I would guess an EJ owner would say "If I am placing players in D1 schools and am able to attract plenty of others (either paying full boom or paying nothing) and am able to run a team that was financially stable, why would I want to change anything."
I would guess an EJ player would say "If I can play here in the EJ and have great exposure, play in a league that places many players in D1 programs, can live at home or very close to home, and maybe if I do well play for nothing, why would I want to change anything?"
If I were a NAHL owner I would say " If I am losing players with no compensation, can't really convince a kid to stay in the NA rather than leave for the EJ, and .........(well you fill in the blanks), but I seem to have plenty of players showing up for expensive tryout camps, might actually be able to run this thing at break even, and you know the rest, I'd want to change everything.......except of course the last few items mentioned which keep me going in spite of the first list of complaints.
If I was running USA Hockey, I'd say "you know it ain't perfect, but it's working pretty well. The USHL is doing fine, and after all that's where our heart really is, and the NAHL does manage to keep sliding along. The youth players aren't really complaining about subsidizing the whole operation, and the CHL is staying out of our business. The NHL throws us some crumbs and even a little respect every now and then, why should I change anything?"
If you accept the above, looks like a pretty good formula for not changing anything for most of the benefactors of the system as far as I can see.
Stephen, you have some good observations and are clearly impassioned about your beliefs, but there is no free market in American hockey and until that happens more legislated fixes, read "make them do this or make them do that" is not going to change much. The fact is, the players do have some freedom, and what free market that does exist is used by the players and their families for what they believe to be in their own best interests. Making people do this or do that in the end only makes them find a way around the trying to make them do this or make them do that.
USA Hockey might as well throw the standards completely out the window and start over.
What's the point of having them if nobody is around to enforce them?
If free-rides for Tier III players are an acceptable practice, than toss out roster protection, the import restriction, and the rest of those pesky rules like transportation requirements, billet standards, background checks on staff, and team supplied equipment.
The NCAA is already looking closely at players coming from the EJHL and how many New England college coaches are influencing where prospective players are playing junior. I am hearing that they are about to close that "meaningful work" loophole because it is not based on financial need.
It looks like the NCAA is going to have to do what USA Hockey does not have the balls to do.
Its painfully obvious that everyone on this site hates the ejhl. So your upset that players are leaving the NAHL to play in the EJHL? Why? Its a better league with WAY, WAY more exposure. Do you think these players are dumb and dont know what they are doing? Is it a coincidence that two players who were drafted last year are COMING to the EJHL to play instead of the NAHL OR USHL. Yes thats correct. The Valley Worriers will have TWO players drafted in last years draft playing for them. You dont see that in the NAHL, BCHL, SJHL. The EJHL is the second best junior league in the united states, like it or not. Funny you mention that the EJ has to prove they are good instead of talking. Im starting to think the people running this site need to start to prove they know something about hockey and talent. AHH this player isnt paying, these teams are making a profit, boo hoo hooo. Bunch of babies. The NAHL is a financial disaster for 80% of teams that play there. Whats the turnover rate for teams there? The NAHL is a good league. Knowbody, even the EJ dispute that. Maybe they should step down to T3 and start showing results. Let me end on this note. Why are player leaving other leagues to play in the EJ? Because with less than half the teams, they send more players to MAJOR D1 college hockey than any other league except the ushl. Thats why.
Agreed Adam, although the BCHL did have more drafted players playing in their league, Pinctenton Vees to be exact. I guess the NAHL coaches need to ask themselves the question "why are our players leaving to play elsewhere"? I would guess its because the EJHL offers a better package to players wanting to play college hockey on the east coast. Whats the problem with that? So what if the player is supposed to be paying and isnt. Sounds to me players are starting to realize that the NA isnt the second best option anymore. After scrolling down their college placement lists, the NA does send alot of players to college but it appears to be a mix of Atlantic D1 and D3 schoools. Nothing wrong with that but I could see where a higher end prospect would want to jump ship and play there. Lets also mention the player mentioned in the article is a 20 yr old who has one more year of junior elegibility. I think he made a good decision and dont see what the fuss is about. We are talking about amatures here, not pros. They can come and go as they want.
The MYTH, EJHL is a premier development league that churns out D1 players. The key is, these players were already D1 commits prior to joining an EJHL club. They didnít come in as a AA player and through tremendous development, emerge as a D1 signee. Their respective college coaches placed them on the teams for seasoning according to proximity in most cases. I am not an EJ hater at all, good hockey teams, wish they would come to Nationals though.
Both of you are saying that giving out free rides at the Tier III level is acceptable, despite the fact that accepting one is a clear violation of NCAA rules.
I don't have anything against the EJHL, or the money they make. All I am saying is that leagues and teams need to be on the same page in regards to the rules.
If the NCAA comes out and says "hey, we don't care about financial benefits based on athletic ability," than USA Hockey needs to take the rule off the books.
There are other rules that should be zapped as well.
- Imports, if they are here, they can play.
- Abolish Tier III Drafts and Tenders, how does drafting a customer make any kind of sense.
- Tier III Protected List, more crap, customer service is the key to keeping the customer.
- Financial Suspensions, teams need to get the money up front BEFORE the player hits the ice. If he can't pay, he can't play. If a team lets a guy play for free, that's entirely the team's fault.
Imagine you are a shopper. You have made some purchases at a local Walmart but discovered that a market down the street has some good deals as well. You have to pay for the items you wish to take home but are free to stop at the market down the street as well. Before you walk in the door the manager comes out and says, "hey, you just came from Walmart so I am not permitted to sell you anything... and as a matter of fact, as long as you live in this town, you can never buy from this store."
Welcome to Tier III junior hockey.
Keep the rules the same across the entire spectrum of leagues and teams at the same level. Enforce them as they are written, and the players will naturally migrate to the appropriate level.
If the EJHL wants to run with the big dogs, drop the phony player fee and step up. But don't continue to force half the team to pay a ridicules fee so you can afford to give the other half a free illegal ride.
It didn't take long for this conversation to turn into a pi$$ing match. Mine is better than yours, ha ha ha.
Every major sanction, fine or punishment ever handed down by the NCAA came about because somebody cried about the other guy having some unfair advantage. My advice to you Stephen, is to direct your attention to the NCAA. As soon as a top liner is found to be ineligible or a national championship is taken away because of said ineligible player, there will be an exodus from the EJHL.
What I do not understand is the fact that USA Hockey has their collective heads in the sand in regards to the standards and rules.
It's not about crying, its about doing things the right way. Imagine what a mess NASCAR would be in if enforcement of the rules were selective and a fat wallet could make the inspectors turn a blind eye.
There is a word for those that can't compete within the rules and structure of the game... cheaters.
Ok Stephen, your saying that you dont have a problem with the ejhl except for the fact that they arnt playing by the rules? Ok. If thats how you truelly feel and you really dont have a problem with that league than i stand corrected. Who you then would be upset with is USA hockey, not the EJ. However, the EJHL gets absolutely no love on this site. Is it because they dont pay for advertising? There is no way anyone who has any knowledge about any form of amature hockey can say that this league isnt playing with the big boys, as your very weak and insulting cartoon picture above insinuates. And for the man above, Steve Love, to say that these players are already D1 commits THEN go to the EJ is just comical and plain innacurate. Yes, the Empire and Eastern States leagues help out financially and are there to help out financially, however to state that these players arnt developed at this level is just dumb and makes you look bad. In fact the top talent in the empire never really get to the ejhl. They get drafted by ushl teams and go there. Atleast give a great developement league its due respect instead of stirring the pot with both false information and petty rules violations---which if im not mistaken---pay for play has hit the NAHL more times than once. Is playing Nationals that important that you hold this grudge?
Mike Klein of the EJHL is considered a trusted contributor to this site.
I see pages after pages of positive EJHL articles listed and probably have more EJHL content than the competitors have content period.
All I expect is for everybody to be playing by the same set of rules. How do you think the other EJ owners feel about it? Not happy, that's for darn sure.
I understand exactly what you are saying and I can understand your frustration. What I am saying is if the pressure comes from the NCAA, my guess is that things will change with USA Hockey and change fast.
As for me, nothing could be further from the truth as to any animus I have towards the EJ. I have three sons who played Junior hockey, two in the NAHL and one in the EJ. The EJ is a great league and we were very happy with the treatment he received while in the league on all fronts.
The point of my post is that things are rolling along in Junior hockey in this country and in fact the powers that be are really pretty happy with the system as it is. And it is my personal belief that any change will be very difficult to bring about.
As for the NCAA, in an organization that turns a blind eye to scandal after scandal in big time football, allows players to be exploited to the tune of 100's of millions of dollars while booting the players for selling a practice jersey, and let's it's officers lead a life of royalty, do you actually think college hockey (a major loss leader and a sport whose players are 25% to 50% on some teams non-citizens) really concerns them.
As an EJ parent...did you pay the full bill?
I wonder if Robert Mantha went from playing for his uncle Moe Mantha (who is regarded as a very good coach) and playing close to home in Flint, free of charge, to "paying to play" in the EJHL. Just wondering.
Now that's a trick question. ;) But yes. On the other hand he did leave an NAHL team to go to the EJ. So I guess we were 50% outlaw player. He was getting some interest by IVY league schools and many D3 East Coast schools and all toll we thought he would be better out East. And some other stuff also, but never mind that.
posted Sep. 1st, 2012 - 2:51pm
Ric Davis says:
I have read many of your articles for sometime now, and agree with alot of the points you bring to light. You point out things that most people won't touch. Bottem line.... PLAY BY THE RULES!
For those that cry you are a "EJ Hater", haven't followed your past writings. Being from the Mid-west, I guess I could complain the AJH site is, MnJ and NA3 haters because of the lack of coverage... that would be ridiculous. Simple.... PLAY BY THE RULES!
I grew up playing in the 70's. The bulk of my adult coaching has been at the HS level, and Tier I youth. I could share story after story, about my local state assoc, AND USA Hockey, of unethical situations. Not only do I fault USA Hockey for these injustices you mention, I also fault the EJ board of directors and owners for allowing it to get out of hand. The MnJ had this same problem a few years ago, and flat out told the organization in question to start charging the league minimum, or they would no longer be welcome in the league. Again.... PLAY BY THE RULES!
My last son is now in the NA3. The passion I once had for the game has waned. The years of disgust, from Tier I parents, unethical coaching from mites thru Jr's, the lying owners, and distrust from my State and US sanctioning bodies, has me looking forward to the day my time with USA Hockey is over. Until then, I will continue to enjoy supporting my two boys as they finish their college and jr hockey experiences... AND I have made sure "THEY"... PLAY BY THE RULES!
Thanks for responding...and understanding.
A bit off topic, but if Adam Michaels got his education via the EJHL, that's not exactly a ringing endorsement of the league or the emphasis it places (or does not place) on education.
Who are the Valley "Worriers"? Are they in any way related to the Valley Warriors?
What do you have against apostrophes (other than not having any idea where they should go?
How is it that you can put random words in ALL CAPS, but you can't be bothered to capitalize proper nouns?
And, just for the record, "knowbody" isn't actually a word, and "amature" is spelled A-M-A-T-E-U-R.
With such a fine grasp of the English language, it's no wonder you miss the point of the original post.
There is simply no way that players would give up "free" roster spots in the NAHL for a spot they (or their parents) would have to pay thousands of dollars for in a Tier III league, unless there were other perks involved.
Usahockey brings this on themselves, they are clueless and have no idea how to regulate and enforce rules in the junior system. Will you finally admit to that?
The EJ is an entity that has always wanted to be independent from other leagues. The Northeast is a unique hockey utopia. Perhaps...and just perhaps...the EJ might be the best model for junior leagues. There are so many colleges in this area and they DON`T WANT TO TRAVEL TO FIND PLAYERS. The EJ is the most competitive league in the NE and colleges love it. Accept it for what it is...or...call on usahockey and the NCAA to investigate the league and cause misery.
Corey, thanks for pointing out my bad grammer. Two things. You ask why a player would leave the nahl where they dont pay to play to play in a league where they have to pay? The answer is very simple. None of these players who switched leagues have college scholarships as yet. They were unable to secure one playing in the NAHL. As a parent I have no problem paying 5k (if they are at all) for my son to play in a league where he will most likely leave with a scholarship. Why is that so hard to understand? My posts had nothing to do with Stephans article but had everything to do with the fact that the ejhl gets no love on this site. The Hockey climate in New England is different in that of central USA. Hockey is everywhere here so you cant charge people to go see a junior game when for the same price they can go watch a pro or college game anywhere across the state. Therefor the ejhl cant become a t2 league because the teams dont make money. In fact they lose money like most if not all nahl teams. Second, I got my hockey education in the EJHL and the NEPSHL which makes me very qualified to speak about this topic. I also got my degree from umass amherst. My grammer may be on par with the level of hockey IQ displayed by the man who appears to be running this joke of a site. Im sure when the EJ starts to pay for advertising here the negativity will stop. One last thing. I have no problem with any junior league and am not bashing the nahl. I just feel like players are now realizing that the better option to get a d1 ride is in the ej.
**My grammer may be on par with the level of hockey IQ displayed by the man who appears to be running this joke of a site.**
U-Mass Amherst? Really?
Anyway, if this site is such a joke, kindly utilize the little red box in the upper right corner of your screen...don't let the door hit you in the a$%.
Lol, I like the site Stephen. Pay Mr. Michaels no mind. He seems angry. Let me ask you this. What is the benefit for any league to be sanctioned by USA Hockey? Most of those EJHL teams were around way before that league was started so I am sure they could operate as a league independently. What would the negatives\positives be for becoming an independent league? For the EJ or any league?
It comes to one thing and one thing only...roster protection.
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