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Weekend Dish: WSHL's Seals First on Poachers' List - Junior Hockey News

Published: Saturday, 5 Jan 2013
By: Stephen Heisler  |  Web site: JuniorHockey.com

Last week this Daily Dish focused on the need to eliminate in-season poaching from the level of play. Well, it did not take long to discover the first major offender.

The Western States Hockey League's Bay Area Seals are the first team being added to the Poachers' List after snagging a pair of high-end prospects from the Northwest Junior Hockey League's Grand Prairie JD Kings.

The Seals brag about their catch in this article that was featured on the team's website.

Forward Corey Wamsteeker was the NWJHL rookie of the year last season and also tearing the Canadian league up again this year. JD Kings defenseman Mac Putio joins his buddy Wamsteeker in California.

The JD Kings are being left is a difficult position now that the December 1st deadline for adding players has come and gone. In this article, posted on the team's website, the writer talks about the WSHL teams' ability to snag players without compensation. 

In an exchange of voice mails on Friday, Bay Area Seals' boss Chris Collins had this to say.

"I did not rip anybody, and don't appreciate the accusations," Collins told us. "I don't give a f*** what they said, if players want to come down here to get better exposure, I'm going to let them."

Better exposure? Come on Collins, you can't be serious.

"One of the guys wants to go to college the other is a professional prospect," Collins explained. "The parents contacted us and said they wanted their sons down here."

This is a direct contradiction of what the Seals are saying on their own website: Once returning from Las Vegas, both Collins and Racette, went north of the border to make two significant acquisitions.

The Kings, on the other hand are very upset with Collins and the Seals."The fact that none of our executives or any coaching staff was contacted in regards to this is pretty pathetic on the part of that hockey club; we asked numerous times to be contacted but received nothing."

"They don't have any right to tell me how to run my business," Collins added. "I have 25 years of National Hockey League and professional experience and it will be a cold day in hell before anyone tells me how to run my business."

WSHL Commissioner Ron White agrees that nobody should be tampering with players on active rosters but admits that he is essentially powerless.  "The WSHL (and Amateur Athletic Union Hockey) does not have a roster protection agreement with Hockey Canada or the North West Junior Hockey League," White said.

The big question is this, are all these players really paying to play?

What kind of penalty could we possibly impose on Chris Collins and the Seals? I declare Open Season on the Seals roster. If any team is short on players, the Seals have a number of good ones right now. We know of a number of North American Hockey League teams that could use a few imports now that the limit has been raised by two. Coaches and team owners are encouraged to comb the Seals roster for the prospects of your choice. Facebook is an easy way to contact players.

Mr. Collins, you can't say we didn't warn you.

JuniorHockey.com is the premier website dedicated to delivering the latest news and developing stories from junior hockey across North America, as well as providing online tools for junior hockey players and prospects. With over 225,000 views each month Juniorhockey.com is the internet's leading source of junior hockey news and information. 

Stephen Heisler resides in Puerto Penasco, Mexico with his wife, Maria, and their two children, Sonia and Tomas. Tune in to his Mexico based Classic Rock Station, GoPenasco Radio.


Bay Area Seals, WSHL. Added 1/5/2013, Expireds 1/5/2014 


posted Jan. 6th, 2013 - 2:21pm
Drew Miller says:
I am glad to see you have created this list. I do have a question about the reason for the WSHL and AAU. Was this breakaway group created to have a more accountable and fair organization? or, was it created as an outlaw organization, with the sole purpose of undermining rules and agreements? That being said, I fully understand the frustration that exists with USAH. Also, it is no coincidence that it is a western league that bolts first. USAH with its midwest/east coast bias has been well known, out west, for a long time. The Wenatchee's experience with the Junior Council and its effort to join the BCHL are a perfect example. USAH doesn't care that there isn't a competitor within 900 miles, but they will continually deny them access to the BCHL.

posted Jan. 6th, 2013 - 3:02pm
Stephen Heisler says:
Wenatchee will be in the BCHL next season and beyond.

WSHL broke away simply because the youth council exercising their power to control where, when, and how new junior teams were allowed to be formed. That interfered with all USAH junior league's business and growth model. USAH's refusal to budge on the import restriction issue was also a contributing factor.

posted Jan. 20th, 2013 - 3:59pm
George Fallar says:
Living in Rocky Point puts you at a pretty serious disadvantage with gathering information that isn't filtered through a series of rumors, don't you think? To me, that puts a pretty serious doubt as to whether you have the real scoop or are just parroting something from Twitter or an email or some such.

posted Jan. 20th, 2013 - 10:40pm
Stephen Heisler says:
There are very few that have the connection to the junior level of play as I do.

I work off a Texas phone line and have the ability to touch base with league commissioners, team owners and coaches, players, and fans without any limitations.

You are new here so don't take my word for it, ask my readers, ask the leagues and teams that do business with us, and even ask those that don't.

If I did not have that connection, we would not be growing as fast as we do. The site's traffic has more than doubled each year for the past three years.

That data is freely available via the link found at the lower-left corner of the page.

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