Did you mean Ann Arbor? Yea...
posted Oct. 5th, 2012 - 5:56am
Hockey SP says:
One of my guys is a perfect example of this. He was tendered by another USHL team and passed on the offer for the NTDP! It was a hard decision for him too
SPHL? Higher competition? WHAT?
SPHL is good for a game or two... but you get the point.
I think another coach might of felt the same way. Herb Brooks.
I see that Peter Ward did call later yesterday but we were unable to connect before the deadline.
The model you're proposing is the best idea I've seen. Herb Brooks did the same thing with the 1980 Olympic team and their rough and tumble pre-Olympic schedule prepared them to face the best in the world while building a team. The USNTDP model does little to build teams and I think is often too much about the individual. A biography of Herb Brooks basically states that he hated the idea of the USNTDP and he would agree with you wholeheartedly. The USA Hockey Pyramid is inverted when it comes to resources and it is time for a change.
You cannot apply the soccer philosophy of teams playing competition from many different levels to ice hockey.
As a primary example: You cannot have the NTDP team play a game against an ECHL/CHL/SPHL team. The risk of injury would be substantial, and the talent gap too wide.
In fact the likelihood of serious injury would be high in each game, and thus over the course of a season the likelihood of serious injury would be a mathematical certainty.. leading immediately to the certainty of litigation against the pro team, the NTDP/USA Hockey, the PHPA, the player who caused the injury, the venue the injury occurred in, insurance companies covering any such game, etc.
Meaning none of the parties I mentioned is ever going to allow it.
We are not talking about 16 and 17 year-olds from the current NTDP structure...we are talking about the Junior National Team that is preparing for the World Junior Championships.
The absolute best 19 and 20 year-olds we have.
In reality, the SPHL and CHL teams would not be able to touch a group like this. But in the interest of safety, just tell the USA Hockey refs to keep the crap in the toilet.
Those type of prospects should make minced-meat out of the lower end of the pro hockey spectrum.
The ECHL pros may be more of a challenge, but as the unit jells, even the ECHL teams are not going to be able to provide the level of competition that such a talented group needs to continue improving.
By the time the team gets to the fall schedule of AHL and eventually NHL games...everything will be about execution.
We seem to agree about the safety concerns.. It's grown men against boys in a sport where there's many ways to injure your opponents.. So we'll leave that to the side..
Speaking only of competition, there isn't a junior team on the planet that could compete with an ECHL team.. To suggest that the opposite is true: that an ECHL club would be hopelessly outmatched against the NTDP, that's got to be a joke.
Even WJHC teams such as Team Canada, containing 90%+ future NHLers, couldn't compete with a AA pro team..
ECHL players have so much more experience that they just think the game faster.. plus they move faster.. they're just smarter players, are in the correct position more often.. Their shooting is harder as a whole (although some individual junior players can hit in to the 80s and 90s)...
And setting aside all physical advantages, perhaps most importantly of all other factors: ECHL goaltending would badly, BADLY outclass junior netminding.. That alone would assure very one-sided results..
Now there is a debate...
You are saying that any ECHL team is better than ANY group of twenty-five Americans (or Canadians, Russians, Swedes...) that happen to be 19 or 20 years-old?
Sorry my friend, I'll take the elite juniors over a bunch of older guys that few had the chance to play at the international level.
I also know this, the debate would be fantastic to see on the ice, and be something I would gladly pay to see.
About time someone brought this out as a way to develop out WJC teams. The U20 championship should be the main goal, develop as many players in our current Junior System (USHL/NAHL/EJHL), and then select the best for the U20 team.
As been stated many times already, the NTDP concept is completely idiotic. A ton of money wasted on only a select few 16, 17 and 18 year olds. Players are way to young in their hockey careers to narrow down the selection to only 46 players.
Then USA brags about their U17 and U18 World Championships, when in the big scheme of things it means absolutely nothing. Look at the WJC U17 tournament. Canada brings 5 U17 teams selected from all regions in order to develop future 19-20 year olds for the "real" WJC (U20) championship. Why doesn't USA hockey do the same thing ?
Unfortunately, I am afraid it will never change cause I guess NTDP employees have to make a living somehow. It is unfortunate it has to be at the expense of USA hockey fees. I no longer have a player in this fight but to think about how USA hockey wastes money on programs like this, it is a complete shame. Almost criminal in my opinion.
Yes. I'm saying that any ECHL team is better than the best possible junior team in the world.. let alone the NTDP which is what your previous argument was..
Now - it seems once every ~5 years a goalie comes along that can play at an all-world (read: NHL) level as an 18-19 year old.. if that goalie was made available to the junior team (which he wouldn't, because he'd be in the NHL) then the junior team MIGHT be able to tie one game out of 10. =)
But if the ECHL team had an ECHL goalie, and the junior team had a non-NHL-ready junior goalie .. it would be 10 games, 10 wins for the ECHL team because they'd score 5-10 goals per game on the junior goalie..
The experience, speed, strength would just be too over-powering to allow any kind of close game.. the ECHL players also have a far more sophisticated understanding of defensive play, and that would stifle the junior players ability to score aside from the odd exceptional scoring opportunity generated by the best junior player's raw offensive skills..
When you factor in that the junior players would be hit harder and heavier than they're used to by ECHL types, the resulting physical domination would factor in as well.
Given a choice, I'd pick an OHL game over an ECHL game any day to watch. But if I had to bet money, mine would be squarely placed on the pro team - regardless of what junior competition they faced.
Great point Jeff...but I still think you are nuts.
Well! I'd call YOU nuts, but ...
When I was 7 or 8.. My first year of organized hockey I was the star player of the Cumberland Gremlins house-league team up in Ottawa, Ontario..
That year we lost 1 game, tied 1 game, and won every other game we played... and I honestly, and truthfully felt that we could defeat the then-hapless New Jersey Devils..
I seriously had no doubts about it in my mind.
So your NTDP/junior vs. ECHL take is a far more reasonable take than my position was on the Gremlins vs. Devils.. =)
Reading this I was just wondering, isn't there an NCAA prohibition against potential future NCAA D1 athletes playing with or even competing against professional players?
James, if that was the case, there could not be a WJC because there are players from many teams that are full professionals.
Take that a step further and look at golf's US Open. College players and other amateurs are allowed to compete against professionals.
With my concept, many of the players would have already been drafted and a few could have worked themselves to an NHL roster.
Let's look at the roster for this team:
Here are a few others that should be on this list...
Jordan Schmaltz, St Louis Blues
Henrik Samuelsson, Phoenix Coyotes
Would they get beat during the pro schedule? Certainly. But not ten out of ten games against everybody from the ECHL and up. Especially with USA Hockey refs calling an exceptionally clean game.
Sorry Jeff, but these kids could come out of a pro schedule absolutely smoking when it came time to play against WJC competition.
Would it be a golden return on the investment? That depends on the coach and his ability to actually develop the team.
Who would be the perfect man for the job? You would want a guy on his way to the NHL that knows junior hockey. As far as I'm concerned, that list has to have Jon Cooper's name at the top.
Follwoing is excerpted from NCAA rules on amateur status and eligilibility:
B. Summary of Amateurism Legislation Related to the Preferential Treatment/Extra Benefit Rule:
1. The Principle of Amateurism. Student-athletes shall be amateurs in an intercollegiate sport, and their participation should be motivated primarily by education and by the physical, mental, and social benefits to be derived. Student participation in intercollegiate athletics is an avocation, and student-athletes should be protected from exploitation by professional and commercial enterprises.
NCAA Bylaw 12.1.2 Amateur Status. An individual loses amateur status and thus shall not be eligible for intercollegiate competition in a particular sport if the individual:
(a) Uses his or her athletic skill (directly or indirectly) for pay in any form in that sport;
(b) Accepts a promise of pay even if such pay is to be received following completion of intercollegiate athletics participation;
(c) Signs a contract or commitment of any kind to play professional athletics, regardless of its legal enforceability or any consideration received;
(d) Receives, directly or indirectly, a salary, reimbursement of expenses or any other form of financial assistance from a professional sports organization based upon athletics skill or participation, except as permitted by NCAA rules and regulations;
(e) Competes on any professional athletics team (per Bylaw 12.02.4) even if no pay or remuneration for expenses was received;
(f) Subsequent to initial full-time enrollment, enters into a professional draft; or
(g) Enters into an agreement with an agent.
18.104.22.168.4 Major Junior A Ice Hockey - Ice hockey teams in the United States and Canada, classified by the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association as major junior A teams, are considered professional teams under NCAA legislation.
It is important for all NCAA hopeful players to know that any player who plays Major Junior hockey will most likely never be able to play in the NCAA. There are certain appeals processes that a team can go through to try and have a player's eligibility reinstated, however, for the most part, the majority of coaches and teams will not bother to try and take these steps. It is extremely rare due to the abundance of quality hockey players available to them.
As I read this, a potential D1 hockey player could in fact compete in a situation such as you propose, that is with players from Major Junior teams as part of his development.
I understand your psoition I think, and do agree that the NTDP is a boodoggle in many ways. But the NCAA seems to have kids bottled up as far as amateur status and where and under what circumstances they may play.
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