Can somebody please explain to me just why everyone wants to cash in on junior hockey? Enough already. I am having a difficult time keeping up with all of these rogues in the game.
If that was not enough, the biggest pain in my backside is one of our former writers, Joe Kolodziej, out there confusing the junior hockey community with his attempt to provide us with competition at thejuniorhockeynews.com
So, needless to say, I have a lot to say today. Let's get to it.
Rouge League I: Tropical Elite Hockey League
In very Jim Cashman like fashion, the new Tropical Elite Hockey League is being operated as a single entity. The league will collect all the player fees and quickly disappear from existence. Ok, let's give commissioner Stirling Wright more credit than that. A quick Google search reveals that the league does not have an recognized website, does not have leases in place with more than one of their stated teams, and is little more than a dream balled up in a see-through plastic pipe. Hopefully any perspective players are going to do the same as we did before writing a check.
One item that has sparked my curiosity, the league is asking for $900,000 in donations through wepay.com to operate the program. I think it is fair to say that fundraising drive is coming up a bit short. To date Wright and his group have collected a grand total of... $40.00. Maybe that Facebook based marketing effort is going to need to be revisited.
Rouge League II: International Junior Hockey League
I like Dennis Canfield and believe that he has the best of intentions. With that said, I have zero faith in what is left of the International Junior Hockey League. Commissioner Charlie Neilson and his good friend Richie Salsman are so out of touch with reality that I wonder if they will ever catch up. Can Canfield do what it takes to make something of this group? I hope so for the sake of the players.
Rouge League III: IJHL-Midwest
Nielson and Salsman are so out of touch that an entire division has sprouted up like a mushroom growing out of wet carpet. Val Vasilyev and Igor Myaskovskiy are on the prowl for new markets for their new startup division, unfortunately they are riding on the dirty curtails of the IJHL. Nielson kept the rest of his league in the dark about the Russians. The entire situation is messy and could end up in court.
Rouge Website: Joe Kolodziej
Little Joe keeps taking shots and until now, I have been turning the cheek. Let's just go ahead and finish this quickly. Joe, go ahead and fire off the C & D letter because what I am about to say is the truth, and is going to piss you off.
Kolodziej ( Google Link Here ) Has a long and notorious history in the game with little regard to the intellectual properties of others. There have been claims that he has stolen logos, ideas, and whatever else he feels might be of marketable value. His site routinely steals content from mainstream media and passes it off as his own, rarely giving credit to the source of the content or the writer that created it. In this business, a guy that does this is considered a thief.
We took a lot of heat for giving Kolodziej a chance to get back into the game as a writer for this site. I stood behind his abilities to gather information and present it as content. He did a good job but his fantasy of being a hockey executive got the best of him when he attempted to strong-arm his way into a team in the Great Lakes Junior Hockey League. Without going into details, that move was unsuccessful and we decided to part ways.
Kolodziej told us that he was going to start his own site to blow this one out of the water. That's ok, we have survived that attack. I have since tried to help Joe, and even recommended him for position with one of our advertisers. When he asked that I do this for him he said that if he was able to get with a team, that he would re-direct his site to ours. The recommendation was effective, but we still have to deflect pot-shots from his site.
Kolodziej also has a tie to the clown prince of hockey leagues, Jim Cashman.
This is the email that Kolodziej sent to Gerry Lullove earlier this month. The text of the email was sent to me anonymously from a ghost email account. I did confirm that Lullove received, and rejected, the proposal. Kolodziej also admitted that he sent it, spelling errors and all.
Below is an offer to collaborate on a league. For me, the terms are not negotiable. Not trying to be a jerk, but I am not hiding or cming in the back door to make something happen.
Jim Cashman has been copied on this email. Jim and I spoke this evening. Between the two of us we can bring 6 to 8 teams together. We could put a league together and make things work for the upcoming season on our own if we wanted. That said, we would prefer to work with an established group.
What we would propose if to join the GLJHL under the following terms:
Open membership as it relates to myself, Gardiner can take it or leave it, he is about to loose his USHL scouting job once he sgns on to this anyway. If he doesnt like me I realy dont care, he needs to play and every team needs players, I can help in providing both. I wont sit behind other people to get in.
We can bring these teams and owners in under no franchise fee. The franshise fee to join the GLJHL is not something that has value as of today. This is not a personal view, but after recent news, the league needs to focus on being strong with membership rather than collecting franchise fees.
I would go intoGrand Rapids and bring one more team in minimum. Jim has at least 3 teams and possibly a few more if this deal can work. With the teams you have we could get to 12 strong teams.
Grand Rapids fills a bridge for the Soo and Jim provides an eastern division. Keep in mind that we can do this on our own under AAU if we need too, we made it work twoyears ago and we could do it again if we needed to.
Our proposal represents an idea of working together from a position of strength. Jim opens the door to Canada, and I can open the door to players. We also have the junior hockey news as a vehicle to promote the league, teams and players.
As much as I would like to work this out, keep in mind I have three existing teams that have offered minority ownership in USAH leagues that I can take tomorrow. I will be a part of a team or league and Jim will play one way or another.
This is an opportunity to do something good for everyone. Not just the owners but the players. Think it over, I will be making my decision no later than Sunday night.
Well Joe, I have to believe that Lullove made the right choice. Inline hockey looked much better to him than having to go into business with the likes of Cashman and you. I can't say I blame him.
What do you think?