I grew up watching the Ontario Hockey League. I watched it grow from a 10-team league to a 20-team league. I watched it as the average worth of a franchise skyrocketed from $500,000 to $10 million in less than 20 years. I watched it ... Read More...
The ultimate fix would be to steal USA Hockey's thunder by becoming 100% compliant with the NCAA.
Doing so would not be as difficult as it appears. Just emiminate the little envelope full of cash and give players an OHL debit card. Every Monday, the league loads the card with the exact same per diem for incidental expenses that is approved by the NCAA.
Now players have the best of both worlds while teams are able to pad the bottom line.
Actually, the OHL does not need to be fixed from its end, per se. It is good at what it does and it gets away with how it does it. The franchises keep going up in value and aside from a lack of fan support in the GTA areas of Brampton and Mississauga, the league has probably never been healthier. My point was just because the OHL is successful, I don't have to like the way it does big business by making big money off the shoulders of teenaged kids. The OHL is like a sweat shop -- and it and its commissioner gets away with it.
Growing up in Ottawa I can distinctly remember playing road hockey (when we weren't playing ice hockey) and pretending we were two NHL teams.. many, many times we would also pretend we were OHL teams (usually the Ottawa 67's were involved but not always)..
But I can't say I ever remember pretending we were working in a sweat shop..
Kids in a sweat shop also can't leave and aren't treated like heroes by their friends and thousands of fans.. they aren't provided top notch medical care, free university, etc. etc. You get my point about the comparison being a bad one.
It seems you have a personal problem and/or dislike of David Branch.. but the fact is the OHL has operated in this same way long before he was its Commissioner..
Everyone knows the deal.. the player gets trained, fed, housed, and pocket money.. but their real compensation is opportunity..
Maybe Branch does need to go but he's there because the stakeholders in the OHL put him there.. therefore he deserves to be there, and when he doesn't then he can very easily be removed. Dictators cannot.
But feel free to share personal experiences you've had with Branch in particular that have soured you on him.. at least we'll get some insight in to the man..
The fact is the OHL has operated in this same way long before Branch was Commissioner? I don't think so. In 1975, when Tubby Schmalz was commissioner, OHL players were paid $60 a week plus room and board. In 2012, the going rate is still $60 per week plus room and board.
That is not correct. The school packages differ greatly, depending on what round a player is selected in. School packages also become null and void if a player plays a single game of pro hockey, even at the lowest minor pro level.
There is not a reason why the OHL could not become completely compliant with the NCAA. Doing so would give these kids the option of playing Div I hockey. That in itself could be the cat's meow.
I hate to see a kid drafted from bantams having to make a choice between professional hockey or college. How in the heck does a 16 year-old really know?
The OHL would have to decide on a across-the-board per diem...that number could be $50 or it could be $150, do whatever the NCAA is going to go along with.
Randy: Describing the OHL education grant package sounds like a great basis for a JuniorHockey.com article.
I was under the impression that OHL kids got free university education after they're done with the OHL - or even DURING their time in the OHL.. is what you're saying is a 1st round OHL pick gets a free ride but if you're selected in the 10th round (but still make the team) you get something less?
Stephen: The OHL and the NCAA are competing for Canadian talent.. are you saying that the OHL should comply with the NCAA's wishes to keep the options open for the player? I mean that's fine but if as Randy suggests the players get $60/week and that immediately makes them ineligible, it seems the NCAA might want to consider being more flexible too.. maybe when the NCAA reforms itself across all sports, OHL players won't be ineligible and the problem will sort itself out..
Both: In Ottawa, we had a league called the CJHL that Division I schools recruited heavily from.. basically if you couldn't make the OHL, or you WANTED to play U.S. college hockey, your best hope was the CJHL..