It is official; the blogger days are behind us as we progress towards becoming more of a pure news and information site. Joe Kosmin is the brain behind the technical transformation and I look forward to our new partnership.
The A-List and Forum modules will be unveiled in the next few weeks and we believe that the site will quickly become THE online community for junior hockey here in the United States. These are fun days for us here at AmericanJuniorHockey.com
Here is the deal; numerous sources within the North American Hockey League have confirmed that there was a communication breakdown between the Bucks and NAHL over the size of the check that never got mailed. Now Laredo has announced that the club will remain professional. Is there a new Mexican league being formed? There must be because Laredo is way outside the footprint of the Southern Pro Hockey League and made no mention of the Central Hockey League in the announcement.
Continental Hockey Association
Has the CHA worn out its purpose? The league features sixteen teams including a Pittsburgh Jr Penguins franchise that will not field a team next year. Instead Pittsburgh will join the NAPHL could the other junior teams follow in their lead?
Without counting Pittsburgh, thirteen of the fifteen teams will have Empire teams. Leaving Metro Fighting Moose, Mass Maple Leafs, and Suffolk Juniors the only three without Empire Jr B team in the same organization and rightfully so, the teams finished 1st, 2nd, and 5th respectively. Next year, the Empire League will not have any 20 year olds but the CHA will only four older players.
In my opinion, a 20-year-old playing Jr B Tier III hockey in the states would be better off getting on with his hockey career with an ACHA team. Now, if you're one of the four 20 year olds playing for a CHA team next year, where do you go? You can't be called up to the Empire team and if the CHA team doesn't have an "A" team, you're stuck on the team unless you're traded but how often does that happen?
What's the purpose of the CHA? If the better players remain on the Empire team and the Empire team is a feeder to the Eastern Junior Hockey League, what purpose does the CHA serve? To feed the Empire League teams? If that is the case than the league is not on the same level as the Empire League in the eyes of the CHA and Empire owners but why do they compete against each other in showcases and the national tournament? To me, this doesn't make much sense.
The CHA is obviously the weaker league and the National Tournament results prove my statement. CHA sent three teams to the tournament and came back with one win. The three teams combined for 13 goals and 44 goals against and not one team qualified for the quarterfinals.
Boston and New Hampshire had both of their teams in the tournament, credit to their organizations but do we really need both teams in the tournament?
The three teams mentioned above; Metro Fighting Moose and Mass Maple Leafs would benefit from higher competition in the Empire League and fold the CHA completely - "Sarge" Richards and Kirnan are tight, I'm sure something could be worked out. Although Suffolk also fields a team in Met League, neither of the two qualified for Nationals.
The CHA and Southeast Junior Hockey League could be folded and eliminate some of the confusion for the players and their parents. Every team in the SEJHL fields a team in the Met League but a representative is sent from their league to Nationals? Clearly the Met League by design is the higher level.
My plan is simple, an organization can field one Junior B team in USA Hockey, and we could clean up some of the mess by eliminating the older players playing Junior "B", which looks like Empire League wants to do anyway, but the CHA doesn't.
The Empire League will start to look more like a midget league if they continue to eliminate the older players.
The elimination of Junior "C" gave the CHA and SEJHL, two options; fold one team or move the team up a level. We know how that ended up for a lot of organizations.