point, smart Canadian parents who know their kid is really good, but not NHL good, talks to their kid about the NCAA and that decision is made in the teenage years.. and that's awesome..
But if the kid is NHL good, parents go the CHL route because that's where their son stands the best chance of being developed in to an NHL player.
Nearly every kid who plays for a CHL team could play in the NCAA from a talent standpoint. They choose not to. Some times you have to live with your decision and if that means foregoing NCAA eligibility then so be it! You and your parents made that decision..
Ultimately getting more Canadian kids to play amateur hockey in the United States is a tough sell to begin with.. because history has shown, over time, that Hockey Canada does the best job in the world at developing talent..
But you're right that I'm concerned about the CHL losing 19 year olds to the AHL or the AA leagues.. But the reason I'm concerned is because of the old addage "don't fix it if it aint broken"... for 30 years, the system has worked just fine hasn't it? The system in place simply isn't broken..
It's part of the culture in cities all across Canada to go CHL games.. when we traveled to Kingston (or wherever) as kids to play in a hockey tournament, we went to see the OHL team play and we were out of our minds with excitement to go to that game..
It's hard to explain, but the CHL is a big part of growing up as a young hockey-lover in Canada..
Waiving a "HEY LOOK AT THE NCAA!" banner would only be interesting to 15 to 18 year old players who can't make it in major junior but still want to get something out of hockey. Everyone younger, everyone older, and most people in that very age group don't care. At all.
So asking the CHL to change ANYTHING to aid kids in transitioning to the NCAA is a total non-starter back in Canada.